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Uriah Heep Classic Heep - Live from the Byron era album cover
4.23 | 35 ratings | 4 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc One:
1) Sunrise 1973
2) Tears in My Eyes 1973
3) Traveller in Time 1973
4) Love Machine 1974
5) So Tired 1974
6) The Easy Road 1974
7) Rock 'n' Roll Medley 1974
8) Return to Fantasy 1975
9) Easy Livin' 1975
10) Stealin' 1975
11) Prima Donna 1975
12) Shady Lady 1975
13) July Morning Montage 1973-1976
Bonus Tracks:
14) Easy Livin' 1974
15) Stealin' 1974

Disc Two:
1) High and Mighty Montage 1976
2) Midnight 1976
3) Sweet Lorrainne 1976
4) Mick's Guitar Workout 1976
5) Look at Yourself extract 1973
6) Rock 'n' Roll Medley 1973
7) Something or Nothing 1974
8) July Morning 1972
9) US Interview 1972
10) Easy Livin' 1972
11) ABC Australia Interview1974
12) I Won't Mind 1974
13) The Wizard 1972
14) Rough Diamond-Rock 'n' Roll 1977
15) Rough Diamond-Looking for You 1977
16) Rough Diamond-Seasong 1977
17) Rough Diamond-Scared 1977
18) Rough Diamond-Lock 'n' Key 1977

Line-up / Musicians

Mick Box - Guitars and vocals
David Byron - Lead vocals
Ken Hensley - Keyboards, guitar and vocals
Lee Kerslake - Drums
Gary Thain - Bass and vocals (on tracks 1 - 9, 14, 15)
John Wetton - Bass and vocals (on tracks 8 - 12)

Releases information

Classic Rock Legends Ltd./CRL 1539 PAL en CRL 1540 NTSC

Released as single DVD version for general release, and special 2 DVD Limited Edition with book set through Classic Rock Legends website only.

Exist also a 1 DVD set (tracks 1- 12) by DV MORE RECORD DVD 1039 (2007) with the title 'Classic Live'

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to MANDRAKEROOT for the last updates
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Buy URIAH HEEP Classic Heep - Live from the Byron era Music

URIAH HEEP Classic Heep - Live from the Byron era ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

URIAH HEEP Classic Heep - Live from the Byron era reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars Since the invention of the DVD I was eagerly waiting for live footage from the early Uriah Heep line-up. Last year this 2-DVD/book set was released as "Classic Heep - Live from the Byron era", what a treat! Mainly due to the efforts from fellow Dutchman Louis Rentrop (named by the band as the #1 UH fan on this globe!) here is an excellent 2-DVD (including a wonderful book) featuring live footage from Uriah Heep, recorded between 1972 and 1976 (and some footage from David Byron solo, five songs from "Rough diamond - 1977) Their frontman was David Byron, an archetypical rock and roll singer: dynamic, dramatic, ego-centric, theatrical and extravert on stage and capricious, narcistic, emotional instabile and self-destructive (like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones) in his own life, no wonder he died as an alcohol-addict in 1985. On this DVD you can perfectly witness his ego-centric and theatrical, a bit queery 'stage antics', like a 'Freddy Mercury-avant-la-lettre'!

DVD1 features concerts from Japan, the UK and the USA in the era 1973-76. Eventually we can enjoy Ken Hensley on his Hammond organ and with slide guitar play (like on "Tears in my eyes"), Mick Box with his fiery and enthousiastic guitarwork and from the propulsive and solid rhythm-section Gary Thain/Lee Kerslake. But the focus is on David Byron, he gives most of the songs an extra dimension like "Sunrise", "Love machine", "The easy road" and "Shady lady" and especially in the R&R-medley, EXCELLENT! My highlight on DVD1 is the version of "July morning" (a compilation of live material 1973-76 like the Dutch rock festival Pinkpop 1976, my father didn't allow me to go because of the 'drugs abuse' he explained later!).

DVD2 (named "Collectors Rarities") features songs from Pinkpop 1976 with an extended guitar solo from Mick Box. Other strong tracks are "Look at yourself", "The wizard" (acoustic guitars) and "July morning" (studio 1972, USA) delivering a great shot from above on his Hammond B3 organ and Minimoog synthesizer! And we can watch John Wetton (he had just left Roxy Music) during the USA tour and on Pinkpop 1976. The final part belongs to David Byron solo featuring five songs from his solo album "Rough Diamond", nice for the UH die-hards! The included book offers lots of interesting information and fine pictures.


Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The Holy Grail For Every Uriah Heep Fan

For some people this description at the back of the case may sound pompous and even contradictory, specially when we're talking about a DVD with poor image and not so good sound, but I really believe it's the jewel of my collection.

I have a lot of Uriah Heep DVD's with much better sound and impressive video quality, but two names make the difference David Byron and Gary Thain, Bernie Shaw is a very good vocalist and Trevor Bolden a solid bass player respectively, but I don't consider them part of the real history of the band,

David Byron was Mister Uriah Heep, his incredible voice that could reach the highest possible ranges and change lowest tones in fraction of seconds with absolutely no effort represent the peak of this pioneers of Prog metal.

And what can I say about Gary Thain except that IMO was the best bass player ever born, without this two guys, Uriah Heep was no more the great band that recorded Demons and Wizards, and if you add some appearances of a very young John Wetton, well this DVD is an historical document that rarely can be seen.

But that's not all, as we know in almost no video or DVD we can watch Ken Hensley making his old Hammond and Mini Moog cry as nobody ever did before of after, surely not the most technical keyboardist but without doubts one of the most emotional performers, who left everything each time he climbed that stage and of course all of them playing together with the strong Lee Kerslake (Another musician without a great technique, more like a force of nature than a fancy percussionist) and the eternal Mick Box, for God's sake, what a team.

Disk 1 is mostly a compilation from 1973 to 1975 specially important the 1973 Budokan tour from which the iconic Live 1973 (Black album) was recorded, and seems to me that the audio of this album has been digitally mixed with the footing, because the sound is much better than the image.

Songs as Tears in My Eyes (One of the greatest extravaganzas of the band where the Wah Wah guitar of Mick Box blends with the great chorus), the frantic Easy Livin' and of course the epic July Morning pass before our eyes as a dream come true for those of us who never had the chance to see this fabulous line up on stage due to our age.

Disk two includes a career compilation starting in 1972 including interviews and extra material until the Rough Diamond 1977. This second DVD is not as great as the previous, but still a good historical document..

I won't even waste the readers time describing each song, there are very well known and if you haven't heard any of them, some great reviews can be sound in the studio releases that are much more technical, because this live shows are more energy than refined sound, you don't buy this DVD to see virtuoso musicians playing in a controlled environment, but a real live album full of strength and energy with 5 musicians giving 110%of them to a 15,000 heads monster that constantly feed them with their cheers, even the usually calmed Japanese public who never loose their millenarian coldness, went crazy each time David came close to the audience..

If you want perfect quality in image and sound, forget about this DVD, but if you want pure adrenalin and the chance to see the classic Uriah Heep together with Gary Thain and David Byron alive again, get it immediately

Despite all the technical problems, 5 solid stars, because before this DVD the performances of URIAH HEEP at the peak of their career were almost a legend for most of us, like music and pictures without movement. But after this DVD, David and Gary can really rest in peace, because the new generations can see some of their unique live acts.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Tears in my eyes

The marketing of this DVD made the audacious claim that it was the "Holy grail" for fans of Uriah Heep, and I have to admit that the claim is entirely valid.

For the first time on DVD, here we have extended footage of Uriah Heep performing live in the 1970's. The film is primarily taken from three gigs in Japan, the UK, and the United States. The first two feature the classic line up of Box, Byron, Hensley, Kerslake and Thain. The US gig has John Wetton replacing the late Gary Thain on bass.

The creators of this DVD were faced with something of a dilemma when putting it together. The footage they unearthed is nothing short of essential for every fan of the band but the sound quality of some of the recordings, especially those from Japan, was effectively unusable. It appears the sound recordings made in Japan used a single microphone located to the side of the stage. This may have just about passed for the low quality TV requirements of the time, but would have been totally inadequate for a presentation such as this. The decision was therefore made to use superior recordings taken from the same tour. If the recording used to overdub the Japanese performances are not those of the "Live 1973" album, they are very similar.

The synchronisation has clearly been done with an excellent level of attention to detail, such that the main indications that the sound is indeed dubbed come from things such as Byron's microphone technique which varied in proportion to the amount of Mateus Rosť he had consumed.

