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


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.13 | 47 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Emotional

The Magician's Birthday party has become an annual event, celebrating Uriah Heep through the years. It sees the current line up being joined by former members, and other well known performers.

This recording covers the first "party" held in 2001. The highlight is undoubtedly the appearance of founder member Ken Hensley, who wrote most of the band's most famous works, and contributed the Hammond organ element of their wall of sound. The band play a commendable set covering a cross section of their songs through the years.

Original lead singer David Byron is remembered in the lyrics of "Between two worlds", while Thijs Van Leer gives "Tales" from "The magician's birthday" album a whole new dimension with some wonderful flute playing and yodelling(!). Hensley joins the band for "July morning", and remains on stage from then on. Byron's replacement John Lawton also participates later on, his distinctive voice contrasting with current singer Bernie Shaw's more Byron like sound. The highlight for me is the rare live performance of "Paradise/The spell" complete with Hensley's wonderful slide guitar solo.

The emotional significance of seeing Hensley back with Uriah Heep will be lost on those who are not familiar the band. It is however a definitive moment in their history. With the event also being available on DVD, I would suggest that it would be best to obtain the combined CD/DVD package.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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