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THE MAGICIAN'S BIRTHDAY

Uriah Heep

Heavy Prog


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Uriah Heep The Magician's Birthday album cover
3.81 | 406 ratings | 44 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A
1. Sunrise (4:04)
2. Spider Woman (2:25)
3. Blind Eye (3:33)
4. Echoes In The Dark (4:48)
5. Rain (3:59)

Side B
1. Sweet Lorraine (4:13)
2. Tales (4:09)
3. The Magician's Birthday (10:23)

Total Time: 39:46
BONUS TRACKS ON 1996 REMASTERED CD:
1. Silver White Man (3:43) out-take, previously unreleased
2. Crystal Ball (4:08) out-take, previously unreleased

BONUS TRACKS ON 2003 EXPANDED DE-LUXE CD:
1. Gary's Song - Crystal Ball alternate version, previously unreleased
2. Silver White Man - vocal version, previously unreleased
3. Proud Words - alternate version, previously unreleased
4. Echoes In The Dark - edit, previously unreleased
5. Rain - edit, previously unreleased
6. Happy Birthday - out-take, previously unreleased
7. Sunrise - single edit
9. Crystal Ball - out-take
8. Silver White Man - out-take, instrumental version

Lyrics

Search URIAH HEEP The Magician's Birthday lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Gary Thain / bass guitar
- Lee Kerslake / drums and percussion
- Mick Box / guitars
- Ken Hensley / keyboards, guitars, Moog synthesizer
- David Byron / vocals

Releases information

1972 UK: Bronze ILPS 9213

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
Edit this entry

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OutsiderOutsider
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$8.49
$15.93 (used)
Demons & WizardsDemons & Wizards
Mercury 1990
Audio CD$1.49
$1.48 (used)
Magician's BirthdayMagician's Birthday
Mercury 1990
Audio CD$1.68
$1.65 (used)
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of Uriah Heep20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of Uriah Heep
Island Def Jam 2001
Audio CD$5.89
$4.04 (used)
Sweet FreedomSweet Freedom
Extra tracks · Import
Universal I.S. 2004
Audio CD$4.20
$5.28 (used)
The Ultimate CollectionThe Ultimate Collection
Remastered · Import
Sanctuary Records 2003
Audio CD$6.11
$5.11 (used)
Look at YourselfLook at Yourself
Mca Special Products 2006
Audio CD$2.29
$2.30 (used)
SalisburySalisbury
Import
Universal I.S. 2004
Audio CD$5.71
$3.16 (used)
Very Eavy Very UmbleVery Eavy Very Umble
Import
Universal I.S. 2004
Audio CD$5.64
$7.64 (used)
Equator-25th Anniversary Expanded EditionEquator-25th Anniversary Expanded Edition
Import
Lemon Records UK 2010
Audio CD$8.31
$23.10 (used)
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URIAH HEEP The Magician's Birthday ratings distribution


3.81
(406 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
31%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

URIAH HEEP The Magician's Birthday reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#31301) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 19, 2004

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Never mind the wizards - here's some great rock!!!

Sounds a lot like early Rainbow - without Blackmore's legendary fretwork, but with the bonus of the "Heep choir".

Uriah Heep follow "Demons and Wizards" with a more concerted attempt to break through into prog territory by continuing with the Roger Dean artwork and Wizards theme, making the songs longer and opening with a plodding chunker of a song which does not have the huge stadium appeal or technical virtuosity of early Queen, but has a quirky charm of its own.

Spider Woman is a wierd kind of love song with bottleneck guitar and rock 'n' roll riffs that put me slighty in mind of Juicy Lucy. I find it fortunate that this is quite short, however...

Again, simple chord structures with the odd wierd synth noise thrown in, combined with those walkie basslines, breakbeats and the Heep choir (less in evidence here, sadly) comprise the majority of this album.

There is another pop song here in Sweet Lorraine. Like Easy Living, it's hard, driving and wonderful - but a pop song.

If orchestration and arrangement is your thing, with sumptuous vocal choirs and guitar pyrotechnics, you'd be better off with the first two Queen albums, Deep Purple or Rainbow. However, the melody writing is strong here, and this album is definitely worth a listen if you appreciate great classic rock music.

"Tales" is somewhat repetitive and dirge-like, but Byron's voice is pleasing enough to carry it, and the drums and bass are mildly engaging.

"The Magician's Birthday" is the track I was really looking forward to, clocking in at over 10 minutes - surely some prog here?

Sorry, but no. A repeating Zep-type riff leads to simple chord progressions (but the bells from "Easy Living" are back!) and a cheesy chorus, which, frankly, is dire. The quirky "Happy Birthday" section with Beatles-esque piano and Kazoo, reminiscent of Corporal Clegg is interesting. However, despite the plectrum drawn across the inside of the piano, we're soon back to the original dirge and horrible chorus. There are Pepper- esque overlays - a simple loop which is re-introduced a few times over the next few minutes, and very atmospheric on the first couple of hearings, but Box subjects us to 3 minutes or so of bluff presented as a Nigel Tuffnell style guitar solo with some partially orchestrated drums and spoils any prog pretensions this track might otherwise have had. This solo practically drawls "My solos are my trademark..." and "This goes to 11".

Move along please! No prog to look at here!

One for you classic rockers though! ENJOY!!!