The UK gig is the one recorded at Shepperton studios for an aborted TV special. This has been available in audio format for many years, and extracts from the film appeared on the "Easy Livin', A history of Uriah Heep" VHS video release.

The tracks which appear naturally reflect the set lists of the band at the time, which in turn tend to cover their best known songs. There are notable omissions such as "Gypsy" and "Circle of hands", presumably due to the lack of availability of film of these (it appears the film ran out midway through some of the songs!). The recordings are all live performances, plus brief backstage interviews and chat, there are no videos as such.

The two DVD version was only available via mail order. It features a well produced mini book in a hardback cover, which details both the history of the band warts and all, and some of the background to the creation of this collection. The second DVD contains archive film deemed to be of inadequate quality to release "commercially". Here, the original sound has sometimes been allowed to remain. Also included are a couple of band interviews, and their legendary appearance on Top of the Pops when "The Wizard" almost broke into the top 40 singles chart. The disc is rounded off by 5 tracks by David Byron's post Uriah Heep band Rough Diamond. The Rough Diamond album was a mixed bag in terms of quality, but it is wonderful to see Byron working in that environment, and clearly enjoying himself.

The tragic loss of David Byron and Gary Thain means that the classic line up of the band can never reform. Lifelong fans of the band therefore assumed that we would have to rely on our personal recollections of their performances (plus of course the wonderful recreations of the current line up). This gives this DVD a far greater poignancy than archive footage of other bands who have managed to survive intact. For those of us who grew up with the band and who were devastated by the death of two of our heroes, this is a truly magnificent consolation.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars During my last trip to London (March 2007), my brother was intrigued by the fact that I was buying several remastered versions of some Heep albums. Although we were close to each other musically (me listening to an enormous amount of music and he being over six years younger than I was) he never entered into the Heep's catalogue before.

This is now done more than thirty years after my discovery of this great band. So, the Heep has a new fan ...

I guess that any Heep fan of the first era (but are there any others ?), can only be pleased with these images from the most famous line-up in their history.

It's the opportunity to see Byron (who I have never seen live) on stage. Of course, he is the central point of the band, but that's normal. Lots of his attitudes will definitely influence Mercury, for sure.

The DVD opens on the cover of their great "Live '73". The first three songs are taken from Budokan concerts (but different ones, just look at Box's wearing : he definitely wears a different pant in "Tears In My Eyes").

The overdubbing sound / images is not bad at all, even if sometimes this can be noticed. I have to say that the close-up on the audience which is either a small group of boys OR girls ( were they separate in the audience ?) is not really convincing : they are clapping completely out of sync and these images are not really adding anything.

The short interview of Byron at that time of the DVD is rather useless. He also seems to be very pretentious. But, he probably WAS.

Some slow motions, still pictures in the Shepperton songs (too many), and a great Kerslake on drums during "Love Machine" (the guy standing on his drum kit while playing - you almost never see these things nowadays. Don't get me wrong : I don't say that you play necessarily better in this position, but that was the excesses of those early hard rock times).

Both visual and sound quality are not really great. Lots of "montages" will make this DVD somewhat amateuristic. It reminds me a similar approach with "The Lamb Lies Down" (yes, when they were five) available on the Internet. Same technique, same average audio quality.

It's getting better with "Return To Fantasy" onwards. Definitely some shouts of the crowd during "Easy Livin", and "Prima Donna" are (poor to ridiculous) overdubs. The version of the former song is extremely wild and the best one I have heard so far.

We'll go back a bit in history with "July Morning". This montage shows too many still pictures, live fiming from too many different concerts mainly with Byron featured from back stage to avoid being able to see him singing. Lee Kerslake is REALLY impressive in his drumming work.

The two bonuses from the Shepperton sessions (and available in audio format) do not belong to the best ones they have produced. And I can't help but I just hate "Stealin".

This document is history as Tull at the Isle of Whight, Purple in Scandinavia or ELP during "Pictures" etc. But all these were a lot better in technical quality. But I guess that nothing else was available for the Heep.

Still, the tracklist is missing so many great anthems of the band that I wouldn't go over three stars to rate this work (and I like the Byron era an awful lot). Of course, the emotion could have led me to go to four...

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