Uriah Heep

The Wizard

Composed by Ken Hensley / Mark Clarke

Song Review by

With 1972's Demons And Wizards album, Uriah Heep left behind the faintly anonymous denim and dandruff image of their first three LPs, and embarked upon a voyage into fantasy and mythology that remains the key to both their initial US breakthrough and to their on-going popularity. From its fantastical Roger Dean jacket, through titles like "Rainbow Demon", "The Spell" and the opening "Wizard" itself, Demons And Wizards oozed Middle Earthly imagery and, while Ken Hensley was swift to point out that "there is no magic in it, although the titles would suggest [otherwise]," imagination is a powerful tool, and period Uriah Heep fans were swift to leap aboard the deceit.

In any case, the opening "Wizard" sets a stage that would be difficult to empty. The first single to be lifted from the album - which, in turn, was Uriah Heep's first charting record on either side of the Atlantic - "The Wizard" was a gentle semi-acoustic ballad that recounts a night-time meeting with "a wizard of a thousand kings... he told me tales and he drank my wine." It is only as the song progresses that we realize that the wizard is within us all, the wise "voices in our hearts" that so few people listen to, but which whisper the secrets of happiness and freedom regardless.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Demons and Wizards 1972 BMG / Sanctuary / Sanctuary Records 3:02
The Best of Uriah Heep [Mercury] 1976 Mercury 2:59
Head First 1983 Castle Music Ltd.
The Best of Uriah Heep [Ariola] 1985 Ariola 3:02
Live in Europe 1979 1987 Fontana / Sanctuary / Sanctuary Records 3:50
Live in Moscow 1988 BMG
Echoes in the Dark 1991 Elite Records
Marquee Metal 1993
Various Artists
Alex 2:54
Platinum: The Ultimate Collection 1995 EMI Music Distribution 2:55
Spellbinder: Live 1996 Cleopatra 3:44
A Time of Revelation 1996 Castle Music Ltd. 2:59
The Best of Uriah Heep, Pt. 1 1996 BMG / Castle Communications / Sony BMG 2:59
Rock Legends [MCI] 1998
Various Artists
MCI 3:00
Classic Heep: An Anthology 1998 Def Jam / Island / Mercury 3:03
The Best of...Pts. 1-2 1999 BMG 3:00
Travellers in Time: Anthology, Vol. 1 1999 BMG / Noise 2:59
Easy Livin' 2000 Delta Music Ltd. / Delta Distribution
The Ballads 2001 Castle Music Ltd. 2:58
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Uriah Heep 2001 Mercury / Def Jam / Island / Universal 3:03
Blood on Stone: Anthology, Vol. 2 2001 Castle Music Ltd. / Sanctuary 3:44
Sailing the Sea of Light 2001 Classic Rock Legends
The Boxed Miniatures 2002 Castle Music Ltd. 2:59
Gypsy 2002 Sanctuary
Sea of Light/Spellbinder 2003 Phantom Import Distribution 3:44
The Very Best of Uriah Heep [Import] 2003 Import 3:01
Live in the USA 2003 The Store for Music 4:01
The Ultimate Collection 2003 BMG / Noise 2:59
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: 70's Rock 2003
Various Artists
Universal International 3:03
Wizards & Demons: Music Inspired by the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien 2003
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 3:02
Revelations: The Uriah Heep Anthology 2004 Metro Doubles 3:00
Rainbow Demon: Live & In The Studio 1994-1998 2004 Music Club International Records 3:45
Magic Night 2004 SFM
The Anthology 2004 Classic Rock Legends
Chapter & Verse: The Uriah Heep Story (35th Anniversary Collection) 2005 Universal 2:58
Geracao Rock and Roll [DVD] 2005
Various Artists
Bird of Prey: Best of Uriah Heep 2006 Sanctuary
Easy Livin: The Singles A's and B's 2006 BMG / Castle Communications 2:59
Very Best of Uriah Heep [Metro] 2006 Metro 3:00
Definitive Collection 2007 Music Sessions
The Platinum Collection 2007 Platinum C / Weton 3:44
Loud, Proud & Heavy: The Best of Uriah Heep 2007 Metro / Metro Triples
Celebration: Forty Years of Rock 2009 Ear Music 3:12
The Early Years [IMV/Blueline] 2009 IMV Blueline 2:56
On the Rebound: A Very 'Eavy 40th Anniversary Collection 2010 BMG / Castle Communications 2:59
Official Bootleg, Vol. 2: Live in Budapest Hungary 2010 2010 Ais / Ear / Edel Germany 4:52
Official Bootleg, Vol. 4: Live from Brisbane, Australia 2011 2011 Ear Music 5:02
Official Bootleg, Vol. 3: Live in Kawasaki Japan 2010 2011 Ward 3:55
Icon 2012 Hip-O 3:01
Logical Revelations 2012 The Store for Music 3:46
Greatest Ever!: Heavy Metal 2012
Various Artists
Union Square 3:00
Classic Album Selection 2013 Sanctuary 3:02
Official Bootleg, Vol 6: Live At the Rock of Ages Festival Germany 2008 2013 Ear Music / Universal 4:12
Access All Areas 2015 Edsel
British Live Performance Series 2015 Rainman Records / Rainman, Inc. 4:45
Your Turn to Remember: The Definitive Anthology, 1970-1990 2016 BMG / Sanctuary Records 2:59
Words in the Distance 1994-1998 2016 Cherry Red / Hear No Evil
Circle of Hands: The Early Years Starline / World of Blueline 3:46
Easy Livin' [Delta] Delta No. 1 2:56
Live on Air 4Worlds Media / Ais / Four Worlds / Southworld 4:00
blue highlight denotes editor's pick