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Uriah Heep

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Uriah Heep Conquest album cover
2.60 | 193 ratings | 12 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. No Return (6:02)
2. Imgination (5:49)
3. Feelings (5:26)
4. Fools (5:03)
5. Carry On (3:57)
6. Won't Have To Wait Too Long (4:54)
7. Out On The Street (5:57)
8. It Ain't Easy (5:45)

Total Time: 44:37

Bonus tracks on 1997 Essential remaster:
9. Been Hurt (single b-side) (3:56)
10. Love Stealer (single a-side) (3:28)
11. Think It Over (single a-side) (3:33)
12. My Joanna Needs Tuning (single b-side) (3:02)
13. Lying (out-take) (4:23) *

Bonus tracks on 2004 Sanctuary remaster:
9. Been Hurt (single b-side) (3:56)
10. Love Stealer (single a-side) (3:28)
11. Think It Over (single a-side) (3:33)
12. Feelings (Live) (2:44) *
13. Lying (out-take) (4:23) *

* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- John Sloman / lead & backing vocals, piano, percussion
- Mick Box / guitars
- Ken Hensley / Oberheim OB-X synthesizer, organ, piano, guitars, vocoder, backing vocals
- Trevor Bolder / bass, backing vocals
- Chris Slade / staccato drums, percussion

- Gerry Bron / timpani (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Martin Poole (photo)

LP Bronze ‎- BRONX 524 (1980, UK)

CD Castle Classics ‎- CLACD 208 (1990, UK)
CD Essential ‎- ESMCD 570 (1997, UK) Remastered by Mike Brown & Robert Corich w/ 5 bonus tracks
CD Sanctuary Midline ‎- SMRCD112 (2004, Europe) Remaster w/ 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy URIAH HEEP Conquest Music

URIAH HEEP Conquest ratings distribution

(193 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(10%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (38%)
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)

URIAH HEEP Conquest reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Things can only get better

Generally accepted as the low point of the band's studio career, "Conquest" has little to recommend it even to the most ardent fan. This was to be Ken Hensley's last album with the band, and it is a real travesty that his parting album should be so poor.

To be fair, the main problem with the album is the vocals of John Lawton's replacement John Sloman. The ex Lone Star singer has a good voice which fitted in well with the music of that band. Unfortunately, his style did not suit the music of Uriah Heep at all. Hensley soon recognised this, leading to a major personality clash between the two. Hensley thus departed after the album had been released, leaving Mick Box as the only original member.

Lee Kerslake's replacement Chris Slade (Manfred Mann's Earth Band) makes a much better go of the drums, but it's doubtful whether he saw his membership of the band as anything other than a temporary appointment.

The songwriting credits are slightly more distributed than on previous albums, although Hensley still manages sole or partial credit on six of the eight tracks. Songs like "Imagination" and Trevor Boulder's "Fools" would have sounded good if performed by Lawton, but Sloman seems to constantly struggle to identify with them, in fact he seems at times to be completely out of his depth. There are occasional moments of inspiration, such as the synthesiser and guitar interplay on "Out on the street", and the synth driven ballad "It ain't easy" (which also suits Sloman's vocals better), but generally the album lacks inspiration and focus. It seems clear that had the album been made by a previous line up of the band, the songs could have been developed into much stronger pieces (the potential IS there), and the performance too would have been much tighter.

In his 1997 sleeve notes, Mick Box recognises the failings of the album, while maintaining that he himself enjoys it. He does however propose that those who do not rate it "use it to play frisbee with your dog in the park"!

After Hensley's departure, Sloman's former band mate in Pulsar, Greg Dechart was brought in on keyboards on a temporary basis. Two of the tracks he recorded with Uriah Heep appear as bonus tracks on the CD remaster of "Conquest", but they sound nothing like Uriah Heep. The band then effectively split up altogether, founding vocalist David Byron having declined an offer to rejoin Box and Boulder. Fortunately, Box was to pull things together again, but the road back would be long and difficult.

