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Uriah Heep - The Best Of (1976) CD (album) cover

THE BEST OF (1976)

Uriah Heep

Heavy Prog


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Gatot
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I consider putting this compilation at this site because it represents best songs of Uriah Heep in the early days. That's why I put four stars as rating because all songs are excellent and good mirror of what the band had done in their early days. Starting with "Demon's and Wizards" album with a killing track "Easy Livin'" which showcases how powerful the voice quality of Byron, dynamic bass lines by Gary Thain and soaring Hammond sounds played by Ken Hensley. The voval harmonies are also excellent. This is a great rocker and well positioned as opening for this compilation. "Lady in Black" is a very simple track with straight forward two or three chords performed in ballad style with quite good melody line. This song is typically Uriah Heep's encore for live performance. "Bird of Prey" from the same album as "Lady In Black", "Salisbury" demonstrates powerful high register notes of David Byron and most importantly: the vocal harmonies are great!

The band revisits "The Magician's Birthday" album through "Sunrise" which demonstrates great Hammond work and powerful bass lines. Another song in the same album is "Sweet Lorraine". "The Wizard" is the band's song that I heard the first time and it means something special because through this song I explored further on the music of Heep and have a pleasure enjoying the band's music. No question about the band's legendary track "July Morning" in which some people mention that this is the "Stairway To Heaven" of Uriah Heep. Through this track one can enjoy how Manfred Man contributes in his mood synthesizer work. "Gypsy" is also a great track even though I prefer the long version performed under Live 73.

Overall, this is a very good start for someone who never knew the music of Uriah Heep. The only weak point is that there is ample space available to occupy the Disc. It would be better off if it's added with some more songs.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#120934)
Posted Monday, May 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
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Post Rock Team
2 stars Back in the days before I had internet access, if I wanted to hear what a band I read about sounded like I would have to buy one of their CDs. If I was lucky I could find a cheap used copy. That's how I ended up with this album. This compilation didn't do much for me and I never explored their discography. Years later I heard some of their early albums and thought I might have been too harsh in my opinion of them. The only song I really liked on it was "Lady In Black", why I didn't enjoy "Gypsy" as much back then I'm not sure of. I love that song now. These songs generally came off to me as grade-B Deep Purple (with a little bit of grade-B Queen thrown in). Of course the band's longer album cuts were more interesting and this is mainly made up of singles and shorter album tracks.

One thing about the music here is very clear: it sounds very, very much like something from the early 1970s. I've always heard the Heep referred to as a mix of early metal and early prog. On this compilation you'll get a lot of the 'metal' side but not too much of the 'prog' side. "July Morning" is the longest and one of the best songs here. Even though I stated this sounds very early '70s, I can also hear some influence these guys had on some metal bands from the 1980s. I never heard the albums UH did with John Wetton after he left Crimson yet; doing this review just reminded me of that.

Even from a purely non-prog perspective, this compilation is not the greatest introduction to the music of Uriah Heep. Ya gotta hear those long album cuts. If you like Deep Purple and a lot of early '70s hard rock/proto-metal in general, you will probably dig these guys. Just don't start here. Any of the albums they released between 1970-73 would be a better bet. There are probably better compilations out there but I have not heard them. This thing here gets 2 stars.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#833003)
Posted Friday, October 05, 2012 | Review Permalink

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