Over the last 25 years Bob Catley has established
a reputation as one of Britain's top vocalists with his work in Magnum and
currently with Hard Rain. Now Bob has embarked on a parralel solo career
alongside his ongoing commitment to Hard Rain and long time colleague Tony
Bob has teamed up with Ten frontman,
and longstanding Magnum fan, Gary Hughes who has written all the songs on "The
Tower" (as well as producing and playing bass and keyboards). "The
Tower" was written with classic Magnum very much in mind and harks
back to "On A Storyteller's Night" style pomp meeting "Wings Of
Heaven" style AOR with a very 90s melodic rock production bringing the old
sound bang up to date. With contributions from Gary's fellow Ten colleagues
Vinny Burns (guitar) and Greg Morgan (drums) there are similarities to Ten, but
Bob's distinctive vocals on top there is no confusing the two projects.
AOR Hard Rock Hotspot gave "The Tower"
94% (PRODUCTION: 90%, SONGS: 95%, VIBE: 90%, ATTITUDE: 96%) and said: "The
first thing that hits you about this album is that the sound, the songs and the
production are just huge.", "The sound is a tribute to pomp
and big epic guitars, keyboards and vocals.", "fans will have
no trouble calling this an instant classic.", "(Bob) is a
great singer without doubt and rules this record.", "some of
the best tunes I have heard from Bob since "Wings Of Heaven" and "Sleepwalking".",
"The opening two tracks are two of the biggest and most pomp driven
tunes I have ever heard." and "a musically complex and
accomplished record that all involved in should be very proud of.".
SFK gave "The Tower" 92% and
said: "Songs like "Scream", "Fire And Ice" and the
bouncy "Steel" all demand your attention and sport a very full
arena-type sound that relies heavily on equal parts of guitar and keyboards. And
on the more pomp-like tunes, like the magnificent epic "Far Away" and
the gliding "Deep Winter", Bob really hits his vocal stride.",
"Bob lashes out with an urgency that I'm sure he hasn't felt in some
time", "I cannot remember when he has sounded finer, whether
this is due to Gary Hughes' excellent production or that Bob is just aging
gracefully, I don't know." and "Overall, there's not a bad
moment to be found. This just may be some of the best work of his long and
Classic Rock gave "The Tower"
8/10 and said: "one of Britains leading rock voices", Hughes'
songwriting allows "Catley to pour his heart into a track like "Scream"
and "Bob seems to have added a rewarding new dimension to his career."
Powerplay gave "The Tower" a
Highly Recommended rating and said: "What better way to start off your
solo career than with an absolute belter!", "Gary has captured
that special feel and vibe of "Storyteller's" perfectly and wrapped
it up beautifully in renaissance/symphonic style instrumentation, with big
grandiose almost epic film score like production schemes", "Spectacular
- "On A Storyteller's Night Part 2" with balls!", ""Far
Away" is a ballad of epic proportions that propels Bob's vocals to heights
rarely touched even in his Magnum days", "A production job
worthy enough to grace the Titanic soundtrack" and "Essential
listening for all fans of vintage Magnum"
Bob made his debut solo appearence at
The Gods '98 in November, performing a showstopping set featurng tracks form
"The Tower" as well as classic Magnum songs. Such was the
response to the show that Now & Then decided to release an "official
bootleg" of the set. "Live At The Gods" was released in
January 1999 and features the full set list performed on the day. Bob's
backing band for the concert was made up of Vinny Burns (Ten) on lead guitar,
Paul Hodson (Hard Rain) on keyboards/backing vocals, Mike Dmitrovic (Emerald
Rain) rhythm guitar, Sean Gregory (Emerald Rain) on bass, Murray Daigle (Emerald
Rain) acoustic guitar/bacing vocals and Kyle Lazenka on drums.