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

THE MAGICIAN'S BIRTHDAY

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.84 | 404 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Listen to the "Orchid Orchestra" play

The second album by the "classic" line up is a natural follow on to the magnificent "Demons and Wizards". All the elements are still in place, the Roger Dean Sleeve, the fantasy themes, and of course the great music. "Sunrise", which became the opener for the live set, sets the scene immediately, with Byron's first appearance being in the form of a controlled scream.

The track are generally short and straight forward, with only the title track having a more complex structure. "The Magician's Birthday" (track) picks up the fantasy theme, and weaves a tale around the battle between good and evil. This is interrupted by a lengthy guitar solo from Mick Box, accompanied only by Lee Kerslake on drums, and the occasional spooky theme from Hensley's keyboards. The track climaxes in the battle itself, played out with stereo effects, before Byron ascends to ethereal bliss and fades.

There are softer numbers on the album such as the lovely Hensley ballad "Rain". Apparently Hensley wanted to make the final chorus much louder and more powerful, but the rest of the band pushed back. He took the opportunity to record his preferred version on his solo album "Proud words on a dusty shelf".

The tracks are generally marginally less strong than those on "Demons and Wizards" but, "The Magician's Birthday is still a superb album with many fine moments.

The deluxe expanded remastered CD has 9 bonus tracks, including unreleased songs, edited versions, and the band's working versions of tracks from Hensley and Byron's solo albums.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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