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Send comments to Certif1ed (BETA) | Report this review (#31302) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Also over-rated but better than its predecessor so it earns 3.5 stars. This is the preiod when Heep did this fantasy thing that pleases so many of us ( also me to a certain extant ) but this was a mask in Heep's case. Sunrise , Blind Eye , Echoes and Tales made it on my compilation of their first six albums . The recent celebration of heep regarding this album is a balloon of warm air but full of emptyness. Sorry for the fans ( i was one too - loooong time ago). This is the classic line-up creative peak and the live album comes next , than the long slide downhill starts. Worth a listen but definitely on the extreme limits of this site .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#31303) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 28, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another ' Good' album from Uriah Heep and I would say on a par with Demons and Wizards.Again Roger Dean's coverwork is a masterpiece. Songs of mention are the glorious ' Sunrise' ' Echoes in the Dark' and the world renowned ' Magician's Birthday' I am still scrambling for more to wax lyrical about but I would have to say the album is good but pretty mediocre in parts.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#31304) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I agree with previous reviewers in that the "Demons and Wizards" album is their best studio album from the 70s (their best years, I think). The inclusion of "Circle of Hands" (my favourite song from that album) is one of the reasons. But, as I don`t have the "Demons and Wizards" album (which I have listened in the early 80s for the last time as a cousin lent me that album for some days and I didn`t record it on a cassette!), I comment about this "The Magician`s Birthday" album, which I bought in early 1978, after listening to their "Live January 1973" album in late 1977, one of the best live albums of the 70s. My favourite songs in this album are: "Sunrise", "Spider Woman" (what a very good bassist Gary Thain was!), "Sweet Lorraine", "Tales" and "The Magician`s Birthday". The "Live 1973" album versions of "Sunrise" and "Sweet Lorraine" are better than these studio versions. "Tales" has a very interesting use of an "atmospheric" steel guitar played by outside musician Brian Cole. "The Magician`s Birthday" song has very interesting synthesizers, drums and lead guitar.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#31305) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2004

Review by Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 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.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#31311) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album introduced me both to the world of prog rock and URIAH HEP, and therefore it holds a special place in my heart. I had got an interest towards this band, and the fine album covers and the imaginative album and song tittles made me to do a purchase decision. Many of the songs have deep emotional load, and the songs build an album with nice contrasts. The opener "Sunrise" is truly THE anthem of all anthems, and similar power radiates from the magical "Echoes in The Dark". The title tune mini-epic is also a funny song, which can always be played at birthday parties of persons with good musical taste. I'm also very fond of the sound texture on this record, and I would recommend this URIAH HEEP album along with "Salisbury" and "Demons and Wizards" to any album collection!

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Posted Sunday, April 03, 2005

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars My favourite album fron them after Look at yourself and Demons and Wizards, a true magic album of the '70. A special one for me, because was the first album i baught back in 1991, when a beggin to listen to good music. From that year to now i still listen it whith very much pleasure. One of the biggest albums in history of music. David Byron on RAIN is GOD, listen to his voice, she gets under your skin and your hair stand up... Of course, the remaining tracks are amazing , but that one , from above i said is magic.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#31314) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 08, 2005

Review by horza
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Whilst it was more acceptable to say you liked Sabbath or Purple,Uriah Heep were always at the very least equal to these other groups in my opinion.David Byrons vocals never got the recognition they deserved in rock polls,however,this album along with Demons and Wizards demonstrated just how good a singer he was.Similarly underrated was Mick Box on guitar,somehow or other this band was unfashionable,it was never cool to say you liked Heep.Against this bias I have to argue that tracks like Tales and Magicians Birthday were truly superb and could easily match anything written all those years ago.Ken Hensley was another musician who was in the shadow of Jon Lord,however,Hensley was the better song writer and an excellent musician.A fantastic album,and a good starting place if you have never heard them.

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Send comments to horza (BETA) | Report this review (#48044) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 23, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As Ken Hensley put it at the CD liner notes this album was a natural follow-up to "Demons and Wizards" and supposed to be a concept album with a theme revolved around the Magician. But this album was done in a rush with a released date the same year with its predecessor. As far as Heepsters concerned it's not a bad album at all, even an excellent one. It kicks off with an impressive opening through an organ sound followed with "aaaaa.aaaa." choir which is very unique Heep sound through "Sunrise" (4:04) which later become the opening track for the band's legendary Live 73 album. The song is very strong in melody as well as composition combining dynamic drumming, long sustain Hammond sound, guitar and great Byron voice.

"Spider Woman" (2:25) is not one of the band's hits but this short track has a good harmony on guitar and keyboard as well as good melody. "Blind Eye" (3:33) reminds us to the style of "Demons and Wizards" album through a good combination of acoustic guitar, drums, keyboard and good vocal harmony. "Echoes In The Dark" (4:48) is an interesting track in medium tempo using Hawaiian / sliding guitar style combined with long sustain keyboard work. This is a song-oriented composition with a nice musical flow from start to end augmented with symphonic textures.

Those who were there in the glory days of 70s must remember this mellow track "Rain" (3:59) dominated with piano and sweet vocal. People would always remember this song whenever they talk about Heep or Hensley. "Sweet Lorraine" (4:13) is the band's legendary song where it features dynamic and pulsating keyboard buzz throughout the song combined with energetic voice line. I always enjoy this track performed live as well as original version. It has a heavy rhythm and good melody.

I did not pay attention to "Tales" (4:09) by the time the album was released. But when Iwatched the Magician's Birthday Party DVD I was so amazed with this song because it was featured with guest appearance of Mr. Thijs Van Leer (Focus). Indeed, it's a great track with a medium tempo. "The Magician's Birthday" (10:23) is the main icon of this album. This song comprises multi-structure which combines different style from a ballad rock to heavy metal complete with hard-edge guitar solo augmented with dynamic drumming. At first listen the different styles did not seem to jive one to another but having listened to this song many times I came to realize that all parts were connected nicely. I have to admit whenever I play this CD I always repeat this track and the most memorable part of this track is the lyrical part "I challenge you! I challenge you All! ." oh .. what a rocking segment man! Of course I also love the long guitar solo work by Mick Box accompanied by Kerslake's drumming. Wonderful!

