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KEN HENSLEY

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Ken Hensley biography
Doubtless one of the most favored musicians, Ken Hensley have the ability to play keyboards (especially Hammond B3 an expensive model by the way), guitar, singing with an excellent tone and in addition an excellent composer, that he has influenced to generations of musicians and fans to the progressive rock. Ken Hensley was born 24 from August of 1945 Hertforshire, England. Showing from his childhood an extraordinary gift musician. In the mid 60's he would form a called group "The Gods", which also included stars of the caliber of Mick Taylor and Greg Lake, recording two albums, which now are very looked by the collectors. From ashes of this group another merges with the name of Toe Fat, which in its first album participates Hensley next to a young Lee Kerslake and Cliff Bennett, once outside the group he was invited by Paul Newton to be member of another called group: "Spice" in which also are Mick Box and David Byron, this in 1969; changing the name in 1970 to Uriah Heep. In Uriah Heep Hensley it passed ten years playing keyboards and guitar, as well as providing more than 70% of the compositional material that would make famous to this band, the very evocative, nostalgic and sentimental lyrics they were easily identifiable by astute listening, that without a doubt is songs that have supported the test of the time well.

Besides the previous success Ken Hensley have to record several solo albums, which much more reflect the style characteristic of composition and musical quality that Ken Hensley have. In 1973 he recorded its first album as a soloist, call Proud Words are to Dusty Shelf", which was made accompany by the rhythmical base of Uriah Heep, Gary Thain and Lee Kerslake, feature subjects of great musical quality, like the great "Fortune" which is a mini epic of and evocative musical sounds capes, as well as the characteristic "When the Evening Comes", which has an excellent guitar licks, as well as an evocative lyric of past and future moments, love and sadness, "King Without to Throne" with characteristic and powerful bass playing in charge of Thain and an exquisite sticky melody that Hensley delights to us, among others songs of great musical invoice. In 1975 Eager to Please was his sophomore album, which is an album more "rocker" than first, but moving away of the sound that he used in its first effort, being "Eager to Please" and "Stargazer" songs these, with a melodic wealth difficult to find in other artists or groups; besides contain...
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Proud Words On A Dusty ShelfProud Words On A Dusty Shelf
Import
ESOTERIC 2010
Audio CD$11.57
$10.30 (used)
AnthologyAnthology
Castle - Old Numbers 2002
Audio CD$24.99
$19.99 (used)
Eager to PleaseEager to Please
Import
Esoteric 2010
Audio CD$11.31
$26.88 (used)
Live TalesLive Tales
Import
Cherry Red UK 2013
Audio CD$11.14
$9.99 (used)
Blood on the Highway [Blu-ray]Blood on the Highway [Blu-ray]
Multiple Formats · Blu-ray · Widescreen
Membran 2011
Blu-ray$26.97
$28.39 (used)
Love & Other MysteriesLove & Other Mysteries
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
Audio CD$11.09
$9.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
7"-Single KEN HENSLEY In The Morning / Who Will Sing (1975)GERMANY PS URIAH HEEP US $69.99 Buy It Now 20h 44m
From Time to Time by Ken Hensley (CD, Jul-1994, Viceroy) Uriah Heep US $14.99 [0 bids]
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KEN HENSLEY / URIAH HEEP - The Anthology (Castle Music #CMACD569) - VERY RARE! US $24.99 [0 bids]
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Uriah Heep-Free Me RARE Best of CD 1995 Ken Hensley US $8.99 [0 bids]
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URIAH HEEP Fallen Angel LP 1978 Chrysalis Mick Box Trevor Bolder Ken Hensley US $19.99 Buy It Now 4 days
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KEN HENSLEY - RUNNING BLIND (RHCD62) URIAH HEEP CD US $25.00 Buy It Now 19 days
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KEN HENSLEY shows & tickets


  • Ken Hensley at ?? ??. ????????, ?????-????????? on 21 Nov 2014
  • Ken Hensley at ???? ?????? on 27 Nov 2014

KEN HENSLEY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KEN HENSLEY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.35 | 24 ratings
Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf
1973
3.09 | 21 ratings
Eager To Please
1975
2.58 | 12 ratings
Free Spirit
1981
2.57 | 9 ratings
A Glimpse of Glory
1999
2.41 | 13 ratings
Running Blind
2002
3.57 | 11 ratings
The Last Dance
2003
3.38 | 12 ratings
The Wizard's Diary, Vol. 1
2005
2.67 | 8 ratings
Cold Autumn Sunday
2005
3.54 | 19 ratings
Blood On The Highway
2007
3.73 | 11 ratings
Faster (Ken Hensley & Live Fire)
2011
3.50 | 2 ratings
Love & Other Mysteries
2012
3.33 | 3 ratings
Trouble (Ken Hensley & Live Fire)
2013

KEN HENSLEY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 4 ratings
The Hensley | Lawton Band - The Return
2001
3.08 | 5 ratings
Ken Hensley & John Wetton. More Than Conquerors
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Tales
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
Ken Hensley & Live Fire - Live!!
2013

