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Uriah Heep - Salisbury CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 824 ratings

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4 stars True rock survivors, Uriah Heep's seemingly neverending career has now spanned five decades and a jaw- dropping forty-four years, not bad for a group often cast by snotty music journalists as one of the un- coolest ever. It all began way back in 1970, with the release of debut album '...Very 'eavy...Very 'umble'(titled 'Uriah Heep' in North America) and, despite numerous line-up shuffles, changing musical trends, financial mismanagement and the relentless onslaught of age and time, the Heep are still going strong, still touring, still issuing albums to their hardcore band of loyal followers, the vast majority of whom are now situated in either North America, Germany or the Balkans. Of course, the group are now - and have been for some time - completely ignored in their homeland, but that doesn't seem to bother them.The one constant throughout their chequered history has been guitarist Mick Box, and it is probably down to the diminutive axeman that the group are still a going concern. Issued in 1971, 'Salisbury' was the first truely progressive Heep record, the group exuding a tougher sound than found on their debut, but also backed up by a full orchestra, thus giving the album an impressively- rich sound. For many prog-rock fans, the first five Heep albums showcase the group at their peak, and they're not wrong. 'Salisbury' would be followed by the almost-as-good 'Look At Yourself', but the group would realy hit paydirt with 1972's 'Demond & Wizards', the ultimate classic Heep record. One more progressive-styled album would follow, 1973's 'The Magicians Birthday'(which, like 'Demons & Wizards', featured a striking Roger Dean cover) before the group started to inch towards a more melodic, FM-friendly sound. Subsequently, the group endured a series of line-up changes, a surprise hit album with 1977's 'Firefly', a drastic downturn in fortunes thanks to the onslaught of Punk Rock, and then come the 1980s, a surprisingly commercial-and-critical rebirth as a heavy metal act. However, for the proper Uriah Heep sound, look no further than the quintet of studio records that kick-started their career. Of them, 'Salisbury' is probably the most cohesive, featuring such golden nuggets as the barnstorming 'Lady In Black' and the epic, sixteen-minute title-track which closes the album on a suitably grandiose note. Heavy prog doesn't get any better. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014
stefro | 4/5 |


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