Magna Carta is probably one of the longest running bands in the world. It was formed in London on the 10th of May 1969. Their first record deal was signed in a pub on a beermat! They played their first professional gig as a trio: Chris Simpson, Lyell Tranter and Glen Stuart. Glen’s five (!) octave range together with the acoustic guitars made a special sound typical to Magna Carta . The second album "Seasons" holds their first top40 single: "The Airport song". The title track "Seasons" is a classic for every friend. Two more albums were made before the classic "Lord of the Ages". Still selling, it is as contemporary as ever, concerning the endless battle of good and evil.

      From the start Magna Carta was appreciated by a big audience. In the 80’s they concentrated on their work as cultural ambassadors for the British government. Therefore there were no new recordings in this period but for the limited territorial release of "Midnight Blue" and "Sweet Deceiver".
      In 1991 the album "Old masters & new Horizons" was released. It is a kind of "best of" with a few new recordings. The band got a fresh impetus from this. ’’Friends of Magna Carta’’ was founded in 1992.

      Holland turned out to be a second home - country for Magna Carta as:
       - the fanclub (’’Friends of Magna Carta’’) is Dutch;
       - one of the live albums was recorded in Amsterdam;
       - the 25th anniversary was celebrated with a big concert in Utrecht;
       - the cd "Heartlands" was recorded in Holland and produced by
         Jan Douwe Kroeske;
       - the cd "State of the art" is a recording of two concerts in The Netherlands.

      Magna Carta made fifteen vinyl albums, eleven with new studio recordings and four albums containing previously released material. Ten of these are also available on compact disc. Other releases are expected. Magna Carta released twenty one compact discs. "Seasons in the Tide" (2001) is the last all new recording. It also contains previously unreleased material and even some new songs. Like some other British bands Magna Carta has it’s own version of "Live at the BBC".

      Magna Carta ’s music has a unique sound. The critics say that they play "folk". Magna Carta indeed plays acoustic but not only ballads, they also play songs flavoured with country, reggae or blues. The music defies categorization.
      One of the reasons for the sound is that most of the songs are written by Chris Simpson maintaining an originality. Linda Taylor also writes. Occasionally they play music from other artists like for instance Ralph McTell, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and J.J. Cale.
      Personal experiences are the inspiration for most of the Magna Carta songs. Chris wrote "Two old friends" after he had heard that two good friends were getting a divorce. "For the Gypsy" describes their life of travelling all over the globe. During the last years they played in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, Quatar), Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany and Holland. Their work for the British government brought them to Poland, Hungary, Jordan and the Czech Republic.

      After all these years of making music they still have fun playing. Before almost every concert there is a discussion about the songs not to play. Otherwise the concert takes too long. After the concert it turns out they played more than they intended to. There is always a chance for people to meet Chris, Linda and the other musicians after the concert.

      Magna Carta are Chris Simpson and Linda Taylor. They have been playing as a duo since 1984. In concert and on record they use fine musicians, some of whom have been with Magna Carta for a long time.
      Every concert is different. In each concert you feel enthusiasm, hear Linda’s bright voice and hear Chris sing in his very own way. They are still playing the old songs like "The Airport song", "Time for the leaving" and "For the Gypsy". There are a number of new songs as for instance "Seasons in the tide", "Columbus" and "Banjo man". The last new studio album (Seasons in the Tide) was released in 2001.
      The final concert for the band was on 11th May in the Carre Theatre in Amsterdam with the participation of current and past band members.