Review by Cristi
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover / Prog Metal Teams
3 stars I do understand everybody's disappointment with this album; nevertheless I think this is not such a bad album after all. The main problem is that it often doesn't sound like Heep, and second problem is the newcomer John Sloman. Not that he is a bad vocalist (not at all), but I'm starting to agree with those who say his vocals didn't suit the music. And compared with the first two Heep vocalists, Byron and Lawton, Sloman's lucky star is starting to fade away.

By late 70s, Uriah Heep was starting to be a sinking ship; after losing Gary Thain and a bit later David Byron, the band abandoned their progressive roots and became a mainstream hard rock act, alienating the Byron era fans. After John Lawton left, things got even worse. Newcomer John Sloman was a bad choice from the start; he doesn't even sound like any of his two predecessors, affecting the live performances of the band.

The music is quite good; Fools, It Ain't Easy, Out on the Streets, No Return and Carry On are the highlights here (IMHO), the rest is often ruined by the vocals.

Three stars rating for this album, good but hardly essential for the Uriah Heep collection. Fans of AOR and hard rock might still enjoy this album.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Their last studio work was really poor and I wondered what I would discover with this one. During the opening number, Sloman sings several times "And now I've reached the point of no return". Is this premonitory ? Actually this number is rather good, with a great Box on the guitar. Not in the foreground, but solidly displaying his talent in the background.

"Imagnation" is a bizarre track. Quiet at times with good bass playing (but this is at least a consistency within the band), it gets more nervous here and there. Not a bad song. Rather different that what we are used to. Not hard, not AOR. Just bizarre. With "Feelings" we make a trip in time. The poor chorus sounds as"Stealin' " but the verses are much better. Same poppish kind of songs than what they released with "Fallen Angel" but a bit better. Intro and finale sounds like if it has been played life (fake audience I guess).

I quite like the intro of "Fools". Keyboard work is very subtle. It is actually a good rock ballad. This record is not as bad as I expected. No boring stuff as on their previous releases. This song features as well a brilliant guitar solo. Mick still has the faith of his twenties... Sloman even tries to sound as Gillan in "Child In Time" at the end of the song. The best number so far. It has been a while since the Heep wrote such a nice song.

"Won't Have To Wait Too Long" is another good rock song : good backing band with again an outstanding Bolder on the bass. I have the same feeling again with Sloman at the end of "Out On The Street " : he's trying to simulate the screams of Gillan (in a much, much smoother way). Again this song is quite pleasant.

The very quiet and peaceful "It Ain't Easy" closes the original album quite nicely I must say.

This album is definitely different from all the other Heep ones. No brilliant songs but no rubbish either. A good rock album. Compared to "Fallen Angel" it is a nice surprise. IMO the descent to the infierno has been put (temporarily ?) to an end. I don't have the impression that this album is AOR or even hard-rock (only some of the bonus tracks have these flavours). It is only rock music. And good one to my standard. I guess some of you will be surprised that I rate this album with three stars, but that's the way I feel, so ...

There are five bonus tracks on the remastered version. Two singles (both sides) and an outake from these sessions. Most of them will not add value to the original album. Still I like "My Joanna Needs Tuning" : very much in line withthe rest of the album. Actually, since the album was not very long, it could have fit pretty well there. So, it is only justice to get it now. "Lying" is also a good song : a bit Supertramp oriented. Quite nice I must say. Good rythm and very pleasant melody.

It has been ages that the Heep did not produce an effort that pleases me so much. Let's hope they will keep on like this. Unfortunately, this vocalist will only be featured on this album.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Not a bad album, but neither a good one. Ken Hensley´s last UH work is very different from anything they´ve done before. The main problem here is that the songs are not very inspired and the line up simply is not working properly. John Sloman tries hard to do his job, but it seems that his choice for vocalist was wrong. Not that he is a bad singer (he is good), but quite simply he does not fit in. And that´s the impression this CD gives you in the end: they are just trying too hard. Something´s clearly missing.

