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Uriah Heep - Firefly CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.55 | 290 ratings

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5 stars FIREFLY was recorded in October/November 1976 with a new line-up. John Lawton, Ex- Lucifers Friend, who, at times, was also a member of the entertaining Les Humphries Singers, replaced the sacked vocalist David Byron, while Trevor Bolder (from David Bowieīs Spiders from Mars) took over John Wettonīs bass guitar. No Heep record released after THE MAGICIANS BIRTHDAY could deliver so many winners as FIREFLY.

The opener, "The Hanging Tree", a mid-tempo rocker, is sung very energetically by Lawton, the new frontman, who wasnīt indisputed by many Heepsters, who preferred other singers, briefly considered for the vacancy, among them Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company), Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople) and David Coverdale (former Deep Purple frontman). "Been Away Too Long", a song with a very melodic beginning grows by listening again and again. The Kerslake number "Who Needs Me" , by the way, the only number Ken Hensley hasnīt written, is a solid rocker, but no killer. "Wise Man", the next song, is the first absolute highlight of this album, one of the most impressive ballads of the whole Heep repertoire. Itīs worthy, if you can ask a wise man, what to do and how to do, if you have questions or problems. "Do You Know" is just an average rocker, nothing especial, neither by melody nor by lyrics. "Rollinī On" contains a very fine instrumental part, Iīm always enthusiastic about every time I hear this number. Apart from the outstanding "Wise Man", "Sympathy" was another single from FIREFLY, but not with the same effect. The original album was closed by the title track, which with its fantastic fantasy-lyrics belongs to the best stuff, Uriah Heep has produced during the many years of their career. This track alone would justify the purchase of this album. The number consists of three parts, a slow balladesk one, followed by a fast-rocking part and closing with another slow one completing the first passage. I donīt like to comment the bonus tracks, because they represent worse versions of several cuts of the original album ( especially the sound), an uninteresting B-side, two previously unreleased tracks that arenīt worth a mention. The only track I listen to sometimes is "A Far Better Way", a number, which, at least, contains a good refrain. If I disregard the bonus tracks, I think, that a rating of 4.5 stars would be appropriate. But because I canīt distribute half stars I rate FIREFLY with 5 stars, even if I have to admit, that the 1972 putout DEMONS AND WIZARDS , for example, is a better 5 star album.

| 5/5 |


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