The Magician's Birthday by Uriah Heep (CD, Mar-2001, Castle)

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About this product

Album Features
Artist:Uriah Heep
Release Year:2004
Record Label:Sanctuary
Genre:Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Rock & Pop

Track Listing
1. The Hanging Tree
2. Been Away Too Long
3. Who Needs Me
4. Wise Man
5. Do You Know
6. Rollin' On
7. Sympathy
8. Firefly
9. B-Side) Crime of Passion - (Bonus Track
10. A - (remix, Bonus Track, Demo Version) Far Better Way [Demo Mix]
11. Out-take, Bonus Track) I Always Knew - (previously unreleased
12. Bonus Track, Demo Version) Dance Dance Dance - (previously unreleased
13. Live) Been Away Too Long [Alternative Version] - (Bonus Track
14. Bonus Track) Do You Know [Demo Mix] - (remix
15. Bonus Track) Who Needs Me [Alternative Live Version] - (live
16. Bonus Track) Wise Man [T.V. Backing Track] - (alternate take

Playing Time:78 min.
Recording Type:Studio
Recording Mode:Stereo
SPAR Code:n/a

Album Notes
Uriah Heep includes: John Lawton (vocals); Ken Hensley (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Mick Box (guitar); Trevor Bolder (bass); Lee "The Bear" Kerslake (drums, background vocals).Producer: Gerry Bron.Reissue producers: Mick Carpenter, Lorraine Bromley.Recorded at Roundhouse Studios, London, England between October and November 1976. Includes liner notes by Robert Corich, Mick Box.All tracks have been digitally remastered.FIREFLY is the reissue of Uriah Heep's 1977 release and features "Hanging Tree," "Been Away Too Long," and eight bonus tracks, including the b-side "Crime Of Passion."Personnel: Ken Hensley (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Lee Kerslake (vocals, drums); John Lawton (vocals); Mick Box (guitar).Audio Remasterers: Mike Brown; Robert M. Corich.Liner Note Authors: Mick Box; Ken Hensley; Robert M. Corich.Recording information: The Roundhouse Recording Studios, London, England (10/1976-11/1976).Photographers: Trevor Hensley; Mick Box; Ken Hensley.After losing founding vocalist David Byron in 1976, many hard rock fans thought Uriah Heep had reached the end of the line. However, the group bounced back in 1977 with Firefly, an album that pursued a stripped-down sound harking back to the group's early-'70s successes. They also boasted a new singer in John Lawton, a vocalist who had made his fame working with artsy German hard rockers Lucifer's Friend. Although he lacked the multi-octave range of David Byron, Lawton boasted an impressive and emotionally rich hard rock voice that instantly jelled with the Uriah Heep sound. An ideal example of this new synergy was provided by the opening track, "The Hanging Tree," which featured Lawton dramatically delivering a narrative about an outlaw on the run over a spooky musical track that blended echo-drenched synthesizers with some typically gutsy guitar riffs from Mick Box. Other memorable tracks on Firefly include "Who Needs Me," a spirited slice of boogie rock with a rousing singalong chorus, and the title track, a miniature prog epic that deftly blends balladry, hard rock, and acoustic-styled folk into one cohesive outing. Nothing on Firefly hits the epic heights of "Gypsy" or "July Morning," but it contains none of the failed experiments that weighed down High and Mighty and it further benefits from a nice sense of consistency that is built on tight songwriting and inspired performances. In the end, Firefly remains one of the most cohesive albums from Uriah Heep's mid- to late-'70s period and is guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of the group's fan base. ~ Donald A. Guarisco

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