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URIAH HEEP ‘The Magician's Birthday Party’ (Classic Rock Prods 2002)

This is the CD of the special live show held last December in London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire. It was always going to be a special night as former band member Ken Hensley was to appear as special guest, along with the mid-70’s vocalist John Lawton. The sound quality on the CD is top notch (much better than I remember at the concert!) and the uptempo ‘Return to Fantasy’ starts the CD off. All the classics from the Hensley era are here including ‘Tales’, the epics ‘July Morning’ and ‘Paradise/The Spell’, ‘Sympathy’ and ‘The Magician’s Birthday’. The playing is superb, with the added bonus of Ken Hensley on guitar adding more bite to many of the songs and current vocalist Bernie Shaw does great service to these classic songs. John Lawton guests on the all out rocker ‘Free ‘n’ Easy’ before the CD closes with ‘Easy Livin’.

For Uriah Heep fans this is well worth getting not only as it is a cracking live CD but also as it features Ken Hensley’s ‘official’ farewell to the band. If you like quality melodic rock then get a copy of this CD and better still get the DVD for the full show!


Review by Jason Ritchie

Buy this CD

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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