It's an excellent addition to any prog rock collection. Recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#69049) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The album gets off to a great start with "Sunrise", opening with drums and organ that are penetrated with the scream-like yell of David Byron. It settles as the vocals are almost spoken. It builds.Themes are repeated. I like the organ play in this one. I must say that "Spider Woman" and "Sweet Lorraine" both do absolutely nothing for me, the weak songs of the record as far as i'm concerned. Both sound really dated. "Blind Eye" has some excellent guitar playing that reminds me of the ALLMAN BROTHERS. Good song.

"Echoes In The Dark" is a darker song (surprise) with organ floating as drums pound slowly while vocals sing with conviction. "Rain" opens with piano as reserved vocals come in. Not a fan of this ballad. "Tales" is a good song with a spacey intro as almost spoken vocals come in. Some tasteful guitar before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. And I love the guitar intro on "The Magician's Birthday". Drums come pounding in followed by vocals. Great sound on this the best track on the album by far. Check out the guitar before 4 1/2 minutes as drums impress. This just goes on and on. Amazing !

Man I wish the whole album was more like this. It's not though and 3 stars is my rating.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#94410) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 13, 2006

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Still before URIAH HEEP managed to form their ideal lineup, they had already released their IMO best album "Look at Yourself" and immediately after they recruited the strong drummer Lee Kerslake and the superb bass player Gary Thain with whom they released the excellent "Demons and Wizards" and after it comes "The Magician's Birthday" a magnificent album even when less Prog' than the two previous with a beautiful Roger Dean cover.

I remember reading that Ken Hensley wanted to make of this album the most experimental one but the rest of the band didn't fully agree so they reached a intermediate point combining Hard Rock/Metal tracks with strong Prog arrangements and tracks.

The album starts with "Sunrise" and the song is introduced by a haunting Byron scream that leads us to something that seems as an experimental and extremely hard power ballad, but the vocal explosions, controlled screams and radical changes makes of this a very well elaborate track, the wah-wah guitar of Mick Box and at last a powerful drumming makes of this song a pleasure, whoever doubts URIAH HEEP is one of the oldest ancestors of Prog Metal should listen this track.

"Spider Woman" is a classical Heep Hard Rock track with more conservative sound and less spectacular vocals than the previous but an impeccable bass performance by Gary Thain, good, but not awesome.

"Blind Eye" is another very good song where Hensley keyboards, Box's electric and played rhythm guitar and the correct vocals of David Byron blend gently, again as usual elaborate outstanding vocal arrangements in a band where almost every member contributed with the backing vocals, flows gently from start to end not very complex but the quality is obvious.

"Echoes in the Dark" is another proggy track that starts wit the haunting sound effects plus a dramatic guitar and piano creating a mysterious atmosphere, suddenly out of nowhere Baron's vocals join the band almost as a whisper, this leads to another strong instrumental section and several changes, this album keeps getting better.

"Rain" is probably the weakest song of the album, not a bad but a simple ballad, of course has beautiful moments but after the first tracks and two previous albums we expect much more of the band, less than the average.

"Sweet Lorraine" is breathtaking from start ton end, a synth intro that wakes after Rain leads to a hard Rock track with great drumming by Lee Kerslake, it's amazing how Gary Thain manages to take his bass from the rhythm section and joins the melodic part as if it was a second guitar but keeps making his job supporting Kerslake.

"Tales" works as a reliever after the strong material and to prepare the audience for the semi-epic and central piece of the album, not bad but plain simple, still the rhythm section work is outstanding.

"The Magician's Birthday" is a 100% prog epic that has everything, powerful moments, absolutely radical changes, drama, mystery, in other words a complete song that any proghead must listen and that I won't ruin with plain words, all I will add is that the closing section is absolutely breathtaking, probably one of the best vocal works I heard inside or outside Prog, David Byron goes from the lowest to the highest ranges in fraction of seconds and the chorus is absolutely perfect surrounded by great Moog backup, love this track from start to end, if you don't like the lyrics in the Magician's birthday greeting that I admit are a bit cheesy, don't listen them only last a few seconds, for me it's a complete masterpiece from start to end.

Even though I won't review the bonus tracks (I like to listen the albums as they were originally recorded) must say that the two I have in my 1996 Remastered Edition ("Silver White Man" and "Crystal Ball") are not in the level of the album but I won't consider them for the rating because were not recorded for the original album and only added to have less free space in the CD being that the old LP format only allowed about 40 minutes.

Being that "The Magician's Birthday" is not as good as "Look at Yourself" because of the weaker "Rain" and "Tales" I can't give 5 stars without being dishonest, but surely the album as a whole and all the other tracks deserve no less a high rating.

Four solid stars for the last album of URIAH HEEP'S golden trilogy.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#100878) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Maybe not the best URIAH HEEP album, but in my opinion, the most essential.

It opens with mini-epic "Sunrise". Although the song is borrowing a lot from the "July Morning", it's not just a bad carbon-copy; it's a standalone valuable track with well-sung lyrics, good organ background, multi-layered vocals as usual, catchy chorus. The guitar is somewhat dull, perhaps. The album continues with a "Spider Woman", the most stupid song on the album. Skip her. Luckily, the rest of the album is on a very high level: "Blind Eye" is gorgeous acoustic-electric hybrid at its best, with simple chords but highly enjoyable.

Epic feeling creeps in while you are listening opening of the "Echoes In The Dark"; a majestic piece with excellent piano and great, breathtaking arrangement of all the instruments in the chorus part. Anyway, after a majestic piece a piano ballad follows. "Rain" is pretty song, it's creating a mood of a rainy day indeed, and somewhat it 's out of the time; it sounds very 80's in a positive way, maybe because of something in the melody, I just don't know.

The B-side opens with weaker "Sweet Lorraine", another hard rock tune with strong synth, however it's much better song than "Spider Woman". "Tales" is a little bit to hermetic for my taste (should I say: boring) but the good refrain balances it well.

