Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969. It has had the same lineup since 2013: lead and rhythm guitarist Mick Box, keyboardist Phil Lanzon, lead vocalist Bernie Shaw, drummer Russell Gilbrook and bassist Davey Rimmer. Of the current lineup, Box is the only remaining original member.
Over the course of their 49-year career, Uriah Heep have released twenty-five studio albums (two of them are composed of re-recorded material), eighteen live albums and thirty-nine compilation albums. Twelve of the band's studio albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached No. 7 in 1975) while of the fifteen Billboard 200 Uriah Heep albums Demons and Wizards was the most successful (#23, 1972). In the late 1970s the band had massive success in Germany, where the "Lady in Black" single was a big hit. Along with Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, Uriah Heep were one of the top heavy metal bands in the early 1970s.
Uriah Heep's audience declined by the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult band in the United Kingdom and United States. The band maintains a significant following and performs at arena-sized venues in the Balkans, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia and Scandinavia. They have sold over 40 million albums worldwide with over 4 million sales in the U.S where its best-known songs include "Easy Livin'", "The Wizard", "Sweet Lorraine", and "Stealin'".
The Magician's Birthday is the fifth album by British rock band Uriah Heep, released in November 1972 by Bronze Records in the UK and Mercury Records in the US. The concept was "based loosely on a short story" written by keyboardist Ken Hensley in June and July 1972.
The original vinyl release was a gatefold sleeve, the front designed again by Roger Dean. The inner fold had pictures of the band, with the album itself housed in a liner on which were printed the lyrics.
Two songs charted in the United States, "Blind Eye" (No. 97) and "Sweet Lorraine" (No. 91). "Spider Woman" reached No. 13 in Germany.
In a retrospective review, Sputnikmusic praised The Magician's Birthday, saying, "Though probably not as cohesive as it could be, it still offers plenty of highlights, earning its place among Heep's finest albums". Reviewer Daniel Dias singled out "Sunrise", noting that it was "a highlight in Heep's catalog and one of the band's finest progressive rock ballads". AllMusic noted the album's prog elements as well, and said, "The Magician's Birthday never quite hits the consistent heights of Look at Yourself or Demons and Wizards but remains a solid listen for Uriah Heep fans".
All tracks written by Ken Hensley except where noted
1. "Sunrise" 4:04
2. "Spider Woman" Mick Box, David Byron, Lee Kerslake, Gary Thain 2:25
3. "Blind Eye" 3:33
4. "Echoes in the Dark" 4:48
5. "Rain" 4:00
6. "Sweet Lorraine" Box, Byron, Thain 4:13
7. "Tales" 4:09
8. "The Magician's Birthday" Box, Hensley, Kerslake 10:21