Uriah Heep — The Magician’s Birthday (1972)

“The Magician’s Birthday” was the fifth studio album by Uriah Heep, recorded in September and October 1972 at Lansdowne Studios and released in November 1972 by Bronze Records. Both in the UK and the USA the album reached the top thirty in the charts. In the USA it charted for 22 weeks and was certified gold in January 1973*.

“The Magician’s Birthday” was an attempt not only to repeat the success of “Demons and Wizards”, but also to realise the concept by Ken Hensley based on a short story that he wrote during the summer of 1972. The title track is dedicated to the fight between the good and the evil. “Echoes In The Dark” and “Tales” were also based on the story about the magician’s birthday.

But the album was recorded in a hurry, and the concept was not fully realised. This was noticed by music critics. For example, Rolling Stone’s Mike Saunders who wrote a very favourable review about “Demons and Wizards”, hated “The Magician’s Birthday” — he didn’t like both the music and the style of production. Luckily his devastating critique did not prevent Uriah Heep to keep being a ‘cult’ band, both in the USA and worldwide.

Track list:

  1. Sunrise (Hensley) 4:04
  2. Spider Woman (Box/Byron/Kerslake/Thain) 2:25
  3. Blind Eye (Hensley) 3:33
  4. Echoes In The Dark (Hensley) 4:48
  5. Rain Hensley) 3:59
  6. Sweet Lorraine (Box/Byron/Thain) 4:13
  7. Tales (Hensley) 4:09
  8. The Magician’s Birthday (Hensley/Box/Kerslake) 10:23


  • David Byron — vocals
  • Ken Hensley — keyboards, guitars, Moog synthesizer
  • Mick Box — guitars
  • Lee Kerslake — drums
  • Gary Thain — bass guitar

Producer — Gerry Bron.

Engineer — Peter Gallen.

Assistant engineer — Ashley Howe.

Artwork — Roger Dean.

Bonus tracks on re-issue CDs:


  • Silver White Man
  • Crystal Ball


  • Crystal Ball (outtake)
  • Silver White Man (outtake)
  • Proud Words (alternate version)
  • Echoes In The Dark (edited version)
  • Rain (edited version)
  • Happy Birthday (previously unreleased)
  • Sunrise (single version)
  • Gary’s Song (outtake)
  • Silver White Man (instrumental outtake)

Original liner notes were written by Ken Hensley.

* Charts stats according to davidbyron.net.

Author: Elena Stepanova

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