The Magic Lanterns

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The Magic Lanterns
OriginWarrington, Cheshire, England
GenresPop, rock
Years active1962–1971
LabelsCBS, Atlantic, Big Tree, Charisma
Past membersJimmy Bilsbury/Pilsbury
Peter Shoesmith
Ian Moncur
Allan Wilson
Alistair/Les Beveridge
Peter Garner
Mike "Oz" Osborne
Harry Paul Ward
Kevin Godley
Lol Creme
Steve Rowland
Albert Hammond
Christopher Wren

The Magic Lanterns were an English pop rock group formed in Warrington, Lancashire. They formed in 1962 as The Sabres, playing locally in Manchester and changing their name a few years later. They signed to CBS Records after releasing the single, "Excuse Me Baby", which charted at #44 in the UK in 1966,[1] and a few singles later they put out an album, Lit Up. In 1968 they switched to Atlantic Records and released their first US hit, "Shame, Shame", which hit #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked on #3 on Canada's RPM Charts. "Shame Shame" was also released in the UK, on the short lived 'Camp' record label, as was "Melt All Your Troubles Away" the following year, but neither enjoyed any chart success. The single "Give Me Love" followed, as did a Stateside album. Changing record labels again in 1970 to Big Tree Records, a second album followed, but it would be their last.

They had two more minor hits in the US, "One Night Stand" (#74, 1971) and "Country Woman" (#88, 1972), but in early 1970, lead singer-songwriter Jimmy Bilsbury quit the group to co-found the Les Humphries Singers with bandleader/songwriter Les Humphries. Most of the other members left soon after Bilsbury's departure for careers in other fields. Songwriter Albert Hammond, however, went on to further renown, and bassist Mike "Oz" Osborne would spend several decades fighting the mistaken impression that Ozzy Osbourne had actually played in his early career with the Lanterns.

In 1972, the band released further singles on Polydor label in the UK, neither of which met with chart success.


Early members
Later members



UK singles[edit]

  • "Excuse Me Baby / Greedy Girl" (CBS 1966)
  • "Rumplestiltskin / I Stumbled" (CBS 1966)
  • "Knight in Rusty Armour / Simple Things" (CBS 1966)
  • "Auntie Grizelda / Time Will Tell (If I'm a Loser)" (CBS 1967)
  • "We'll Meet Again / What Else Can It Be But Love" (CBS 1967)
  • "Shame Shame / Baby I Gotta Go Now" (Camp 1968)
  • "Melt All Your Troubles Away / Bossa Nova 1940 - Hello You Lovers" (Camp 1969)
  • "One Night Stand / Frisco Annie" (Polydor 1970)
  • "Stand for Our Rights / Pa Bradley" (Polydor 1973)


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 343. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.