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Uriah Heep - Spellbinder Live CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep

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4 stars This is the first live album i've heard by uriah heep, i really like this album, Check out the organ solo on gyspy the best version i've heard. It features Most of the classics from the byron era and some from the sea of light Album. Unfortunately the abominog and firefly era songs are absent, Nevermind it still has some great songs, this album shows the band have Now lost their touch and shows they are capable of going on strong. And As a bonus this album also features the omitted 'sea of light' studio Track "sail the rivers", nice cover to.
Report this review (#31434)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have just begun rediscovering Uriah Heep. I liked them maybe 8 years ago when I bought this album. Since then I havn't listened to it much until now.

Urah Heep of 1994 was a more heavy metal like group than on the seventies. Shaws voice reminds me of the Power Metal singers of the late 80s.

The album starts of good with the rocking Devil's Daughter and continues on with the just as good Stealin'. Bad Bad Man is yet another rock song but I don't like it as much as the two previous.

Rainbow demon is the best Uriah Heep song I've heard so far. This live version isn't as good as the original though.

Words In a Distance pass me by unnoticed but after it comes The Wizard and Circle of Hands. Two similar songs, both very good. Circle of Hands espesially is better here than on the original Demons and Wizards album.

Gypsy is good and so is Look at Yourself. No more or less. Lady in Black is at least the second best song of Uriah Heep, if not better than Rainbow demon. This version is regrettfully worse than the original. Easy Livin' was the main reason a 12-13 year oldboy bought this eight years ago. Nowadays it's not my favourite but still a very good rock song.

Sail the Rivers is a studio recorded bonus track. It's from the Sea of Light sessions but was not included in that album. Regretfully since this song has the same feeling as the wonderful Reoger Dean cover of Sea of Light.

After 8 years this album is even better now than the times i listened to it as a boy.

Report this review (#48304)
Posted Sunday, September 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Recorded live on summer of 1994 in Cologne, Germany, where always have been a lot of spellbound followers of Uriah Heep, this CD represents a little bit harder sounding versions of famous 70's hits. Particularly singer, Bernie Shaw, contributes to that feel, trying hard to sings and screams in heavy metal manner. Among two new Phil Lanzon's song performed here, I found "Words in a Distance" better (it would appear on 1995 "Sea of Light"), sounding much more like old Heep standards, while "Bad Bad Man" from 1989 "Raging Silence" is just classic hard rock song. The most memorable part (to me) is uninterrupted "The Wizard" and "Circle of Hands" medley. "Gypsy" and "Look at Yourself" incorporates some improvisations, while anthemic "Lady in Black" and rollin' and tumblin' "Easy Livin'" closes the show. Wait, where's "July Morning"?!

There is a bonus at the end, Trevor Bolder's "Sail the Rivers" standard rock song, from "Sea of Light" sessions, which didn't make it to be on album.

Since this is the only official live release from 90's, especially for including rare live performances of "Devil's Daughter" and "Rainbow Demon", it is certainly of interest to every single Uriah Heep fan.

Report this review (#80259)
Posted Saturday, June 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Did we really sound that good?

Recorded live in Cologne, Germany in 1994 during the tour to promote the "Sea of light" album, "Spellbinder" finds the now longest running Uriah Heep line up with a renewed confidence and sense of purpose. They appear comfortable with the band's proud history, even if the majority of this line up were not actually in the band during the time when their best know music was made.

With a deal for a new studio album not yet concluded, this release was in reality a stopgap. Given the many other live albums already available, "Spellbinder" is somewhat superfluous, regardless of the quality of the music. The story goes that the gig, which was intended for a radio broadcast, was a disaster since much of the equipment malfunctioned including the stage monitors. Mick Box had however secured ownership of the tape of the gig, and when the band played it back a few weeks later, they were astonished to find that it "sounded great". The recording has therefore not been dubbed in any way.

The set consists of a good cross section of new and old. Some of the older tracks, such as "Devil's daughter" and "Rainbow demon" had not been performed live for many years. Other old favourites, such as "Circle of hands", "The wizard", and "Look at yourself" are included, all still sounding remarkably fresh. The fact that Bernie Shaw's vocal style bears a passing resemblance to David Byron's means that there is a warmly familiar feel to the performances of the Heep classics. Only a couple of tracks originally recorded by the current line up appear. While these are adequate they are greeted with polite rather than ecstatic appreciation.

The album is rounded off by a studio track "Sail the rivers", which was recorded during the sessions for the "Sea of light" album, but not included on it. This Trevor Boulder composition is rather prosaic, being neither an upbeat rocker or a ballad, but the lukewarm water in between.

A decent, well rounded live album, but far from essential.

Nice Wizard image artwork on the sleeve.

Report this review (#87578)
Posted Friday, August 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Another Heep live album. It is true that they were a good damned live band. This line- up was responsible for a very good one in 1998, namely "Live In Moscow". What was remarkable is that some very old numbers were performed superbly which is of course always pleasant for old nostalgic freaks as I am ...

I must say that it is again the case here. Although we can again not escape from "Stealin" which I still do not like (and I will never do, I'm afraid) some very old numbers make their reappearence in the set list.

Not all of them were great ones. "Devil's Daughter", "Rainbow Demon" and "Lady In Black" could have been easily replaced by "Sunrise", "Sweet Lorraine", "Sweet Freedom", "Tears In My Eyes", "Love Machine" or even ""Something Or Nothing". But some more of their anthems will be released in later live efforts and actually I have recreated my "best of live" of this line-up regrouping my fave ones of the band.

"Gypsy" was already featured as a bonus track on their previous "Live In Moscow". The guitar solo is a bit too much Blackmore oriented ("Made In Japan" era). Box trying to simulate the famous call and response of "Strange Kind Of Woman". On "Made In Japan" the response was done by Gillan. Here, Mick tries to do it with the audience. The result is somewhat mixed to say the least.

Still some great live moments again with "Circle Of Hands"(what a great track), "Look At Yourself" and "Easy Livin" of course. Like for "Live In Moscow" we'll get a new song which, to my knowledge, will never be featured on a studio album : "Words In A Distance". Not bad but nothing memorable either. A hard-rock song like this line-up has produced a lot.

Only one song of the studio work from this line-up ("Bad Bad Man") shows sufficiently that they did not have full confidence with their repertoire.

To complete this short concert and to lenghten it a bit, a song from the "Sea Of Light" sessions has been added. I must say that it should have deserved to have been included on the album. It sounds much better than some album tracks ("Words in the Distance" and "Fires of Hell"). At least, with its inclusion here, this track has not been forgotten.

I have rated almost all Heep live album with three stars and above but this one is a bit sub-par to justify this. Only two stars, I'm afraid.

Report this review (#119028)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007 | Review Permalink

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