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Uriah Heep: The Magician's Birthday Party DVD/CD

This wonderful DVD/CD package showcasing Uriah Heep's powerful show in London recently is a testament to the bands staying power as well as a look back to the glory years. Joining the Heepsters on the second half of the 90 minute set are former members Ken Hensley on keyboards and guitar, and singer John Lawton, as well as former Focus member Thijs Van Leer on flute. The band charges through many favorites old and new, and the large crowd on hand is into it all the way.

In addition to the entire set, the filmakers have included a lot of backstage goings-on, and really captured the "festival" type nature of this event. The set starts off with three classics, "Stealin'", "Return to Fantasy", and "Tales", all from the original incarnation of the band. Singer Bernie Shaw proves to be an excellent frontman and versatile singer, handling the older tunes with ease and interjecting his own style. Some of the bands more popular tracks from the last decade, "Sweet Pretender", "Between Two Worlds", and the lovely "Mistress of all Time", show how the band has evolved into a more musical and melodic powerhouse over the years. Midway through the set the band is joined by the legendary Hensley for rousing renditions of "July Morning", "Sunrise", "Paradise/The Spell", "Circle of Hands", and the classic "Easy Livin'." The highlight though is "The Magician's Birthday", complete with a wild guitar/drum workout from Mick Box and Lee Kerslake. Former singer Lawton joins the band on "Sympathy" and the furious "Free and Easy", and surprisingly he still has a powerful set of pipes, able to hit all the high notes that he did back in the late 70's.

The DVD comes complete with bonus material, including photo gallery, a featurette, bonus track, and an in-depth look at the fan convention. Coupled with the CD (which only covers part of the full show) and a full color booklet all in one package, this makes for the ultimate Uriah Heep anniversary collectible.

Added: June 4th 2002
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Official Uriah Heep Website
Hits: 5656
Language: english

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