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Uriah Heep - Fallen Angel CD (album) cover

FALLEN ANGEL

Uriah Heep

Heavy Prog


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Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Poppy

The third and final Uriah Heep album with John Lawton on vocals, and the last for the time being with the long serving Lee Kerslake on drums.

While Ken Hensley still dominates the song writing, the rest of the band also make contributions. Lawton for example wrote 2 tracks, and co-wrote a third. Unfortunately, with Hensley having contributed so much to previous albums, his inspiration appears to be declining rapidly, and the rest of the band do not share his worthy credentials in that field. Understandable as this is, It does make for a somewhat disappointing album. Things would get worse on subsequent output before they got better and taken in context, this is far from being a bummer. The band themselves (Hensley and Box) in the sleeve notes for the 1997 remaster felt that the album was a bit "poppy", and this a fair description.

Ironically the best track is Lee Kerslake ballad "Come back to me" (co-written with Hensley), written as an anguished plea to his then recently estranged wife. Lawton's vocals are ideal for the song, which he sings with great passion.

The tracks are all short, the longest being the title track at just over 5 minutes. On "One more night", Lawton almost carries off an Elvis impersonation, but on most of the tracks, the performance is all too similar and lightweight. In retrospect, it's all to obvious that the band had taken their eye of the ball, and were drifting away from their roots, into a more commercial area which did not fit well with their strengths. It would be several years until they found their way again.

By the way, the sleeve was a vast improvement from "Innocent victim", with a rather attractive image of a female warrior who has just vanquished her next meal, in the gatefold cover.

Report this review (#31372)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Some nice 1970's rock songs and ballads on this album by the heepsters. I got it to my collection from a discount shelf, gave it several spins and then started to gather dust with it. It's not a bad album, but there's much more interesting stuff around, and I haven't been into this kind of music for some time. My favorite tracks are the opener "Woman of The Night", the ballad "Come Back to Me", and the acoustic pop-rocker "Love or Nothing". I recall I once heard that song several times in a party, where one of my friends was playing this song from a compilation endlessly. Well, it's a good song! Also the covers are funny, very archetypical fantasy illustration of its time. I haven't heard the bonus tracks, so can't say anything about 'em.
Report this review (#31375)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Fallen Angel" is much better than 77's "Innocent Victim" and almost as good as "Firefly" alsom from '77. "Fallen Angel" is the third and last Uriah Heep studio album to feature John Lawton on vocals. His vocals are very good and Hensley's song writing seems to have recovered from "Innocent Victim". There are still some pop/rock songs here and not very much for metal or progrock fans. It sounds a bit like late 70's Queen albums. I like Queen a lot and I quite like this too but make sure you get most of the Byron era albums before you get this.
Report this review (#39345)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Oh my, how the mighty have fallen! After the mediocre Innocent Victim we get what could be called Uriah Heep´s most straight forward commercial pop album. "Love or Nothing" is quite catchy and "I´m Alive" is probably the best song on the album. When one listens to this album I think one can´t fail to recognize just how much thay were trying for a hit single.

John Lawton is a great vocalist and did a wonderful job on Firefly (I think that was the last really great Heep album) It´s a pity such a great band lowered themselves to this level.

I can´t recommend this at all.

Report this review (#84023)
Posted Monday, July 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Their last two albums were not so bad, after all. So, what to expect from this one ?

Well, I don't know whether or not the Angel has fallen, but the Heep did it. And pretty low, I'm afraid.

This album is a combination of pop oriented songs : "Woman Of The Night" is quite catchy : great rhythm and good melody. The Heep does not reproduce its legendary opening numbers, but this one is not bad at all. "Falling In Love" and "Put Your Lovin' on Me" are somewhat weaker, although rocking alright. They are disco-pop-rock (?) oriented (a la Grease or ELO). Rather poor I must say (especially the backing vocals).

The rock ballad "Come Back to Me" is a bit anachronous in those punk / new wave days. Reminds me of a very attempt of "Love Hurts". I really do not like this kind of songs. You can easily press next to avoid this mellowish and poor "musical" moment.