And the grand finale - "The Magicians Birthday" forces me to use the word "majestic" again. This epic consists of few quite different pieces (all of them are individually quite good), including uriah-heep-esque epic proclaiming style, psychedelic birthday part and incredible guitar solo...one of the most expressive electric guitar solos ever played, full of wah-wah howling, formants...it sounds like a guitar talking in a way that Hendrix never managed to do. Anyway, that part isn't really related to the rest of the epic really, but hey, I don't think that anyone who likes multi-part epics will mind a bit of pretentiousness, right?

Anyway this is an excellent album...despite the few weak moments, it's fully of enjoyable music and nice surprises. Do yourself a favour and give it a listen.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#107688) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This was my entry album to the Heep in 1973. Before this, I only knew " Easy Livin' " (the single I mean...). Again, we have a fantastic opener : "Sunrise". As usual should I say. Great keys and vocals, powerful and melodious. I guess that this is what the Heep is all about, right ?

"Spider Woman" is a short average rocky song while "Blind Eye" is more structured and has nice accoustic guitar in the background. But the last two tracks don't leave an indelible mark on me. I had the same feeling some thirty-three years ago.

"Echoes in the Dark" is a wonderful and melodious track (yes, I love melodious tunes ...) with a passionate Byron again. A bit opera-rock oriented (like the fantastic "The Spell" on "Demons"). Bass and guitar play (almost Floydian, really) are fantastic. The second highlight of this work.

"Rain" is a mellow, piano-based little tune. Not bad vocal arrangments but not a great song to be honest. One of the weak moments on the album.

"Sweet Lorraine" on the contrary is more in the Heep's tradition : hard-rocking song, catchy chorus and spacey passages. There won't be sufficient moment like this on this album, unfortunately.

"Tales" is a track that could be labelled "prog" on this album. This type of song was already initiated on"Salisbury". Quiet and nice music. Drastically different of what the Heep has delivered so far.

About the closing (and longest) track, my feeling are quite mixed : very good sections for ost of the song but the chorus is frankly boring (Happy Birthday to You ...bla bla bla). The song seems to end around 3'30" or so when a long jamming session starts which is quite unusual on a studio album. It features a wild guitar solo with crazy drumming. Pure hard-rock with no concession during four minutes after which the song returns to a more "normal" mood. This is the highlight of the album, but again the horrible chorus weakens it substantially.

The remastered version features a hell of bonus tracks (but this is a good habit of the Heep). In this case : almost thirty-one additional minutes of music. But are they fillers or valuable pieces of music ?

"Crystal Ball" starts as a heavy song, but has wonderful and sweet passage during the middle section. It should have make this album. It is honestly superior to several original tracks. Next one "Silver White Man" is a pleasant rock song : strong band, heavy background keys. I wouldn't have complained if it had replaced "Rain".

The good surprise of the bonuses keeps on with "Proud Words". This is really a very good track. One of my preferred from this whole album. Sounds a bit like a demo when it starts. It rocks alright and its melody is on par with the best songs featured on the original album. It is very strange that it was not featured, but it has been repaired with this remastering. A fantastic added value. It will be featured on Hensley debut solo album "Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf".

The edited version of "Echoes" is just as nice as the original one (only thirty seconds shorter). "Happy Birthday" is an excerpts of "The Magician's Birthday" (the first part). In terms of edit, we'll get the single version for "Sunrise" : I really wonder why they edited this one. The three minutes format maybe (but the original was just over four, so) ? The good bonuses continue with "Gary's Song". Rocking at times, melodious as well. But that's the essence of the Heep.

My global feeling at that time (and still is) was a bit of a disappointment. I think that the peak of their creative work is behind them. Of course, we will still get the fantastic "Uriah Heep Live" in 1973. The sleeve design from Dean (the second one) is of course superb. My recommendation is of course to get hold of the remastered version (but that'a a general remark valid for each Heep's album available in that format). Bonus really add value. Not only fillers. Four stars (but only three for the original version).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#113613) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 26, 2007

Review by Starette
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'm pleased to say...that this album that was released the same year as Demons and Wizards, contains the song that was my VERY FIRST TASTE of prog rock. But more about that later...

Sunrise: The beginning of this certainly sets the atmosphere. Hensley's hammond organ adds a note each time the drums start their slow beat and then we're straight into the characteristic Uriah Heep seventies seemingly-castrated "AAAAH!" s. (For the record, I'm not putting the band down with that expression- I just use it cos I find it amusing.) This starts a up-and-down 'chanting' for the start. Then David Byron sings with his overwhelmingly *gorgeous* perfect masculine voice. "...except the sunrise, the sunrise and YOU." Because this song is so simple but the rockin' power of it makes it GREAT- you want to sing along. Especially at the bridge. Mick really picks up with the guitar by the third verse- totally showing off. The bridge melody repeats a number of times with the word "SUNRISE!" being sung/yelled and again the hammond makes it fantastic.

Spider Woman: This song is another cutie-song (think All My Life from D&W) which is about...well...sex. yes the melody is simple but the beat is a funky one (thanks to Lee the drummer) "Spider Woman. She was good to me. She went DOWN..." ooh- naughty! Again, Mick plays a few fancy riffs throughout the song.