KEN HENSLEY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Hensley | Lawton Band. Salisbury Live In Concert (VHS + CD)
2001
4.00 | 6 ratings
More Than Conquerors (with John Wetton) (DVD)
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Fire (Ken Hensley with Live Fire in Concert, Norway)
2007
4.20 | 5 ratings
Blood on the Highway - The Exclusive Release Concert
2008

KEN HENSLEY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
The Best of Ken Hensley
1990
3.52 | 6 ratings
From Time To Time
1994
3.91 | 4 ratings
The Anthology
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Elements. Anthology 1968 to 2005
2006
2.00 | 2 ratings
Inside The Mystery
2006

KEN HENSLEY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Cold Autumn Sunday
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
In the Morning
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
No More
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
The System
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lady in Black
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Free Me
2004

KEN HENSLEY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eager To Please by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.09 | 21 ratings

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Eager To Please
Ken Hensley Prog Related

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The second album of Ken Hensley is not bad at all and again in some ways are very similar with Uriah Heep music as he wrote many songs for Uriah Heep. The opening track "Eager to Please" (4:51) even though it sounds like straightforward rock but there is a change of tempo in the middle of the track.. "Stargazer"(Clarke/Bottomley) (3:46) i sexperimental in nature as there is an orchestrtaed brass section throughout the song. It's not a bad idea as the music is bit becoming cheerful. As some people might say that Ken Hensley's solo is basically Uriah Heep minus Mick Box, I can agree with them as the style is Heep while the vocal is very similar with any Heep song.

Probably one of my favorites from this album is Take and Take (Hensley) (3:42) where the vocal harmony reminds me to duet Byron - Hensley that is unique Uriah Heep sound. The song has a good melody. But unfortunately the end is fading out - something that actually I do not like. "Longer Shadows" (Hensley) (3:32) is a track with acoustic guitar rhythm section while "In the Morning" (Clarke) (2:34) is a cheerful track in pop-rock style with good guitar work.

Overall, it's a good solo album by Ken Hensley. One of the reasons I enjoy playing this album is the sound quality that really represents the seventies despite good musical composition. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.35 | 24 ratings

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Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf
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Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars For those who were there in the glory days of rock music : the seventies, it's hard to understand if this album was not well known. At least there were two songs that were major hits at that time: When Evening Comes and Rain (played by Uriah Heep as well). Some people mention that this was originally intended as Uriah Heep album. Well, I don't blame them as in some ways it has similarities with Uriah Heep.

One thing I was impressed with this legendary album was the fact that Hensley could paly guitar very well - at least during the opening track When Evening Comes. This track was really well known at that time and it became major hit in local radio. One thing I like about this song was the bluesy style it has and of course it has solid memorable melody through the voice of Hensley. The next track "From Time to Time (Hensley)" (3:37) is like Heep music; the vocal is powerful. This one lays the rhythm section on acoustic guitar and keyboards. "A King Without a Throne (Hensley)" serves like a ballad with a straightforward composition. Another hit "Rain" is a very nice one to enjoy. In some ways I prefer the one played by Heep but this one is also very enjoyable. The combination of piano and vocal line is really excellent. "Proud Words (Hensley)" is a straight rocker with nice vocal line. Well, Hensley voice is really excellent. Overall, I recommend this album to those who love straight forward rock combined with good vocal harmonies. If you are Heepmania, you must have this album. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 A Glimpse of Glory by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.57 | 9 ratings

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Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Ken Hensley must be one of the most important rock keyboard players of the Seventies, not only defining the sound of, but also writing many of Uriah Heep's songs. After he left the band some twenty years ago Ken stayed active in the scene for a while before going into musical semi-retirement and it is only in the last few years that he has again become involved. This album has been recorded with his band Visible Faith, but unfortunately there is no information in the 'booklet' or press release stating who played on this album, but it does appear to have been recorded at various times over the last few years.

What is striking is that this is a gospel album, and I wasn't sure what to expect when I placed it on the player. When gospel is bad, it can be nauseating, but when the songwriter is one of the ability of Ken then it probably isn't surprising that not only is this one of the finest albums of this genre that I have ever heard, but also not a bad listen in its' own right. I have to admit that I was somewhat surprised when I caught myself singing the chorus to "Jesus (Again and Again)" at work today, more than once, as it is not the sort of thing that I would usually do!

Ken has covered most of the musical bases that gospel albums tend to be like, only whereas most other acts stick to one style he moves around. Some are soft rock, with that wonderful Hammond organ of his, and some steel guitar for good measure while others are much more American-style, almost C & W. Considering that after he left Uriah Heep they recorded 'Abominog' (a fine cover indeed), it seems that he has moved on quite a way from his colleagues but songs such as "Shakey Ground" could have been from late Seventies Heep.

I have enjoyed playing this album a great deal, and know that I will be listening to it a lot more in the future which is some statement for any album, let alone one so blatantly stating the message. There is another album due out on Mystic anytime now and I am really looking forward to it if the quality of this one is anything to go by.

