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Artist Comments

Mick Box 1995 | Ken Hensley 1995

on tour in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 9, 1995

This album was the follow up to Demons & Wizards and a continuation of the mystical lyric writing, once again featuring a very strong cover by Roger Dean.

I remember the guitar and drum fight sequence on the title track was done in one take by Lee and myself after a quick visit to the pub down the road from Lansdowne Studios in London, where we recorded the album. I think it shows the development of Lee and myself's understanding and working together as musicians and friends. We had some good experimental fun on this album with Lee playing the hilarious kazoo solo on Magician's Birthday (we should have recorded his first take, which was a masterpiece) and recording the Happy Birthday vocals, miking the upright piano strings and singing into them to capture the resonating sound. Gary continued with his great melodic bass lines and became an inspiration for a million other bass players together with Lee's powerful drumming and vocal contribution. David's voice did it once again to me on Rain and made the hairs on my arms stand up. Ken, as ever, with his all round musical, writing and lyrical contribution showed that this really was a band with great chemistry in full flight. Now it has been remastered it can be re-lived, and I hope you enjoy the bonus tracks too.

St Louis, USA, Nov. 1995

The Magician's Birthday was a natural follow-up to Demons & Wizards, but I do remember being a bit disappointed, because it was quite a rushed project. I had originally planned for this record to be a complete 'concept' album. The best illustration of the original concept is the title track, which encapsulates the story into one song and is full of variety in music, instrumentation and production. There is humour in this record too, whereas later in our career that was clearly missing (I wonder if Lee would enjoy his kazoo part as much today!). Anyway, the original story may yet be finished, but the album is history and I do still find it enjoyable in places.

Best Regards

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