Blind Eye: This is my favourite short song from the album. The drums and guitar play a tune which instantly reminds one of country-and-western style music- but its a complex riff. An electric guitar plays an adrenaline-punping riff over the top of that and Byron sings. With passion. "I ran to a place.."- here the chord-progression changes to a major key (a 'happier' tone) and then back to the starting riff. It certainly adds a nice touch. At the end= the starting riff repeats plenty of times and fades out. Byrons last words are "So what of my leaving? I'm a man- anyway. I'm a man anyway." Yes- we KNOW you're man!! Gah...this is a recurring lyric in Byron-era Uriah Heep and it completely evades me. Singing to confirm that they're men. I *would* say: "if you're afraid of loosing your testosterone then perhaps you ought to stop singing so high" but I won't say that. Because I think the high-up seventies singing is completely sexy. :)

Echoes in the Dark: Banging, scary, spooky start with the drums, piano and guitar- this riff repeats till the electric guitar picks up with its main riff. Seems like its for a B-grade horror film. For children that is. Then Ken pays the piano alone while Byron sings sweetly over the top. The synth backs him up a bit later. Mind you- the melody is actually quite beautiful and the lyrics are melancholy and almost tragic. But I'm not going to go all depressing on you. In the second verse, Byron's voice grows stronger. And then a Change: "Though I'd love to...say "hello" to you..you might have to wait a while to say "goodbye"." The mellotron and other voices sing in the background. Then back to the riff- which is expemplified with the drums start crashing to the last verse- which is the most passionate. The last lyrics are "a friend!" and this repeats for the apocalyptic ending.

Rain: This is very sweet. :) It's just a piano (ooh ooh! I know how to play some of it! *jumps up and down like the little girl that I am*) and some echoing effects and Byron's lovely voice. It's not a hard piece to play- believe me. The piano is a simple chordal backup for his voice. And the melody may be simple, but its the way it's done that makes it wonderful. (That seems to be the story for all of this album doesn't it.) "Away from your days and iiiinto mine..." it sounds as if he's crying but he giggles before "It's kind of a shame.." Still he sounds like he's emotionally involved. Intensely. "Rain rain Rain- through my tears."

Sweet Lorraine: At the time that I am writing this review- I am working in a property management firm and one of the people I work with is a dear little good-natured English lady called Lorraine. And I can't help but think of this song when I thank her for something! Thats rather silly isn't it. Yet another cutie song but no wonder-it's about a woman. (Is it about sex again? That can be debated.) The mellotron (or is it a moog?) makes a great start and features before each verse. Apart from that, the guitars, with fancy distortions, feature along with drums and the hammon organ. "SO!...Sweet Lorraine let the party carry on!" At the bridge- the synth plays an ear-ripping solo. I have to admit that, despite the sad melody, the tone of the instrument is such that it is unpleasant to hear! :/ But then the chorus repeats and we're all a happy family again. :)

Tales: This is another one of the first U.H songs I ever heard. It reminds me, kind of, of cowboys sitting round a campfire in the desert. Echoing electric guitars, country-song style, start for Byron's singing. Not a sad melody- but a mysterious one. Especially the riff after the drums pick up. In a way- you could say this is another version of 'The Wizard' from D&W. A weirder version. Seems a bit preachy actually. "And if you ask then you will know..." and that the Byron even does a slight man-grunt on the note of "before!" How nicely-surprising is that. :)

The Magician's Birthday: Note to the world= THIS IS THE FIRST PROG ROCK SONG I EVER HEARD!!! :D Hence why it's completely close to my heart. In 2005, a friend gave me a mix of prog rock and this was the first track on it. Please consider the fact that I had no idea what prog was or when this music was played. The guitar riff at the start with the banging drums made me think "Is this 80s?" After the riff develops to arpeggios going downa dn drums start smashing, I then thought "70s?" Then after David sang "In the magic garden some were singing, some were dancing" I immediately thought "Well this is far far too CUTE. 60s?" The melody constantly changes and you can tell Byron loves it. Now comes the legendary guitar solo. Watch Micks fingers dance over the frets! This is PURE rock n' roll!- ROCK the way it SHOULD be!! And then it just gets silly in an adorable way. Hehe- whistle. Happy birthday...to you. Happy Birthday...to you." and the piano thumps away. Very comical. Then the strings on the piano strum slowly. "The fire died, the music faded. Filled with fear of DEATH we waiting, for now we knew some evil was to playyyy..." yep- this song tells a story. The synth plays a spooky ditty before the electric guitar crashes down on us again in all its sexy glory! Words cannot explain the AWESOMENESS with which this solo is played! Backed up by a very fast drum improvisation. This guitar shows off with plenty of distortions. Again and again the synth threatens to enter back into it but no- the guitar dominates everything. Sure there's no melody- but this improvisation is VERY impressive musicianship. Then it melts into a different song: "I challenge you- I challenge you all..." with a jumpy- thumping guitar and hammon organ. Duet! Byron and Hensley sing together- bit by bit. 'But one thing you can't see- the answer is simply an impenetrable fortress of LOVE!" The while bands sings on this last word for a long time. But that's still not the end... The chords change and go up high suddenly: "The fear went as quickly as it came." Characteristic falsetto of Uriah Heep again. "Love will find love will find Love!" ...and the track fades out. :) This is a masterpiece! And it marks a historical turning point in my music taste.

The psychedelic album cover can also be talked about. The friend who got me into prog had the chance to paint the cover on his wall. Dunno if he has yet. The songs here are so fun! Some of the melodies are simple but always impressive. Full of energy. Rock n' Proggy roll.

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Send comments to Starette (BETA) | Report this review (#127091) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 29, 2007

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars NOT AS GOOD AS DEMONS AND WIZARDS!

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.

3 STARS

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#130598) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 28, 2007

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Without doubt, Uriah Heep´s finest hour in the studio. Together with Demons and Wizzards, it represents the peak of the band, both in terms of songwriting and perfomance. It is only ironic that such masterpiece came from an aborted project. It seems that Ken Hensley wanted to do a conceptual album about a magician completing his 500th anniversary. The rest of the band was against it, claiming they should also include some other, radio friendly, stuff. Still, it seems that most of the tracks here were intended for the original concept.

The result might not be what Hensley had in mind, but it was a classic, one fo rock´s most powerful and creative works to this day. The title track is surely the best piece of the album, a 10 minute epic with a fantastic, haunting lyric and a stunning performance by all band members. David Byron´s vocals on this track proves he was one of rock´s best vocalists of all time. Other highlights are Sunrise (a classic), Tales, Blind Eye and Sweet Lorraine. In fact, the whole album works very well and the only song that seems out fo place here is Spider Woman. And even this one is not bad.