There are some pleasant tunes, although the sound is less rock and more jazzy. The opener No Return, sets the scene: different arrangements, different tune, some tupical UH backing vocals for good mesure, but little excitment. And the second track, Imagination, does not even bear any of Hensley´s trademark writings. Feelings is much more like a track taken from Fallen Angel (not one of their best albums, though). And so it goes: average to good songs, but no highlights. The final irony is the last track, It Ain´t Easy, a good ballad, written and sung by....bassist Trevor Bolder.

This is surely a CD for the ones who have all Uriah Heep´s major albums and even then, one should listen to it before buying it. Collectors/fans only.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars This is not as bad as everybody blame it, seriously. Musicaly speaking is much better than Falling Angel. The man who replace Lawton was an unknown musician to me till he appear here on this album - John Sloman on voice. I will be brief here, the voice is the worst from here, but sometimes has some really good moments like on Out On The Street. Strange but the bonus tracks are much better than the pieces from the album, Think It Over is a great Uriah Heep tune. Anyway The bass of Trevor Bolder is omnipresent and did a great job here, on the drums is ex Manfrd Mann's Earth Band man Chris Slade,and finally but not least Hensley save again an album that from the begging was lost cause . So a good album in my opinion , not among the best Heep albums but quite pleasent to listen from time to time, but no doubt i prefer to listen the albums before this one and the albums after this one. 3 stars
Review by poslednijat_colobar
4 stars Oh... Great John Sloman!!! So controversial album and so different opinions about it. This is the last album with the songwriting leader - Ken Hensley. And he made great album for the last time with Uriah Heep. This is the last album by the old Uriah Heep, but I think it is not true. With the beginning of the 80s, Uriah Heep has changed dramatically. I neither think this album as the last one by old Uriah Heep, nor the first one by the new Uriah Heep. I think this album is an island in Uriah Heep's history. Yes, the first one that sounds in the spirit of modern 80s! The vocals was the sole thing that embarrassed me at the beginning of my experience with Conquest. I have realized this is great vocals work by John Sloman. The guitar works by Mick Box are wonderful again. Ken Hensley and Trevor Bolder, too! I just don't like very much the drumming style of Chris Slade. It's a blunt one. As whole this album is the third best without David Byron (after Wake the Sleeper and Firefly, but probably it's better than Firefly)! Conquest contains one of the biggest Uriah Heep's hits - Feelings, which in my opinion is one of the weakest songs on the album, because No Return, Imagination, Fools, Out on the Street and It Ain't Easy are surely better! I have said earlier, that this is an island in the history of Uriah Heep, because of the experimentations on the album and probably because of the vocals. I would like to discuss more about the vocal of John Sloman. It's a high voice, something like woman voice. Firstly I had heard it I thought it is woman. This singer use distortion to his voice and it gets very soul influenced voice. Wonderful - 4.25 stars!!!
Review by GruvanDahlman
2 stars It has to be said, Uriah Heep is one of the most inconsistent bands around. I have always embraced them, loved them and found them to be both interesting and dull. When Uriah Heep reaches their highs there are few bands to rival their greatness. But when they hit rock bottom (as they more than occasionally do) they do hit it hard. Throughout their career, at least up to Raging Silence in 1989 where I sort of left them by the roadside, their albums was an equal mix of highs and pretty darn lows. Still, they made a few albums really solid (like Demons and Wizards) and quite a few 50/50 records (like Sweet freedom or Innocent victim). But no matter how low some of the material turned out, the remaining tracks were and still are fantastically progressive rock, able to outweigh these dips in quality. For every boogie and boring hard rock-ish song there was these amazing pillars of prog. That was true, anyway, up to a point. When the band entered the 1980's they headed for the more mainstream arenas, moving away (sadly) from prog. The albums remained sort of interesting anyway but Conquest proved to be the least interesting of them all. Apart from the opener "No return" the album was a bland collection of songs really saying nothing. I find myself baffled by the lack of any memorable songs. I like the opener a lot, thinking it showed some promise, but the remainder of songs really does not affect me in any way. I can't say they're bad, since I can't seem to remember any of them. I can't even judge them when hearing them. They are that bland. It's like getting a bowl of air after a decent starter. Conquest. It is sort of an irony in the title. All they conquered was a hilltop of nothingness in a landscape called Bland. Too bad.
Review by Guillermo
2 stars It is hard to think that this album is by a band called URIAH HEEP, being in 1980 very different in musical style to anything that they have recorded since 1970. Despite still having two original members in 1980 (Mick Box and Ken Hensley) and still with main songwriter Ken Hensley in the band, by 1980 the band sounded mainly as "another band", not as URIAH HEEP. The album as a whole is not so bad. But I can hear some influences in their "new" sound (a bit from the late seventies KANSAS, a bit from STYX, a bit maybe from the DOOBIE BROTHERS....). Lead singer John Sloman has a good voice...but maybe his singing style and voice were a bit out of place in URIAH HEEP. His vocals are more "light" and "thin" in comparison to David Byron`s and John Lawton`s vocals, and maybe are more related to the Pop Rock musical style. Then new drummer Chris Slade is a good drummer, but his drums playing is more Pop Rock oriented in style in comparison to Lee Kerslake`s, whose drums playing style was heavier. Ken Hensley was maybe trying to update the sound of his keyboards for the new decade, bringing new sounds, including a vocoder and new synthesisers. Mick Box`s guitar playing is very good and is maybe the most related sound to the "old " URIAH HEEP. The now late Trevor Bolder also shines in this album playing some very good bass guitar parts. The backing vocals sound a bit like "inspired" by the DOOBIE BROTHERS. The best songs in this album are "Feelings", "Fools", and particularly "Out on the Street"" and "It Ain`t Easy" are the best of all. But in general the musical style of this album is more Pop Rock oriented than Hard Rock or Heavy Metal, with even some Funky influenced arrangements in "Won't Have To Wait Too Long ". It is clear for me that by 1979-80 the band was trying to find a new musical style for the new decade of the eighties. Unfortunately, that search led them to distance themselves very much from their original musical style from the early seventies. For collectors and fans only.