The quality of the album goes on with its descent to the abyss with the next three tracks : some disco influence again with "What Do You Say". "Save It" and "Love or Nothing" being the lowest point of their career so far IMO. As in their previous effort, the backing vocals are real bad. It is really hard to bear such miserable bunch of songs.

"I'm Alive" has a gorgeous guitar intro and is quite hard-rocking. Great Box and Hensley but Bolder on bass playing is absolutely outstanding. One of the very few good songs of this album. On the contrary, the closing number is again very weak : another ballad of no interest at all.

On the remastered CD, one gets four bonus tracks. Three B-sides. There are some (very few though) examples of great B-sides in the rock history. But these are not. "Gimme Love" is a good blues/rock song. Again very Glenn Hughes influenced. It is my preferred song of the whole. Great rhythm and superb bass playing (as usual). The out-take "A Right To Live" is also a good number. Way better than most of the original album songs. It is unbelievable why it did not make the original album. Maybe too rock a song ?

The last one "Been Hurt" has John Sloman on the vocals (he will be their singer as from the next album). Great guitar work but real bad vocals.

The Heep produced his most pop-oriented album so far. It is totally uninspired, insipid. A complete mess. By far their poorest one. One can expect the worse for the things to come...

One little star.

Report this review (#115987)
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
1 stars MY RELATIONSHIP WITH URIAH HEEP ENDS!!

That was the last album of URIAH HEEP i bought when just released! not that i had many hopes after the dreadful INNOCENT VICTIM, but you know, we always have to keep faith! But as INNOCENT VICTIM was a worldwide success, it was easy to guess that we won't be getting ''SALISBURY 2''

So what are we getting with ''FALLEN ANGEL''; much of the same we found on its predecessor: pop light songs!!! Once again, the sound of the music is stripped down to the minimun; no heavy organ, no guitar riff to hurt your ears, a serviceful rythm section. And the harsh voice of LAWTON starts to get on my nerves after many listenings.

Sometimes the old URIAH HEEP can be heard (in a light version) on a track like ''Woman of the night'' which opens tha album relatively well; no, that's not GIPSY!!but that's listenable, not like the following songs which i soon it's over, you can't remember anything from them!

You even have a completely syrupy ballad from LEE KERSLAKE "'Come back to me'', perfect for 14 years old teeny-boppers looking for first love! How the mighty have fallen!! The rest of the album stays at this level: Backstreetboys pop songs; I have nothing against POP, as there is good pop, but you won't find it here! try to listen to SAVE IT! you won't try twice!there is no HARD ROCK to be heard on this album, there is not even much ROCK on it and we don't have any good melodies to compensate.

JOHN LAWTON will leave after the release of this album; The HEEP will record CONQUEST which will be the last album featuring their leader KEN HENSLEY. 30 years later, i have not been tempted to listen to it yet, so it will be my last URIAH HEEP review. I bought a few years ago SONIC ORIGAMI from 2000; I liked the first track, in the IRON MAIDEN style, but after that nothing else caught my attention.

URIAH HEEP was KEN HENSLEY hammond organ sound and songwriting, DAVID BYRON falsetto powerful voice, nice harmonies and some nice guitar from MICK BOX. But it can't be URIAH HEEP without BYRON and an inspired HENSLEY, not the one from FALLEN ANGEL.

Report this review (#131529)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Still good

Third studio album with Lawton on voice, there will be a live one in 1979 named Live in Europe also with Lawton, but never released untill 1986. So what we have here is a good pop-boogie-even hard rock album with a little prog leanings far from what they done in the early '70's. Lawton again did a great job here, but less perfect then on Innocent victim (the best with him on voice). The rest of the band also playes with no mistakes but some time to much emotinless like Come Back To Me, i think the weakest track from here. The best pieces are Woman Of The Night, a very good hard rock tune, Whad 'Ya Say - Ken Hensley shows again that is the main composer of the band and a very talented key player delivering, is true, a pop numer but very good one and I'm Alive a piece composed by Lawton who tries to show to the fans that Uriah Heep is still alive, because many said that UH died after Byron left the band - it'a not true. All in all a good album, at least for me, not essential but pleasent in many ways, 3 stars for Fallen angel.

