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Uriah Heep - Salisbury CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 851 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This band is not progressive... don't let this MASTERPIECE trick you!!.

Even when it hurts to say it: this is Uriah Heep, the progressive rock band for just one year. That year was 1971, and bands like Deep Purple had already established their hard rock sound... whereas Heep was still trying to find out what to sound like. Unfortunately they left this direction in favour of the more naive hard rock, and it hurts that they do works like this and never do it again in the same vein; on one hand, it's a positive remark, meaning that they probably were not too creative in the first place to be a progressive band; but on the other hand: who knows?, they would've probably competed withthe supergroups of the 70's, giving us more of the things we love so much. but.... *sigh*

The album is a collection of goodies and averages. Bird Of Prey follows the more or less same "'eavy" approach, as it is a reworking of "Lucy's Blues" (if I can recall correctly). But then.. wait.. a falsetto!!... and jazzy breaks!!!!... WOW!... beautiful. The Park is a beautiful jazzy ballad that beats the hell out of the dull "Come Awat Melinda". Then, "Time To Live" is another hard nutter rocker with amazing guitar licks by Box (the same riff that would be applied to his solo on Salisbury), but overall just a simple teen- angst kind of song. "Lady In Black" is a simple 2-chord piece (A and G) and "High Priestess" is YET another hard rock song, with faster beat.

Now comes the delight: their one and only "brass-rock symphony": "Salisbury" features a large brass orchestra with some woodwinds thrown in the mix, and you wouldn't believe this is UH until you listen to the first notes of the main melody sung by Byron. Byron may bleat sometimes but I just love how that sheep sounds... very sentimental. Then we're in for the amazing bridge: verses sung by Byron leads to Mick Box playing his most amazing solo yet, and then were in for the coda and an amazing finale. Just glitters with brilliance!.. and even though they might had been listening to Pink Floyd at the time, this beats the heck out of "Atom Heart Mother"; I mean, you don't get 6 extra minutes of keyboard pranks to make exactly 21 minutes... so that's probably why this one is 5 minutes shorter and much, much better!.

A shame that they didn't go on with this formula. But I think they just couldn't do better than this one. 3.5 stars

Chus | 3/5 |


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