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Uriah Heep - Uriah Heep CD (album) cover

URIAH HEEP

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.52 | 132 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Very 'eavy , very 'umble

Uriah Heep's first album, "Very 'eavy , very 'umble" was not released in the US under that title. Presumably this was because of the Cockney/Dickensian connections which would not have been so meaningful to those outwith the UK. Instead, it was released with a different sleeve and simply titled "Uriah Heep".

The track listing is the same, except that "Lucy Blues" is dropped in favour of "Bird of prey". Since "Lucy blues" was the weakest track on VEVU, being a somewhat out of place blues rendition, the revision does represent an improvement.

The version of "Bird of prey" included here is different to the one which appeared on the UK version of "Salisbury". (Despite this, it was in turn replaced on the US version of "Salisbury" by the single B side "Simon the bullet freak"). While the "Salisbury" version sees the track being developed well, the slightly rawer earlier version here is well worth hearing.

The opening track, "Gypsy" is indeed "heavy", with a driving Hammond organ, a thumping beat, and an early burst of Mick Box's famous wah wah guitar soloing. There are however several decidedly softer moments. "Come away Melinda" (also recorded by UFO) is one of the very few covers the band has done. Their interpretation is quite stunning, with David Byron adopting various vocal sounds to distinguish between the two characters in the song. It's a beautiful, haunting number, with a peaceful message. "Wake up (set your sights)" also has a lovely soft conclusion which follows an almost jazz like opening section.

The remaining numbers generally fall into the " 'eavy" category, with tracks like "I'll keep on trying" and "Dreammare" setting out the band's stall for future albums perfectly.

There was better to come from the band, but this is a high quality first offering, with some excellent tracks.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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