My sister was a Heep fanatic during the seventies and I understand why. After all this years, The Magicians Birthday did not aged a bit. It is still my Uriah Heep´s fave album and the most pleasant to hear nowadyas (even if Demons And Wizzards is a close match). Definitly a 5 star album with all its glory.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#165157) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars This used to be my favourite Uriah Heep album, I can still see why. There are several good songs here. Sunrise, Blind Eye, Echoes In The Dark, Rain and Tales are all among Uriah Heep's best songs. The rest is merely decent. The title track is hardly a prog epic despite its length. Indeed, it is a rather tedious affair.

Ken Hensley says in the new liner notes that this was a rushed album. The record company wanted to release it before it was finished so they had to finish it very quickly. Too bad, since had they been allowed to work on it some more it could have been much better.

I would recommend the excellent live DVD Acoustically Driven were several of these songs are performed excellently. Especially Blind Eye that features Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull as a guest! The original album version feels a bit tame now after having heard that version.

Good, but non-essential

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#177593) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 21, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Entering psychedelic domain with unapproachability

It is really hard to be evaluated such a variety and professionalism incorporeted into one band. Such a band is Uriah Heep and they proove it over and over again. This time with their 5th studio album - The Magician's Birthday. This album continues the psychedelic foundations of the previous masterpiece... and contains a candidate of my all time favourite composition - the homonymous The Magician's Birthday.

All the musicians are at the top of their songwriting and musical abilities. And especially the giant voice of David Byron, who shakes and touches everything it reach with its mightiness and gentleness. The solos of Mick Box rock strongly. The rhythm made by Gary Thain and Lee Kerslake is well-arranged. The combination of light and dark tunes by Ken Hensley complete the whole picture of suprimacy.

Remarkable psychedelic album and one of my all time favourite. Probably the best Uriah Heep album. It is so beautiful, full of grief and great arrangements. This is an album full of everything. You can find hit single - Sweet Loraine, you can find slow songs (something like psychedelic ballads) like Blind Eye and Rain, you can find rock & roll - Spider Woman, and finally you can find genius masterpieces - The Magician's Birthday and Tales.

The Magician's Birthday is a fundamental album by and for Uriah Heep! And all around the album you feel the thin psychedelic line, that makes everything so great.The Magician's Birthday is one of the greatest epic songs for me and its title is used for the name of Uriah Heep festival. Divine music by a divine band. 5 stars

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#183598) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 26, 2008

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars After 4 good to excellent record, Uriah's heap became something of a mess.

Sunrise is a great track, repeating old tricks but nevertheless inspiring the band to a very enthusiast performance. The chorus is a bit cheesy but still ok. Tracks like Spider Woman however give ample proof of the dwindling inspiration of this band. Blind Eye has a few better parts but the chorus indicates the looming stagnation that would demote Uriah Heep to a second rate hard rock band from the second half of the 70's onwards.

And it keeps raining half ideas and ill-advised songs, Echoes in the Dark could have been a good example of their gothic side but the tacky chord change around minute 2.40 can only inspire me to deeply disappointed sighs. Sweet Loraine has a great opening theme but quickly sinks down to insipid and substandard hard rock.

Only Tales offers another glimpse of what Heep used to be. Unfortunately the album mainly excels in proving their deteriorating talent.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#254726) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 07, 2009

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RPI
4 stars Uriah Heep was nothing if not prolific in the early '70s and the band managed to churn out its first five albums in the space of only three years. It may seem a bit churlish of me to describe the band's fertility in this manner but by all accounts The Magician's Birthday was something of a rushed job, released quickly due to pressure from the record company. In spite of that it's a great album and as with Demons And Wizards it was certified Gold, although for me it will always lurk in the shadow of its more illustrious predecessor. The other major flaw with this album is that it is too much a clone of the preceding album. Side One of the original vinyl of Demons And Wizards consists of five relatively short songs, featuring a mix of ballads and rockers; Side Two finishes with an atmospheric acoustic song followed by a long multi-part track. Ditto for The Magician's Birthday. The album title and the Roger Dean cover even mirror Demons. That was the desired effect no doubt, but it borders on slavish imitation. Fortunately the chemistry of the previous recording remains in evidence, thus reinforcing this line-up's status as the classic Uriah Heep.

Sunrise opens the album in provocative manner. It begins with a gradual crescendo on Hammond organ that beautifully evokes the breaking of day. Some typically melodramatic choral effects burst forth along with Gary Thain's swaggering melodic bass line, which intermittently acts as the lead instrument. The main song features sharp contrasts in dynamics from subdued, pensive verses to rousing, fervent choruses. What a wonderful song and it's no surprise the band used it to open the Live '73 set. Spider Woman is one of the band's unremarkable rockers, so enough said about that. The next track, Blind Eye, has a memorable tune and features agitated acoustic guitar and an urgent twin electric riff. It's quite different to the band's usual sound mainly due to the timbre of the guitars, and I always think of Wishbone Ash when I listen to this song! Echoes In The Dark features Moog and slide guitar, both played by the multi-talented Mr Hensley. Manfred Mann's guest appearance playing Moog on the Look At Yourself album obviously made an impression on Hensley, as he himself uses the instrument extensively on this album. Echoes has some nice atmospheres and David Byron's vocals are fraught with emotion. Side One closes with Rain, a quietly reflective song with piano, vibes and organ providing the sole accompaniment.

