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Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 818 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Although the titles would suggest it, there is no magic in it - it's just a collection of our songs we had a good time recording". Humble words by Ken Hensley, the keyboardist & main composer of Uriah Heep. Magic or not, this album made Heep big globally. I first listened and partly taped it some 16 years ago, never been very deeply into this band. Now I'm having a 2003 edition on my hands, and all the praises of how everything came together perfectly with this "definitive desert island classic rock album" make me a bit bored. I agree with Sean Trane on the fact that it's quite overrated - though more so by 'classic rock' enthusiasts than by progheads; here in PA it's not even the highest rated Heep. And that pretty much summarizes what's the music about. Masculine and havin'-a-good-time hard rock with a recognizable own sound, not TOO arty to suite for a large audience. Is there anyone who has never heard at least 'Easy Livin'?

Of course I'm not saying that the fast-rolling hit with the famous organ riff gives a right picture about the whole album. There are variety to the songs and the production is really succesful; why argue, this IS a Classic Rock Album par excellence. I really enjoy the relaxed opener 'The Wizard'. And the final pair of songs 'Paradise/The Spell' have very great moments. But in between there frankly could be a bit less organ and a bit more progressivity in the compositions to keep me in spell. On the other hand, considering that hard rock is not my field in general, it must be noted that every minute of this album is completely listenable to me.

Since I saw no descriptions of bonus tracks on previous reviews I try to give some. 'Why' was originally a single's B-side and here is a 10-minute version of that very good Heep song. It's not any prog epic and yet not even a minute too long! 'Rainbow Demon' single cut: the album song in a slightly shorter form. 'Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf' (Mick Box called it 'Brown Turds on a Rusty Elf') wouldn't have much improved the original album, but it ended up being a title track of Ken Hensley's solo work. 'Home Again To You' and 'Green Eye': the text refers to the latter as "a heavy little Hammond number" and I don't have anything to say about either of them. Let's say the bonuses are in a middle class of bonus materials, certainly not any embarassing half-baked demo stuff as on many YES albums for example, neither any hidden gems, except maybe 'Why' comes close. Naturally the 20-page leaflet does its best to justify the words "expanded de-luxe edition". Even Roger Dean has his say about the cover art - which is among my favourites.

Matti | 3/5 |


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