Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Uriah Heep - more great record covers by Roger Dean

This is my third take on Uriah Heep.  We talked about them during the Yes album covers post, and again with their inside album cover that is the band's history and lineup formatted like the Period Table of the Elements.  I love their song called "Stealin'"  - saw a bar band decades ago nail that, the band let the bar tender sing it - while he took orders and made drinks!  But this one is The Magician's Birthday - their fifth album.  I read that, "The story line is "based loosely on a short story" by Ken Hensley in 1972.  Even though it was recorded mere months after the preceding Demons and Wizards, the album features a notably different sound than the band's previous albums, with the aggressive hard rock toned down in favor of a cleaner appearance with more progressive elements, something which had only been hinted previously.  This change in sound would define Uriah Heep's following outputs for the next decade."

My copy is a rare issue of the the original vinyl release with gatefold sleeve, the front of which was designed by Roger Dean. The inner of the gatefold shows pictures of the band, with the LP itself housed in a liner where the lyrics are printed.  Two songs charted  - "Blind Eye" and "Sweet Lorraine."   "Spider Woman" reached #13 in Germany. The title track is notable for an extended kazoo improvisation on the melody to "Happy Birthday to You."  The Magician's Birthday is certified Gold by the RIAA, 1973.

1 comment:

  1. Andy and I saw 1/2 of a Uriah Heep set. They warmed for Rush at Alpine Valley in May 1978 and Alpine Valley had like 1 ticket taker to the line getting in was so slow. We heard "Easy Livin'" and a coupla others while in a snail-paced line....


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