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Uriah Heep - Firefly CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.54 | 188 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

I remember being really worried when this new URIAH HEEP album came out. We all knew DVAID BYRON, the VOICE of the band has been kicked out due to drugs and/or alcohol abuses. At the end of his stay, Byron sometimes couldn't even remember the words of the songs when on stage and has become a distraction for the rest of the band. He will pursue a solo career ( not that successful !!) until his untimately death a few years later! another schocking fact about this sad ending is that there were no URIAH HEEP members at his funeral. ( only JOHN WETTON showed up)

About JOHN WETTON, he too left the ship at the same time and was to be replaced by TREVOR BOLDER of SPIDERS OF MARS fame; To this day,31 years later the ''new'' bassist is still with the band, hair and all!!!

URIAH HEEP didn't try to find a BYRON clone and went quite the opposite way with the arrival of JOHN LAWTON, a very good singer, but more in the blues/rock style a la CHRIS FARLOWE from COLLOSSEUM , very deep and strong.Looking at his picture, you knew the other members would not worry about him playing the sex symbol as his predecessor did. The cover was very nice, very.....prog in the ROGER DEAN style.

You have very good songs on this album and it rocks quite a bit; no, no metal here, but a good hard rock album , very melodic ( this is still URIAH HEEP) but played with a lot of energy like THE HANGING TREE which opens the album. You may find some vey average tracks like BEEN AWAY TOO LONG or the insipid DO YOU KNOW! UH even tries the FM style ''power '' ballad with the very forgetable WISE MAN.

But very good things come later with what was then-side 2: ROLLIN ON is a great mid-tempo rocker with one of those emotional great guitar solos like the one on PARADISE from DEMONS AND WIZARDS ( played i think by HENSLEY and not by MICK BOX) Then you have a great classic UH rocker with a great guitar riff followed by the best track of the album the self titled ''FIREFLY'', a track that could have been featured on any UH albums from the golden age: nice harmonies, great melody, quite proggish, and a great guitar riff in the middle of the song followed by once again one of those simple but very well played guitar solos, a very good song indeed.

The sound of the album is quite lighter than in their haydays; KEN HENSLEY doesn't do any wall of sound with his organ and plays quite more discreetly in the background; very nice production as well!

Not a masterpiece by any means, not an album you are going to take with you when you go in exile, but a good ,simple (light) hard rocking release played with energy and fun you will always enjoy when you play it! Sadly the future will not sound so nice!!!

3.5 stars rounded to


febus | 3/5 |


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