Sweet Lorraine cracks open Side Two with a willowy Moog intro, followed by a superb wucka-chucka wah wah lick from Mick Box. The instrumental section midway through the song features a wispy, thread-like Moog and meandering bass duet. This song is undoubtedly one of Uriah Heep's finest rockers. The penultimate track, Tales, is a haunting ballad featuring gurgling Moog and a guest appearance by session musician B. J. Cole on pedal steel guitar. The 10-minute title track then closes the album in grandiose style. It consists of several different sections including a guitar/drums jam that struggles not to outstay its welcome. Earlier in the track drummer Lee Kerslake actually improvises on a kazoo during the 'Happy Birthday To You' section. The closing section includes a verbal exchange between the magician and his adversary, and features Byron's vocals in unison with Hensley's Moog. Nice effect guys, so why the sudden fade?

I always think of The Magician's Birthday as the companion album to Demons And Wizards; if you own one, you'll probably want both. I wouldn't describe it as essential but it has more than its share of highlights and is certainly worthy of a 4-star rating.

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Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#261756) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review by baz91
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars ... and then it all started to go downhill.

To the band's credit, it wasn't really their fault that their fifth album, 'The Magician's Birthday' was something of a mess when compared to their previous albums. The deadline of this album had been set just 6 months after the release of 'Demons and Wizards', and with constant touring and a high reputation to maintain. The band were very overworked by this point - and it shows.

The album had originally been planned as a concept album, to follow up the fantasy-tinged 'Demons and Wizards'. However, with such a tight schedule, the concept couldn't be developed into an album-length story, and the band had to settle with what they had: the title track The Magician's Birthday. At 10 minutes in length, this is actually a great song, worthy of 'Demons and Wizards'. Essentially, it is two 3 minute songs joined together by a bitchin' instrumental. This instrumental is a breakneck jam between Mick Box on guitar and Lee Kerslake on drums, with some bizarre effects heard on top. The song also shows the fun side of Heep: the chorus in the first part of the song is a rendition of Happy Birthday To You with Kerslake on kazoo. If it is worth buying the album, then it is definitely for this song alone.

The other seven songs are all relatively forgettable. For a taster, the opening track Sunrise seems to have a good riff, but the song goes nowhere. The second track, Spider Woman has some of the worst lyrics ever (if you hadn't guessed from the name already!). The good moments are few and far between. After listening to this album, you will likely have forgotten these pieces. It's ironic, really, how Hensley talks about the 'tightness, togetherness if you like' of the album in the sleeve notes.

Years after recording this album, the band would agree that this was a rushed project. Even the elaborate Roger Dean artwork seems rushed, with sections of the art that still need be filled in! If the concept album had had the same quality throughout as the title track, we could have had something really special, possibly a magnum opus. Instead, this is a bit of a disaster.

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Send comments to baz91 (BETA) | Report this review (#525501) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars A Prog Birthday treat.

Perhaps one of the proggiest Uriah Heep releases "The Magicians Birthday" is a fantastic collection of songs that often find their way onto compilations of the group. There are no dull moments and most of these tracks tell a story that is compelling and surreal. 'Sunrise', 'Spider Woman' and 'Blind Eye' start this off with huge blues riffs and heavy distorted hammering riffs. Hensley's Hammond is an impactful force on each track giving a decidedly eerie effect.

'Echoes In The Dark' begins with a downright chilling intro with ethereal organ and dark riffs. It turns into a song full of very powerful riffs and atmospheres.

'Rain' is one of the quieter Heep Songs and it works okay as a break between all the mayhem. It became a popular entry in live performances as did 'Sweet Lorraine'. The album really gets into prog territory with the incredible 'Tales', but the piece de resistence is undoubtedly the 10 minute 'The Magician's Birthday'. This veritable icing on the cake features lengthy solos, tons of Hammond and guitar fills, along with isolated drums and even a kazoo for good measure. The quirky birthday tunes embedded are fun and of course the band were never taking them seriously... that came later.

Overall this album comes recommended for heavy prog fans and it is undoubtedly one of Uriah Heep's finest achievements.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#537706) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 30, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Though undeniably a pleasant listen, Uriah Heep's The Magician's Birthday doesn't quite measure up to the high standards of the run of albums leading up to it. The soaring, fantastic atmosphere of Demons and Wizards occasionally peeps in here and there, which saves the album from total mediocrity, but the glorious heights reached on that album are nowhere to be seen here. Simply put, doesn't really have any truly memorable standout songs that remain with you after listening - something every Heep album from Salisbury to Demons and Wizards offered in spades. Simply put, I could listen intently to the album and then an hour later I couldn't remember what most of the songs sound like aside from Sweet Lorraine - something which certainly isn't true of Salisbury or Demons and Wizards.

Although the band do seem to be trying to evolve their sound here, as they have for their previous albums, this is the first time that to my ears that evolution results in a dead end rather than a fruitful avenue for further exploration. The attempt to dial back and present a quieter and more sedate Uriah Heep on several of the tracks is particularly bizarre, given how successful the heavier portions of Demons and Wizards were.

Worth it if you were bowled over by Demons and Wizards and don't mind that the artwork manages to be closer to the spirit of that album than the music a lot of the time, but The Magician's Birthday marks the waning of Heep's classic period in my view.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#864112) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars 'The Magician's Birthday' saw them in the novel position of having the same line-up; stability is not something that the band has been famous for over the last thirty years or so. This is probably one of the reasons why this is a very varied album, as they use many different styles although Ken again provided the vast majority of the material. These three albums are often viewed as their strongest, with many proggers picking this as the best as there is so much going on, with acoustic guitars very much to the fore as well as hard rock and plenty of keyboards. The title cut is a classic.

