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Uriah Heep - Salisbury CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 824 ratings

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4 stars This is an interesting album. This is the 4th of what I call my fabulous 5 prog albums. Albums of my parents that exposed me to prog as a child. Unlike the previous 3 I've reviewed. The Yes Album, The Lord of the Rings, and ELO 2. This album has not remained with me through 30 odd years of musical changes. I got this album again a couple of years ago when I returned to prog from an extended musical journey into the American Blues scene. Amazing how something you heard 30 years ago can come back to you just like that. Plus an album cover like that (some of you know what I'm talking about) was never is to be forgotten, it freaked me out as a kid hahah.

As far as the album itself. What a beginning we had here. Bird of Prey while nothing all that great from a musical standpoint.. is quite something for the vocal display David Byron put on. Imagine having a vice grip attached to vital parts of body.. and having pressure applied at certain points when you are trying to sing haha. His vocal range is very impressive and is the most noteworthy thing about the lead track. With the second song we have one of the real gems in Uriah Heep's catalog, The Park. Where Bryon's vocals are impressive on Bird of Prey.. here they are just flat out outstanding and I dare say..quite moving. The vocals are set on top of a great Harmonium, and organ melody. Time to Live follows which a standard rock fare, not bad but not really a favorite. Next comes a song that helped put Uriah Heep on the map. Lady in Black. A great sing along song with a nice stomping beat... where the song really grabbed me was that mellotron enters during the 4th verse. By the time I heard it.. I was completely sucked in to a song that what it lacks in complexity it makes up in being just a flat out great song. The next song High Priestess is another great vocal performance by Byron with a catchy vocal melody. Love the wah guitar breaks.. possibly a warm up for Salisbury perhaps hahaha. The last song on here was a gutsy move for the group in only it's second album. Salisbury showed the group's experimental and progressive side on a 17 minutes long epic with a 22 piece orchestra section. Salisbury was done in two stages.. the group put the music down first and the Orchestra was added later to the track. Oh those poor classical musicians of the day.. mixing with those..rock musicians hahah. Mick Box on the recording of Salisbury...

"I remember when we were recording the brass section and my lengthy wah-wah guitar solo came in and I saw all these trained session musicians throw their headphones to the floor in horror, and even to this day you can hear the loud click of wah-wah plugged through the Marshall stack on volume 10 as the solos begin'"

Oh yes you can hear that click clear as day. Hearing that story brings a smile to my face every time I listen to I'm doing now. Salisbury works as well as you would expect from a young group feeling it's creative oats. Great solos from Box and Hensley. The orchestra is well arranged and both band and orchestra work well together in the context of Salisbury.

This album was a real pleasure to 'discover' again. 3.5 stars and will go with a 4.. a great addition to any prog collection, The Park and Lady in Black being the difference between a 3rd star and a 4th

Michael (aka micky)

micky | 4/5 |


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