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Uriah Heep - Live in Europe 1979 CD (album) cover

LIVE IN EUROPE 1979

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

2.68 | 24 ratings

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NotAProghead
Special Collaborator
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars In my opinion it is the most underrated URIAH HEEP live record. I guess the only real reason why it was released only in 1986 is that the band fired Jown Lawton in the end of 1979 (probably the worst move UH ever made) and it would be at least strange to promote ''echoes of the past''. I always tried to understand why they decided to get rid of one of the best rock singers and still have not found the one and only answer. There were internal tensions in the band: disagreements over songs chosen for albums, Ken was upset by constant presence of Lawton's wife, who accompanied John on tours, Mick Box was unhappy with new poppier songs etc. With some bad day came a resolution, dictated by anything but common sense: John has to leave. Soon Lee Kerslake left too, the band went downhill and ''Live in Europe 1979'' remains the only official live record of 1977-79 line-up.

I used to read - here, there and almost everywhere - how bad and useless this album is. But I don't think so. Despite conflicts the band was still strong musically, John Lawton had (and still has) one of the best voices in rock, want it or not, it was the second best Heep incarnation. Songs for ''Live in Europe 1979'' were recorded at different locations, but sound like a single concert, there is a good proportion between classics and new material. John does not try to copy David Byron and sings Heep evergreens in his own way, with power and emotion, Ken's aggressive organ and Mick's guitar are still there, Trevor Bolder plays both rhythm and melodic bass lines, Lee's drumming is strong as ever, the whole band rocks.

It's not a flawless record - sometimes backing vocals sound out of tune, there are some mistakes and the audience sings more often than it is necessary. But, according to Mick Box, it is a honest live record, ''there are no extensive studio overdubs. This is Uriah Heep as we were in 1979''. Not perfect, but powerful and emotional album, fully deserving your attention.

NotAProghead | 4/5 |

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