Ken Hensley left the band in September 1980, and the band had a new keyboard player with the addition of Greg Dechert. With him, they recorded a final single ("Think It Over" / "My Joanna Needs Tuning"). They toured a bit before the band split in March 1981.By late 1981, Mick Box (the only remaining original member of the band) have formed a new line-up of the band with the return of Lee Kerslake on drums and other three new musicians. With some changes in the line-up, Box still leads URIAH HEEP in the present.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Yet another travesty is released uopn the world with the name of Uriah Heep printed on it. I find it hard to believe this was actually remastered. Why? Only a TRUE Heep fan could care about this record. This bears as little resemblence to DEMONS AND WIZARDS as TALK does to CLOSE TO THE EDGE. V ... (read more)

Report this review (#442864) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Conquest wins the worst for the Uriah Heep discovery. There is nothing about it that is progressive in anyway, and we get the worst replacement for John Lawton, John Sloman, and even worse when compared to the likes of David Byron or Bernie Shaw. There are some moments of brightness and clar ... (read more)

Report this review (#257542) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a thing of honor. This album of Uriah Heep is so great. This album is better than "Abominog". It is true that is not a true Uriah Heep, but this album is in a modern production 80's years. I like this album form first to last track with bonuses tracks. Ken Hensley is great musician, Tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#101057) | Posted by | Thursday, November 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is not as bad as everybody uses to blame it! To my taste Conquest shows a very different blend that could be the structure of U. Heep for years but it wasn´t.. Just because, Ken hensley frontally collided with the vocal talent of John Sloman (singer that remindes me Glenn Hughes sometimes ... (read more)

Report this review (#31378) | Posted by fredfontes | Friday, October 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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