Originally appeared in Feedback #62, May 01

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#968571) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 01, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars I always thought Uriah Heep could have been one of the great prog rock bands. According to many things I have read about them, their management steered them towards more accessible hard rock and let Ken Hensley dominate the songwriting. Much of their early stuff hinted at great prog rock such as "W ... (read more)

Report this review (#916146) | Posted by ster | Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is one of three Uriah Heep albums to be certified gold in the US. The other two are "Demons and Wizards" and "Sweet Freedom." I am not familiar with "Sweet Freedom" so I can't comment on that other than it does include one of the more well known songs in "Stealin." Demons and Wizards is actu ... (read more)

Report this review (#856118) | Posted by Prog_Traveller | Saturday, November 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I've had this on vinyl for as long as I can remember. I've never been able to bond with it so, after reading these reviews, I took it for another spin. The problem with this album is that it sounds "dated". I know what year it was made but plenty of music from that era has aged very well. ... (read more)

Report this review (#751531) | Posted by Sabicas75 | Thursday, May 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This record was a very important one to me a long time ago. I appreciated Uriah Heep's semi-heavy approach a lot more than for example Black Sabbath, who I felt were pretentious. Heep, and especially Ken Hensley could pen a melodic rock ditty with amazing ease, and Magician's Birthday is anoth ... (read more)

Report this review (#534926) | Posted by OT Räihälä | Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I just finished reviewing 2 poor Uriah Heep albums from the 80's so now I deserve to reward myself with a review of a classic Heep album. From 1972, it's THE MAGICIAN'S BIRTHDAY, one of my favorite Heep records along with DEMONS AND WIZARDS and LOOK AT YOURSELF. A true example of hard/rock/psy ... (read more)

Report this review (#442893) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, May 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What to say about album that never really had a chance. Coming after great Demons and Wizards The Magician's Birthday could never beat expectations. Although it doesn't start in that way opening song Sunrise is so strong and powerful that I had feeling that this album will be powerful at lest as ... (read more)

Report this review (#283284) | Posted by Archangel | Monday, May 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 1972 a magical year in great progressive rock albums, and Uriah Heep comes with this good album, starting with the incredible "sunrise" loud shouts by the amazing vocalist David Byron, the great company of rhythm made by Mick Box guitar, great guitarist, this album begins with Sunrise, and appar ... (read more)

Report this review (#267661) | Posted by JgX 5 | Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another one of Uriah Heep's awesome proggy adventures, featuring Roger Dean on artwork, again. The mix of heavy metal, progressive rock, and hard rock is still present, but this album is much more on the prog side of everything because of the lyrics being a lot more thoughtful and much more w ... (read more)

Report this review (#254621) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Sunday, December 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the album that truly got me into Prog music. A person who only knows "Yes" and buys it on a lark, then falls in love with the "Prog" genre... If that doesn't earn this album a 5 star review, nothing will! I'd been weaned, literally on diapers, with it and 60s folk in the background. ... (read more)

Report this review (#244797) | Posted by GreenGestalt | Thursday, October 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Uriah Heep at their best, fantastic heavy prog album. One of the greatest album is this genre. Stars with one of the greatest Heep songs ''Sunrise'' fantastic riff fantastic vocals. After that nice rock and roll song ''Spider woman'' witch just makes you move, then brilliant two prog oriented son ... (read more)

Report this review (#232886) | Posted by Floyd_child | Thursday, August 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Roger Dean beautifully disguises the ganance of record companies with such a cover... I'm afraid Uriah Heep is a band which will never leave the shadow of the holy trinity of hard rock(Purple,Sabbath and Zeppelin),for me personally.While there best albums are in all great,highly satisfatory h ... (read more)

Report this review (#227469) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Saturday, July 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Uriah Heep's Magician's Birthday is a great album. It's not quite essential as it didn't have a massive affect on the music industry, but it is amazing nonetheless. Some tracks have experimental/odd segments, along with wild solos, fast-paced good ol' rock n' roll, and even a dash of beautiful, t ... (read more)

Report this review (#94743) | Posted by Shakespeare | Monday, October 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The genius called Ken Hensley has enhanced his creative machine to an even higher level than the in their previous work. This is the classic formation and entire career Uriah Heep's finest achievement beside Demons and Wizards, as they're strongly inside the fantasy theme. Demons and Wizard ... (read more)

Report this review (#85182) | Posted by Grimble Crumble | Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Its the fifth album in the third year of Uriah Heep's existance. And between 1971 ad 72, Heep actually produced four albums. Now that's a lot of creativity no doubt. the heads of the band members-- especially Hensley-- were teeming with ideas. None of them too bad. Because out of the first five a ... (read more)

Report this review (#84054) | Posted by Sharier | Tuesday, July 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Fifth album - still on the strong 'Art Rock' path. Fortunately for the album it ends with 'The Magician Birthday'; a true masterpiece. Strangely this number contains all that real prog music needs: long, melodic, surprises. But one cannot only live on a late night dinner, one also needs breakfast ... (read more)

Report this review (#60197) | Posted by Hermanes | Monday, December 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5 This album is one of my favorites from Uriah Heep. It features great vocals, great metal and acoustic guitars, great and underrated rhythm sections, and the ever-important keyboards of Ken Hensley. It starts off with Sunrise, one of my favorite Heep songs. It contains elements of pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#39362) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "The Magician's Birthday" is my favourite Uriah Heep album (and Uriah Heep is one of my all time favourite bands.) Ken Hensley's song writing is amazing; the piano ballad "Rain" the atmospheric "Echoes in the Dark" and "Tales" and the great "Blind Eye" more straightforward rock songs like "Sp ... (read more)

Report this review (#39331) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first rock album I bought with my own money (well..pocket money from mum and dad.) What a revelation it was at the time. Sweet Lorraine, a fiery opener, the cosmic tunes Tales and Sunrise. With hindsight, I really liked the Ken Hensley songs the best. The other members wrote good songs, bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#39239) | Posted by brainway | Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rediscovered this album after listening to it in the car. As good as Demons and Wizards, consistent although the rock and roll number Spider Woman is a little too simple for my prog ears. The title track is magnificent supported by classics such as Tales and Echoes in the Dark and the beautifu ... (read more)

Report this review (#35160) | Posted by maciek | Friday, June 03, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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