Header
Uriah Heep - Moscow And Beyond (DVD) CD (album) cover

MOSCOW AND BEYOND (DVD)

Uriah Heep

Heavy Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Back in the USSR, you don't know how lucky you were

In December 1987, Uriah Heep became the first Western rock band to perform live in Russia, playing to over 180,000 fans over 10 nights in Moscow. Bizarrely, it was the surprising success of the Byron era song "July Morning" which led to the invitation for the band to visit Russia.

The only minor problem the band had was that their line up was in a state of some disarray at the time. As fate would have it though, the most stable quintet in the band's history came together just in time for the visit, and the rest is history.

Audio recordings of the gig have been available on CD virtually since it took place, but the video of the gig remained unseen outside Japan for many years. In 2002 however, this DVD was finally released by Classic Rock Productions. It seems somewhat strange seeing the film of the gig over 20 years after the event. The band look so young, with ridiculous perms and mullets the order of the day. Indeed, the hair is so thick, the Russian hats the band are trying on seem totally superfluous.

Strangely, the film only lasts for around an hour, omitting a couple of songs which appeared on the CD. The core of the set is intact though, including a superb version of "Gypsy" which features a wonderful keyboards recital by the recently arrived Phil Lanzon. Unusually, Lanzon sings most of the lead vocals on his "Mr. Majestic", a role he would quickly bypass at future gigs.

As has become the tradition live, "The wizard" runs straight into "July morning" (something which confuses the DVD editor, who appears unaware of the intro to the latter in terms of track marking) the huge Russian audience going wild as the opening organ recital of "July morning" rings out.

The film of the gig is interspersed with footage of the band doing their tourist bit around Russia, plus Bernie and Phil causing the Russian Army bouncers at the gig some concerns as they bond with the audience.

Presumably in view of the short running time of the feature set, the DVD is rounded out by a few bonus selections. The first of these is 20 minutes of film from the band's 20th Anniversary gig filmed by the UK's Central television in 1989. This includes two old songs ("Bird of prey", one of the songs omitted from the film of the Moscow gig, and "Lady in black") and two (then) new songs. It also has some brief footage of Mick and Bernie reflecting on that gig and discussing the status of the band. As far as I am aware, while the film of this gig has been shown on British television (on the excellent "Cue the music" series), it has not been previously released on DVD. The rest of the set list is very similar to that of the Moscow gigs, hence the inclusion here of only four of the songs.

Mick and Bernie also reflect on that historic visit to Moscow in a brief separate interview. The DVD is rounded out by a 10 minute trailer for "Acoustically driven", the CD and DVD of Uriah Heep extraordinary unplugged gig by the band in December 2002. Even this taster should be enough to persuade the viewer to pick up that DVD forthwith.

In all, an essential DVD for fans of the band, if not for the music which is widely available on other DVDs, then definitely for the historical significance of the event. That significance applies not only in terms of Uriah Heep themselves, but in terms of rock music's ability to break down global barriers.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#179235)
Posted Saturday, August 09, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars This was how the east was won

Uriah Heep is a band whose live concerts are amply captured on video. I myself have quite a few of the band's live concert videos on DVD, but until now I've never had the pleasure to see the present concert film capturing the band live in Moscow in the late 80's. Apparently, Uriah Heep became the first Rock band from the West to break through the Iron curtain and perform on the other side. As such, this video is of historic importance regardless of what you think about Uriah Heep's music. But for those of us who do like their music, it is exciting to consider that it (and Rock music in general) was one of the forces that helped to bring an end to Communism in Eastern Europe. It is undoubtedly true that music can empower people (which was probably why the authorities wanted to suppress it).

This film is however noteworthy not just for reasons of political history. It also marked the beginning of a new line-up of the band--a line-up that would go on to be the longest lasting and most stable line-up in the band's history. Moreover, the set list contains three songs that are not included on any of the band's studio albums. These are Pacific Highway, Corina, and Mr. Majestic. The latter is particularly interesting as it features lead vocals by Phil Lanzon (the band's new keyboard player at the time and who wrote the song). Lanzon is not a great singer, and it is by no means a great song, but it is rather interesting to hear it as it stands apart from the band's regular repertoire. Pacific Highway and Corina are, by contrast, rather typical Uriah Heep numbers of this era and would have fitted well on Raging Silence.

The band are energetic and very much in their element throughout. The new members of the band fit right in; Lanzon is on fire on the keyboards and Bernie Shaw is a fantastic vocalist and showman. The classic songs performed include Look At Yourself, Easy Livin', Gypsy, July Morning, and The Wizard, and the 80's are represented by Too Scared To Run. All of these are really good songs and this rendition of Gypsy is particularly interesting due to the symphonic keyboard interlude it contains. As far as I understand this film doesn't feature the complete set list that was performed at these concerts. The live album from the same concerts contains a few songs that are not present here (and vice versa). As such, neither release seems to be complete. But this doesn't detract from my enjoyment of this film.

This is definitely a very good addition to any Uriah Heep collection and essential for fans, but it is not their best live concert video (my two favourites are Magic Night and Acoustically Driven) and certainly not the only one you need to have. Still, it is worthy of four stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#1039707)
Posted Thursday, September 19, 2013 | Review Permalink

URIAH HEEP Moscow And Beyond (DVD) ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of URIAH HEEP Moscow And Beyond (DVD)


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.06 seconds