Enid, OK's curiously named Oliver Magnum was founded in 1983 by bassist Dan Kurtz and drummer Curt Daugherty, and would later recruit guitarist Monte Humphrey and vocalist Mark Mueller, thus forming the core quartet that would spend the next few years playing local gigs and developing a traditional American metal style in the same vein as Metal Church, Omen, and early Queensrÿche. As legend has it, Oliver Magnum's first demo tape -- entitled 01986 for the year in which it was recorded -- was financed by a Battle of the Bands victory, and amazingly went on to sell some 2,000 copies, leading to one of its songs, "Old World Nites," being picked for the Metal Massacre IX compilation. But it wasn't until 1989 that a record label finally took a chance on releasing the group's eponymous debut album, and then it was the infamous independent New Renaissance records, which meant promotion and distribution never figured into the marketing plan…because there was no marketing plan. It should be noted that said album was in fact quite respectable, considering its modest origins; it introduced new singer James Randel, who would nevertheless quickly lose faith in the operation and be supplanted by one Jimmy King and then, by 1991, original vocalist Mark Mueller once again. Unfortunately, the reunited lineup of Oliver Magnum only managed to record a few more demos recorded before giving up their obviously lost cause and fading away into heavy metal history.
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