Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Uriah Heep - Live in Moscow CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.14 | 37 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 1985, after the release of the "Equator" album and the subsequent departure of singer Pete Goalby, Uriah Heep were once again looking for new members to fill vacant posts. Mick Box knew that once they had sorted out personnel situation they should be able to obtain a recording contract. Auditions were held and resulted in Phil Lanzon (ex-Sweet/ Grand Prix) being drafted in as replacement for John Sinclair on keyboards and Bernie Shaw, a talented Canadian (ex Grand Prix/ Stratus) being brought in to fill the lead vocal shoes. Shaw was recruited as the replacement for Stef Fontaine. Fontaine had been brought in to replace Pete Goalby but his tenure with the band was short-lived, only surviving one American tour. [CD liner notes by Robert M. Corich, Castle Copyrights 1998]

This live album features the band's 1987 first performance with the new line-up which had not recorded any new material yet. Performed throughout Soviet Union this album represented Uriah Heep as the first western band who performed live in the country. So I can imagine how this album is so important to the band's career. This can be seen on Mick Box' liner notes, London, November 1997.

Speaking about this live set musically, I have to admit that quality-wise it's not as excellent as their phenomenal Live 73 album. Couple reasons that I can say about this. First, Bernie Shaw voice is I agree very clear, transparent and he can sing high register notes excellently. This can be heard in "July Morning" where the choirs "La la la la la la .." which follows with a very high register note: "aaa . aaaa . aaaa" higher and higher, and . yeah .. Bernie can manage his voice really well, in continuous voice of rock! But he has less power as compared to the powerful voice of Byron. Sure, it's no harm at all but for those of you who have got used to the Live 73 album would find that Bernie's voice is too sweet. I think, Bernie's voice and physical appearance is really clase with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson.

Second, everybody knows that the critical characteristic of Heep sound lies on three things: choirs, guitar sound and soaring keyboard/ organ work by Hensley at first inception of the band. For guitar, yeah I can see clearly the sounds produced by Box fingers which still have the soul of Heep sound. But, Phil Lanzon keyboard work sounds very very thin and too sweet for most of tracks featured in this live set. It has lost its soul in providing great keyboard punch for Heep sound especially during musical interlude and/ or transition segments. Third, Trevor Bolder does not play as dynamic as Gary Thain in providing bass lines. Fourth, the sonic quality of this CD is less than those remastered CD of Live 73.

That's enuff to say how this one compares to Live 73. However, I also enjoy this live CD because the tracks featured here are all good tracks from past and present. Three tracks are really new and never been recorded as studio tracks even after now (at least until 1995), they are: "Corina", "Mister Majestic" and "Pacific Highway". For me personally, "Pacific Highway" is a good track and enjoyable one. Best cuts from this live set includes: "Bird of Prey" which has become the band's legendary track from Salisbury album; "Too Scared To Run" which performed in high energy and it hasbecome my personal favorite; "Stealing" from Sweet Freedom album which also was used as opening track of the band's "Magician's Birthday Party" DVD (2002); and of course the band's mascots: "July Morning", "The Wizard" and "Easy Livin'".

Talking about Heep one would definitely remember this memorable lyrical part: "He was the wizard of a thousand kings. And I chanced to meet him one night wandering ." what a memorable singing line! Yeah . it's man! However, enjoying The Wizard from this live CD you must be prepared to get away the detailed nuances on how in studio version Mick Box played his wonderful acoustic guitar fills to open the track plus the entrance of drum work. You won't get it here because the guitar fills have been replaced with rhythm section and the drum beats have been modified erroneously that have made this song becoming unattractive to my ears. Well, what do you expect from a live recording?

Overall, it's a good live set even though it's not excellent. If you have the Live 73 CD, you may not need to purchase this CD. But, if you are a Heep-mania, like me, you should have this CD as a collection and comparison to other live CDs. Being a Heep fan I have learned that not every single release of Heep provides all excellent tracks (exception to their first 4 or 5 albums) but in every album ther must be one (at least) really stand-out track like "Against The Odds" (Sea Of Light, 1995), "Between Two Worlds" (Sonic Origami, 1998). Album-wise these two were just good. Whatever the case, I still love Uriah Heep! Keep on proggin' .!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this URIAH HEEP review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives