was founded by Chris Simpson, a Yorkshire Dalesman, in London in 1969.
In 1969 a combination of luck
and opportunism saw MAGNA CARTA record their first album with Danny
Thompson on bass.
1970 saw Simpson's superb Seasons break out to be an
international success with the world-wide hit Airport Song.
They starred at the Cambridge Festival and by now were packing out the
acoustic venues in the UK and Europe.
They followed Seasons with Songs from Wasties Orchard featuring
the molten talents of Davey Johnstone - still Elton John's longest
He replaced Magna's original Lyell Tranter, and they went on to record
In Concert at the Concertegbouw, Amsterdam, beginning their lifelong
love affair with Holland and around this time they performed 'Seasons'
in the Royal Albert Hall conducted by John Dankworth and backed by the
The next album was the highly acclaimed Lord of the Ages,
referred to by Rick Wakeman as 'one of the greatest albums of its kind
ever made'. With a Roger Dean cover it was to become Magna's Sergeant
Pepper, and became the subject of a book in Europe.
Throughout this time MAGNA CARTA toured continuously, from the Albert
Hall to Kensington Palace; from Katmandu to St Moritz World Festival of
Youth Orchestras, the road stretching through clubs, festivals; concert
halls and radio and TV shows too numerous to mention.
The journey claimed its casualties though, resulting in a number of
line-up changes, but that special something that is MAGNA CARTA carried