Uriah Heep - The Magican's Birthday

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Sanctuary/Castle
Catalog Number: CMTCD173
Format: CD
Total Time: 36:13:00

The Magician's Birthday followed the enormously successful Demons And Wizards album. No doubt it was an overwhelming task to come up with a record that maintained that immense flow and energy. Uriah Heep was up for the challenge and responded with another metal-prog classic, and to boot they pulled it off in the same year.

The very first song, "Sunrise," is another Ken Hensley driving rocker with Mick Box providing the stinging guitar leads, David Byron the operatic shrieks, and Hensley the whirling dervish keyboard playing. "Spider Woman" was always one of my favorites; it's a straight ahead rocker that has a catchy riff by Box running through the entire song. "Rain" is a standout track that was typical of the Heep gothic metal sound complete with a great vocal treatment by Byron. The curtain falls on the title track "The Magician's Birthday." For over 10 minutes they show why they were one of the very best prog-rock bands in the world by changing gears several times without a hitch and offering the listener every facet of their complex makeup in one song. It's the kind of dark and mystical song that you never forget, it stays with you for a long time and when you listen to it again you hear what you missed the first time around.

What UH did in 1972 is quite incredible. To release one great album is a major feat, but two in one year? It's something very few bands have ever done. This was the final stamp of approval on their career; they had carved out a place in prog-rock history that would cement their legacy. In 2002, now more than ever, the relevance of what they did is more evident and valid when you listen to what they were creating over 30 years ago. It comes as no surprise that people want to hear all of that material as much today as they did back then. Its great music, so if you haven't found it yet its time to seek it out.

[Previously released 1982 by Bronze (ILPS 9213) and 1996 by Essential (ESMCD339)

Sunrise (4:04) / Spider Woman (2:25) / Blind Eye (3:33) / Echoes in the Dark (4:48) / Rain (3:59) / Sweet Lorraine (4:13) / Tales (4:09) / The Magician's Birthday (10:23)

David Byron - vocals
Ken Hensley - guitar, keyboards, vocals, Moog synthesizer
Mick Box - guitar
Brian Cole - pedal steel
Lee Kerslake - percussion, drums
Gary Thain - bass, bass guitar

Very 'Eavy ... Very 'Umble (1970)
Salisbury (1971)
Look At Yourself (1971)
Demons And Wizards (1972)
The Magician''s Birthday (1972)
Live January1973 (1973)
Sweet Freedom (1973)
Wonderworld (1974)
Return To Fantasy (1975)
High And Mighty (1976)
Firefly (1977)
Innocent Victim (1977)
Fallen Angel (1978)
Conquest (1980)
Abominog (1982)
Head First (1983)
Equator (1985)
Live At Shepperton ''74 (1986)
Live In Europe 1979 (1986)
Live In Moscow (1988)
Raging Silence (1989)
Different World (1991)
Sea Of Light (1995)
Spellbinder Live (1996)
King Biscuit Flower Hour Live (1997
Sonic Origami (1998)
Future Echoes Of The Past (2000)
Acoustically Driven (2001)
Electrically Driven (2001)
The Magician's Birthday Party (CD) (2002)
Magic Night (SACD) (2004)
Wake The Sleeper (2008)
Official Live Bootlegs (2009)
Live At Sweden Rock Festival 2009 (2010)
On The Rebound - A Very 'Eavy 40th Anniversary Collection (2010)

The Magician's Birthday Party (DVD) (2002)
Magic Night (DVD) (2004)
Classic Heep Live From The Byron Era (DVD) (2004)
Between Two Worlds (DVD) (2005)
The Live Broadcasts (DVD) (2006)

plus numerous compliations not listed here

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: June 26th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website: www.uriah-heep.com
Hits: 833
Language: english


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