The Magician’s Birthday: Uriah Heep

Rating: 95%

TheMagiciansBirthday.jpgThe The Magician’s Birthday released in 1972 was a great record by Uriah Heep, but does have a few short falls. The album rides on the heels of “Demons and Wizards.” After some line up changes, the band consists of David Byron on vocals, Ken Hensley playing the keyboards and guitars Mick Box on guitars. Gary Thin is the new bass player and Lee Kerslake on drums.

The highlights on this record are  “Sunrise”, “Spider Woman”, and “Sweet Lorraine.” But the album title track “The Magician’s Birthday” is by far a fun experience of music and fantasy.

The music is heavy and gritty. It’s jazzy, hard and yet bluesy. It also has some elements of Space Rock. The music has some great melodies. The song structures are good, but there’s a lot of stuff being crammed into the music. They offer a collection of good mix of slower and fast tempos. The lead guitar is good and it does have plenty of decent riffs.

Bottom line, it’s a great album that begins to shift the band’s music into a new direction of Prog Rock. The fantasy elements are fresh and a good welcome. What it boils down to is that this album is again ahead of the times, but it holds up to the previous four records.

Track listing:

Side 1
1. “Sunrise” 4:04
2. “Spider Woman”  2:25
3. “Blind Eye” 3:33
4. “Echoes in the Dark” 4:48
5. “Rain” 4:00
Side 2
6. “Sweet Lorraine” 4:13
7. “Tales” 4:09
8. “The Magician’s Birthday” 10:21

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