Report this review (#161876)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Definitly weaker then Innocent Victim, but still good. Ken Hensley was losing interest quickly and it shows. Still, Gerry Bron - then their manager as well as producer - decided to pick up his songs instead of the others, which reputedly infuriated singer John Lawton (and it was the main reason for his leaving soon after the release of this LP). And who can blame him, for his songs, along with the one's by Box, Bolder and Kerslake were far more inspired and interesting then Hensley´s stuff here.

Personally I like this album very much. The band could still make tight arrangements and their vocal harmonies were great. Songs like I´m Alive and Woman Of The Night are great rockers. And none of the others is really crap, although quality varies a lot here. One could only wonder how far this band could have gone if they stayed together a little longer and worked out their differences. Anyway, I think Fallen Angel is a good album, but not essential, that's for sure. It´s a personal opinion only. I think it is far better than Firefly, for exemple. And beter than much of what came next bearing the band´s name in the following years. 3 stars for PA (half star more overall for personal reasons).

Report this review (#165202)
Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars It's almost over with the classic Uriah Heep's sound and that will last for thirty years (until Wake the Sleeper in 2008)! I think this album is really better than the previous one release - Innocent Victim. The cover art is one of the ugliest on Uriah Heep's album. The one I can say about the album is that the musicianship is very good, but the songwriting is insignificant! The musical intensity is low, but there are more progressive elements, rather than the previous release. I stand out a few very good songs here - Woman of the Night, Falling in Love, Come Back to Me, Whad 'Ya Say (in my opinion the best one) and Fallen Angel! 3 full stars for me!!!
Report this review (#190526)
Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Wow, another subpar album with John Lawton, who would have known? Well, it is much better than the previous album, Innocent Victims, this one is just full of pop prog records, much like what Asia and some other bands would be. They have lost influence on me, and this one is just a downpoint in the Uriah Heep career.

"Woman of the Night" is a good track, nice and interesting guitar harmonics in the beginnning, and faced paced drumming, organs, and bass playing. The bass is very loud, but it's very simple sounding. The lyrics are uninteresting because they just talk about women, like most rock bands do, but the vocals sounds astounding and are powerful. "Falling in Love" is in the same style as the last track, but it's much shorter and there isn't much to listen to really. It has a nice thick and layered sound with the vocals, and loud instrument playing, but nothing really catches on, especially the silly lyrics. "One more Night" is more of a classic rocker sounding, and is absolutly unlistenable. The intro is just so odd, and the vocals really don't seem to fit in with the rest of the music. "Put your lovin' on Me" is another wannabe radio classic type of sound, but it dosen't seem to have the epic and loud sound that you would hope for an anthem type of song. The steady beat is very nice, but the lyrics are very silly. The doubled guitar by Ken Hensley and Mick Box are very much so excellent, though. "Come Back to Me" is a ballad type, with some nice synthesizer keyboards in it, but it just dosen't fit well with the rest of the songs on the album, and is much too boring to sit through the whole four minutes. "Wad'Yay Say" is like a dance or disco type of song, with the heavy synthesizer and keyboards, but it's really easy to get into because of that, and you can actually really get into it. The organs are nice and warm, but the lyrics, again, are boring. "Save It" is a very heavy metal type of song, what Uriah Heep really was, but thats only the intro. The piano rolls in after that awesomely heavy riff, and it really ruins it because you just lose that dark mood. "Love or Nothing" is just really bad because the melodies really annoy me for some odd reason. The acoustic tracks from Uriah are really odd because I jsut can't get into them, and this one is no exception because of how boring it is. "I'm Alive" is alright, a decent track and it's kind of easy to get into because of the heavy and hard drumming. The guitar in the song is excellent, with both Hensley and Box playing. The lyrics are alright, for a change. "Fallen Angel" is a good track, and is the longest and proggiest, but it still dosen't save this subpar album. The acoustic guitar works well with the synthesizers and the organs, and plays well with the nice and intense vocal harmonies. The bass playing is very nice.

