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Uriah Heep - Uriah Heep CD (album) cover

URIAH HEEP

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.51 | 130 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was basically a US version of Uriah Heep debut album Very Eavy Very Umble.

Who on earth in the glory days of seventies has never heard that opening lyrical part of "Gypsy" that became a true rocking yell at the time? If any, they should switch the time tunnel going back to the seventies and purchased the LP of this album. Yeah, it's better because this song from a debut album of Uriah Heep whom just transformed themselves from Spice really took the rock industry by the storm, if I may say it. You bet, it was not as so popular as Deep Purple's "Child In Time" but it was so phenomenal for rock freaks at that time. As for my case I only knew this song when the band released the Live 73 album. In fact this song was the best out of all tracks featured in the double-LP set and I always kept repeating it when I played it. The studio version is of course different with the live one but it still get the energy and enthusiasm required by rock music even though there is no improvised organ work and drum solo. The song opens with a rough-edge keyboard/ organ work combined later with distorted guitar work unique to Mick Box and Olsson's dynamic drumming. It then follows with a very nice riffs (memorable too) which brings the first lyrical part. Yeah man . so rocking and I like it very much! Ken Hensley provides a distinctive distorted organ solo which later characterized Heep sound.

The following track "Walking In Your Shadows" (4:31) is a song with a simple riffs and good melody. The riffs are typical for any band that nowadays we call it as classic rock. "Come Away Melinda" by Hellerman/ Minkof was once a top radio hit in my country and became the trademark of the band whenever we hear this song or "July Morning". I remember vividly how once my friend compared this song with King Crimson's "I Talk To The Wind" or "Epitaph". It's a well composed song in mellow style with sweet vocal- a feature for the softer side of David's voice. The song tells basically a conversation between a father and his young daughter whose mother has died in the war.

"Lucy Blues" (5:09) as the title implies is a blues based song composition. It's unsusual that Heep has ever written this song. But remember that this was a debut album where typically any band would not firm yet with their music format. At that time it's hard to find any band that did not venture their music into blues because it also happened with Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin. It's good to now that Heep has ever created this blues song which is very enjoyable even though it did not turn out to be the hit of Heep then. Hensley plays differently with his organ during interlude.

"Dreammare" (4:39) was written by Paul Newton (bass) which the title combines drem and nightmare. It has soft organ solo at the opening followed with driving rhythm which brings the song into ballad rock with distorted and hard-edge guitar solo. "Real Turned On" (3:37) is a good track with rock 'n' blues style and great distorted guitar sounds. During interlude part there are two guitars used - one presumably be played by Ken Hensley.

"I'll Keep On trying" (5:24) is a song I never pay attention until I watched the Magician's Birthday Party DVD in which this song was performed excellently. Characterized mainly by Hensley's Hammond organ and wonderful choirs "aaa . aaa .aaa ..aaa" which characterizes Heep sound, this song flows excellently from start to end. This song also features stunning combination of hard-edge guitar solo and Hammond solo with powerful voice of David Byron. It's a beautifully composed song.

"Wake Up (Set Your Sights)" (6:22) is different from other songs of Heep as it blends the components of jazz music into its composition. It reminds me to the music of Collosseum. The structure and composition can be considered as prog music as it combines jazz rock upbeat music with silent and explorative segments in the middle of the track. It's truly an excellent track.

This is an excellent addition to any prog / rock music collection.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

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