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Uriah Heep - Uriah Heep CD (album) cover

URIAH HEEP

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.51 | 130 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I discovered the Heep in 1973 with "The Magician's Birthday" and I really liked that band. Their hard rock with a special care for keyboards was quite original (although it sounded a bit like Purple). The core trio Byron (RIP), Hensley and Box is already in place which is a guarantee for quality.

The opening track "Gipsy" is absolutely gorgeous : strong vocals from Byron and incredible keyboards by Hensley. One of their best song ever that passes the proof of time very well. All the magic of the Heep is there : powerful lead vocals, great riff, strong instrumental parts and great harmonies. The final part of the song is really intricate.

It is not the case with the next track "Walking In Your Shadow", a post-psychedelic number which sounds quite outdated (this one particularly sounds as a "Mark I" song). Its only interesting feature IMO. But more similitudes will appear in their later works.

The mellow and quiet "Come Away Melinda" is an astonishing and surprising break : smooth mellotron, flute ... almost prog my friend ! At times, Byron sounds as Evans (again, "Mark I" ...).

On this US release, we'll get the fantastic "Birth Of Prey" : a wild hard-rock tune, with incredibly subtle, high and sublime vocals (it seems that Byron has switched from Evans to Gillan if you see what I mean...). Guitar and bass are outrageous. The second highlight and definitely a great Heep classic.

"Dreammare" is a bit in the same vein but less well achieved. Good hard-rock (even flirting with heavy sounds) all the way through. "Real Turned on" is 100% hard rock oriented and little inspired. It is the weakest number together with "Melinda".

"I'll Keep On Trying" is again a solid track with nice vocal arrangements and interesting rythm changes between hard-rock and prog moments (around 2'30" for example). Mick Box does a good job here. This track features all the element a good Heep song must have. Very nice song, (one more) on this very good album.

"Wake Up" is another highlight. Very good and emotional vocals from Byron (but that's the Heep's trademark, right) ? It is the most complex song of the album and probably one of the few that could be related to prog (together with "Come Away Melinda"). At times, it reminds me of "Epitaph" (not too bad a reference).

The core of the what the Heep will release is already present in this first effort, it is not too often the case that a first album is so close to what the band will deliver afterwards so, it needs to be mentioned. This album has passed remarkably the proof of time (IMO at least). They will confirm this great debut album during several releases. All in all a very good first effort from the Heep.

A stupid Rolling Stone journalist (Melissa Mills) will write the following review for this album. I will write my comments into brackets: "If this group makes it, I'll have to commit suicide (you'd better have done it before your review). From the first note you know what you don't want to hear any more. Uriah is watered down, tenth-rate Jethro Tull, only even more boring and inane. UH is composed of five members : vocals, organ, guitar, bass and drums (do you know that these are not names, but instruments) ? They fail to create a distinctive sound tonality; the other factor in their uninteresting style is that their play is based on repetitive chord riffs".

And she goes on : "According to the enclosed promo information, UH spent the past year in the studio, rehearsing and writting songs. No doubt their lack of performing experience contributed to the quality of the record; if they had played live in clubs they would have been thrown off the stage and we'd have been saved the waste of this record". (Ever heard of Uriah Heep Live) ?

I hope that she was sacked a few weeks after his ridiculous review (or maybe she did what she said, committing suicide)!

Four stars for this encouraging debut album.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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