Though some shiners, this album is near terrible, but not as bad as the previous, Innocent Victims. This gets a 2 stars, and maybe a good 2.5 for the nice cover art.

Report this review (#257541)
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars Another poor Uriah Heep album. This one features John Lawton on vocals (never my favorite Heep singer). The key element on this release is pop/hard rock in the manner of many bands of the late 70's/early 80's time period. A little bit of any average heavy metal/hard rock band is found here. Screaming vocals, bluesy rock, cheesy lyrics, boring repetitive riffs.....And where is the heavy organ that Uriah Heep was known for? Missing in action. Nothing is on this disc to interest me. Each song runs into the next without any significant difference. Worst songs: "Save It"and "Come Back to Me". I guess the best part of the album is the woman on the cover. 1 star. I am working my way through the Heep album history and it's time to go back and do an earlier album, I think.
Report this review (#445275)
Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars When 1978 rolled around for Uriah Heep, it seemed the band was in a pretty good place, even though their music had taken a turn that would bring them further and further away from their progressive sound and closer to the radio-friendly sound. At this point, when 'Fallen Angel' was released, it was to be the 3rd album in a row without any changes in the line-up. Even though John Lawton didn't have the crazy range that original singer David Byron had, he was holding his own, and definitely would have his moments on 'Fallen Angel'. The bad news is that this album was the most commercial of any of them, and it is quite easily seen by the song titles as the songs were about love and relationships, no more fantasy-inspired lyrics.

What you do end up starts out as a pretty good rock record that is a little too heavy to be considered pop, but far from being a heavy metal or progressive record either. If you don't listen to the album for the sake of prog, you might even find enough substance to the variety in the track offerings to consider it enjoyable, especially after a few listens and the individual songs start to stand out a bit. That's just fine from a rock standpoint, but the bad thing is that it doesn't have much 'lasting' power to it. And as the album continues, it gets poppier and more annoying.

Way back in 1978 when I bought this album, I had high hopes for it since I had just recently gotten into 'The Magician's Birthday', and I was hoping for something like that. I was completely disappointed and hardly ever listened to the album after that. Now, when I listen to the album, I find that I still recognize many of the simple rockers here, and there is a bit of nostalgia there, which is fine. The music doesn't sound as dated as I though it would, but it is definitely very commercial. The opener 'Woman of the Night' is probably the best of the album, there is a tasty rocker called 'One More Night' and a schleppy ballad 'Come Back to Me' which at least does show off Lawton's soulful vocals to a great extent.

But, the album is even worse on the 2nd side, you have the very 80's keyboard riffage of 'Whad'ya Say' which has the danger of making one nauseous as images of spinning disco balls pop into your mind. 'Save It' has a powerful blues-riff that starts it off, but soon speeds up and becomes very annoying, sounding like a bad rip-off of Grand Funk Railroad complete with garbage sax. It only gets worse as it goes on with the 'la-la-la's' of 'Love or Nothing'. And the attempt at an acoustic sound on the title track closes it all off quite embarrassingly. The only half-decent track on the 2nd side, 'I'm Alive', sadly gets buried in the rest of the trash making up that side.

The album did poorly despite the label continually pushing the band to be more commercial, barely cracking the top Billboard 200. The continued pressure to put out albums like this would take its toll on the legendary status of the band which would continue for years, even when the band would show up on the next album with a new line up. Sadly, the band and the record company just couldn't take the hint and the band would continue to have many more misses than hits for several years after that even constant line-up changes could help.

Report this review (#2377022)
Posted Monday, May 4, 2020 | Review Permalink

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