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Uriah Heep - The Magician's Birthday CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.84 | 539 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

URIAH HEEP was running the world back then in 1972. They were at their creative peak as well as fiiling up stadiums and selling millions of albums all over the planet.Was no time to rest. Maybe it would have been a good idea to take some time off and enjoy the beaches of the COSTA DEL SOL instead of reentering the recording studio so fast.

Yes, URIAH HEEP released 2 albums within the same year! Even back then, one album a year was the norm! How they have it easy nowadays when artists come back with an album every 3/4 years. So i think, URIAH HEEP rushed too fast back to the studio and it sounds like that. MAGICIAN'S BIRTHDAY has never been a favorite of mine, i rarely listen to it despite some very good songs.

The problem , is for the first time, there are BAD songs and inconsequential tunes that drown the album a little bit.( more to come). Have you ever listened to ''Spider Woman''?? that's poor by URIAH HEEP standard! Can someone recall how sound ''Blind Eye'' or ''Tales''.? when finished, you already have forgotten about them.Not bad, but not great!

Don't get me wrong: there are some excellent parts as well. Who doesn't like the beauty of ''Echoes in the dark'' and this haunting sound of guitar or the melancholy of ''Rain''. Also ''Sunrise'' will become of their many famous anthems with a great BYRON once again.

To finish the album we have an ''epic'': the title track ''The Magician' s birthday'' . I can't tell if i like it or not, even after 35 years. This is a mixed bag with silly ''happy birthday to you'''s followed by an out of place ferocious and wild guitar solo from Mick BOX who can't remember when was the last time he was given so much freedom to play a solo for so long, so believe me he is taking advantage of the opportunity.....much to my chagrin as i think it was just a way to fill up the time allowed to fill up an LP and then you have a ...drum solo. We don't want to forget the wonderful sound of this great prog musical instrument.....the Kazoo!!!

As the french language says: ''sans queue , ni tete'' would describe this ''epic'' ( without head , without tail)

Last note: another great cover from master ROGER DEAN, the last one until 1997' ''Sea of Light''. But by then, was a long time the real URIAH HEEP was gone.

Sorry, i can only give 3 stars to this album.


febus | 3/5 |


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