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Uriah Heep - Classic Heep - Live from the Byron era CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.23 | 34 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars During my last trip to London (March 2007), my brother was intrigued by the fact that I was buying several remastered versions of some Heep albums. Although we were close to each other musically (me listening to an enormous amount of music and he being over six years younger than I was) he never entered into the Heep's catalogue before.

This is now done more than thirty years after my discovery of this great band. So, the Heep has a new fan ...

I guess that any Heep fan of the first era (but are there any others ?), can only be pleased with these images from the most famous line-up in their history.

It's the opportunity to see Byron (who I have never seen live) on stage. Of course, he is the central point of the band, but that's normal. Lots of his attitudes will definitely influence Mercury, for sure.

The DVD opens on the cover of their great "Live '73". The first three songs are taken from Budokan concerts (but different ones, just look at Box's wearing : he definitely wears a different pant in "Tears In My Eyes").

The overdubbing sound / images is not bad at all, even if sometimes this can be noticed. I have to say that the close-up on the audience which is either a small group of boys OR girls ( were they separate in the audience ?) is not really convincing : they are clapping completely out of sync and these images are not really adding anything.

The short interview of Byron at that time of the DVD is rather useless. He also seems to be very pretentious. But, he probably WAS.

Some slow motions, still pictures in the Shepperton songs (too many), and a great Kerslake on drums during "Love Machine" (the guy standing on his drum kit while playing - you almost never see these things nowadays. Don't get me wrong : I don't say that you play necessarily better in this position, but that was the excesses of those early hard rock times).

Both visual and sound quality are not really great. Lots of "montages" will make this DVD somewhat amateuristic. It reminds me a similar approach with "The Lamb Lies Down" (yes, when they were five) available on the Internet. Same technique, same average audio quality.

It's getting better with "Return To Fantasy" onwards. Definitely some shouts of the crowd during "Easy Livin", and "Prima Donna" are (poor to ridiculous) overdubs. The version of the former song is extremely wild and the best one I have heard so far.

We'll go back a bit in history with "July Morning". This montage shows too many still pictures, live fiming from too many different concerts mainly with Byron featured from back stage to avoid being able to see him singing. Lee Kerslake is REALLY impressive in his drumming work.

The two bonuses from the Shepperton sessions (and available in audio format) do not belong to the best ones they have produced. And I can't help but I just hate "Stealin".

This document is history as Tull at the Isle of Whight, Purple in Scandinavia or ELP during "Pictures" etc. But all these were a lot better in technical quality. But I guess that nothing else was available for the Heep.

Still, the tracklist is missing so many great anthems of the band that I wouldn't go over three stars to rate this work (and I like the Byron era an awful lot). Of course, the emotion could have led me to go to four...

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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