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INSIDE URIAH HEEP - THE HENSLEY YEARS 1976-1980

Uriah Heep

Heavy Prog


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Uriah Heep Inside Uriah Heep - The Hensley Years 1976-1980 album cover
4.17 | 10 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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DVD/Video, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Uriah Heep - A critical review 1976-1980
Running time approximately 73 minutes

Lyrics

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Line-up / Musicians

- John Lawton / lead vocals
- Mick Box / guitars
- Trevor Bolder / bass guitar
- Lee Kerslake / drums, vocals
- Ken Hensley / keyboards, guitars, vocals
- John Sloman / lead & backing vocals, piano, percussion
- Chris Slade / Staccato drums, percussion

Releases information

2004 Classic Rock productions CRP1759

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
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URIAH HEEP Inside Uriah Heep - The Hensley Years 1976-1980 ratings distribution


4.17
(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(75%)
75%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

URIAH HEEP Inside Uriah Heep - The Hensley Years 1976-1980 reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Life after the classic years

This is the second of the two "Inside" series rockumentaries dedicated to Uriah Heep. It covers the period after original lead singer David Byron and legendary bassist Gary Thain had left (or rather been sacked from) the band, while the rest of the line up had their own demons to conquer. Between the two DVDs, Ken Hensley's entire time with the group is covered.

By 1976, the huge success the band enjoyed had fuelled ego overloads, drug indulgences and drink related issues. These factors had an increasingly obvious effect on the band's output, up until the "High and Mighty" album which concluded the previous DVD.

By and large, the same panel of pundits, experts, and current and former band members who appeared on the previous DVD offer their opinions here. Current Heep bassist Trevor Boulder, who replaced John Wetton in 1976, contributes significantly this time; his 30+ years with the band leaving him well placed to do so. Boulder's sense of humour helps to compensate for his at times openly critical views on Hensley and Bron.

This disc covers the three John Lawton albums ("Firefly", Innocent Victim" and "Fallen angel") plus "Conquest", where John Sloman is lead vocalist. The general feeling is that Lawton was and is a top singer, but that the music of Uriah Heep did not always suit his style. Sloman on the other hand is absolutely panned as being totally inappropriate as a Heep singer. Both producer Gerry Bron and writer/keyboard player/second vocalist/second guitarist Ken Hensley pull no punches in their assessment of the four albums, Bron being particularly scathing at times. Hensley offers an interesting insight into the circumstances which led to his own departure from the band, always trying to remain pragmatic and factual, but making no attempt to gloss over the things which still irk him even today.

The video footage of the band's performances from the period are worth seeing, albeit in the format of short snippets. There's also clips from the first "Magician's Birthday party", which saw Hensley and Lawton appearing on stage with the band in an emotional reunion.

It is though the contributions from the current and former band members, and the host of people with a genuine love for the band who have been actively involved with them in various ways over the decades, which makes this such a superb rockumentary. There is no question of anyone simply fawning over the four albums being scrutinised here The opinions, the background information, and the in depth analysis of the music all goes to make for a top rate presentation.

Make no mistake, this is not a DVD to be acquired for the music, that is available in far more useful formats elsewhere. Nor is it essential for the video content (although the band appearing on Top of the Pops singing "Wise man", including Lawton wearing face paint is worth seeing, and Sloman singing "Suicidal man" is hilarious). This is simply a damn good watch for the often maligned "independent critical review" of the work of Uriah Heep from 1976 to 1980 it contains.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#181110) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 30, 2008

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