Following the 'The Legend Continues' (2000) Uriah Heep just released another DVD: 'The Magician's Birthday Party' (Classic Rock Productions).
I think this one is even better than the already incredible first one.
The DVD was shot in December last year in London. The setlist contains more older tracks, such as 'Return To Fantasy' (one of my favorites).
The gig was very well recorded and I have the impression that the band was a tad more inspired than on the evening that the other DVD was made.
The biggest bonus are the guest spots by long lost former members Ken Hensley (who still plays some awesome Hammond!) and singer John Lawton (from the late 70's era). And... Thijs van Leer (former Focus frontman) who not only adds some nice flute parts to the music, but also a little yodeling Hocus Pocus-style.
And, the package is very nice: DVD, regular CD and booklet, all in 'The Magician's Birthday' style artwork.
"long lost... ken hensley"? as a guest?? that guy was uriah heep. he pretty much wrote most of their best and certainly more popular material... if he's not in the band how can it really be uriah heep? and what's this about him playing a hammond? great, but in heep's heyday, when i saw them, hensley pretty much stuck to playing a gibson sg electric guitar onstage.
maybe mick box is still along on lead guitar? um... hasn't he been (politely) on autopilot at best for some years now? at any rate i can't imagine the band to be really intact in any credible form, or having anything interesting to offer other than perhaps whimsical nostalgia at this point.
That's a very different perspective on Heep that I have ever read.
I tend to just support them, regardless of their age or composition.
I must say this:
I listened to "Look at Yourself" the other day, and, gulp, um, er, eh, that is one "dated" sounding recording.
But I still like it a lot.
I always thought Mick Box was a pretty darn good guitarist.
Too bad David is history - he had a great voice. (I hear he was a major asshole, though).
Yes, I agree, Ken Hensley was an important musician and songswriter for UH, but he left around 1980 - and UH have released some very good stuff since then. He does play guitar as well, also in the DVD, but somehow I was most impressed by his trademark Hammon playing in a track like 'July Morning'.
And as far as nostalgia is concerned, just check out the DVD. Sure, these guys are old, and the drummer didn't age too well (to put it nicely). But the stuff still rocks and the band is having a great time on stage.
And remember, I don't like to dwell on the past too much. I think that UH shows you can age gracefully in rock 'n' roll.
That's all. Maybe it's time for Auph's 2 € cents.
Yep, it's a fantastic DVD. BTW, you're right about Lee Kerslake (drums) not aging well in terms of physical appearance, but his musicianship hasn't lost anything AFAIC, and I was real impressed by his call/response vocals (I believe it's on Circle of Hands); very nice indeed!
This is truly an awesome release; it's well recorded, sounds great and covers a lot of prime-era Heep. I'm glad that you got around to reviewing it and I can't add much more.
Highly recommended! :o)
Anyone pick these up yet ?
These sound different, at least based on the comparison that I did for several albums. The Japanese mini-LP remasters (VICJ prefix) sound much fuller and warmer than Castle Essential UK CDs.
The bands have to be in on these scams...and that's what they are, legal thievery by artists and Record companies, that take advantage of Fans.
a different mix from multitracks for each album for the Jpn CDs. I find that really hard to believe.
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