Originally appeared in Feedback #68, Jun 02

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 Blood On The Highway by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.54 | 19 ratings

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Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars I remember

Sub-titled "When too many dreams come true", "Blood on the highway" is the musical autobiography of Ken Hensley in his role of keyboard player, second guitarist, second vocalist, and principle songwriter with Uriah Heep. Often written very literally, the album is paradoxically intensely personal, while generously sharing the performance duties more than on any other solo Hensley album. It seems that this time around, Ken wanted to ensure that the album quality would not be compromised through him trying to do everything himself. Consequently we have a succession of gifted vocalists, including Glenn Hughes, Jorn Lande, Eve Gallagher and former Uriah Heep lead singer John Lawton. Instrumentally, while Ken's multiple talents are well utilised, a fine array of guest musicians appear throughout.

It would have been tempting for Hensley to simply try to make another Uriah Heep album, and tracks such as "You've Got It (The American Dream)", which covers the band's rapid success in the US, and "Okay (This House Is Down)" certainly feel like Heep songs. There is though a fine diversity to the music which, while generally upbeat, explores a diversity of styles, with fine melodies being the common denominator.

At times, Hensley delves into his own songbook, borrowing themes from songs such as "July Morning" and "Free me" (both on " We're On Our Way"), but such indulgences are done with admirable subtlety, complementing rather than forming the main melody. The main lead guitar refrain in "It Won't Last" sounds similar to that on the fine "Come back to me", a song Ken co-wrote with Lee Kerslake, both being sung by John Lawton.

Personal favourites include the superb opening song "(This Is) Just The Beginning", and the prog leaning "The Last Dance (El Gitano Viejo)", a track which first appeared on Hensley's 2003 album of that name. Eve Gallagher's fine vocals on "It Won't Last", a song which I took to pay tribute to the late David Byron, are Tina Turner like.

"There comes a time" is a first rate Hensley ballad, complete with sax and ah-ah vocals. "I did it all" is touchingly reminiscent of David Byron's "I remember", where Byron also reflected on his time in the band. Here, "I did it all" is a wonderful ballad with orchestration and one of Hensley's finest vocal performances. Poignantly, the song ends with the lyric "I did it all, and now at last I'm doing fine".

The version of "The last dance" here is different to that on the album of that name, with Glenn Hughes taking over lead vocal. This epic piece features a slide guitar solo similar to that on "The spell" before building to its mighty crescendo.

Overall, a remarkable album from one of rock's genuine talents. Hensley has been through a lot in his life, often as he readily admits of his own making. He is though a survivor who has come to terms with his past. This rites of passage lays out the story of his time in one of the world's great bands, telling the story with admirable frankness. The fact that he does so through a bunch of songs which are melodically excellent, and musically rewarding results in an album of great courage and credibility. It's also a damn good listen.

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 The Wizard's Diary, Vol. 1 by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.38 | 12 ratings

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Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Acsording to the CDīs booklet the idea of re-recording some of Uriah Heepīs classics came from Eugene Kultonov from at Sony Music in Moscow. Hensley then visit the studio facilities there and found it good enough to record there with the help of russian musicians and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. It may sound a little opportunistic, doesnīt it? But, what the hell, what UH fan would not like to see some classics done by the author himself? So I was curious enough to buy it. And, like anyone else here that heard the record, I got mixed feelings about it.

First of all there are few new arrangements. Most of the time what you hear are very good and very respectful musicians that play each classic literally note by note as they were originally recorded. Even the addtion of the orchestra didnīt change things much. There are few exceptions, the most notably being Lady In Black (ok) and Stealinī(interesting, but it became too long and not as good as the original). Thatīs not bad. But it contradicts the recordīs premise to give the songs new versions. Second, Hensley does have a voice that is close enough to David Byron, although not with the same range and power. Still, he is singing as good as in the 70īs, if not better. And he is not trying to imitate the late vocalist. I also loved the full use of the Hammond organ (he is a master of this instrument!)

The selection is a sensitive point. Everybody would like to see different ones chosen. The surprises here are the inclusion of such obscure tracks like Illusion and Feelings. The latter sounds quite different in the vocal lines. ON the other hand the inclusion of a song like rain is quite odd, since it had been recorded twice already, with UH and on his first solo album. The new version differs little from both, making it quite unnecessary to say the least. But I was glad he included the forgotten gem Sweet Freedon, one of his most beautiful and soulful tunes. Like the classic July Morning (also covered, of course), the new recording does not change much and miracously keep the orignal feeling and magic. Even the backing vocals seemed to be careful arranged to duplicate the originals.

Conclusion: a nice selection, most of them quite faithful to the originals and with a superb production. You judge. For me it was a good efford. The few exceptions did not supass the old ones, but only Stealinīwas really bad. teh recording of some less known trakcs was a nice idea and I hope that next time (the title of this CD leads us to expect at least one more sequel, doesnīt it?) he wil do it again. Valid, well worth the efford, but not really essential. Final rating something between 3 and 3,5 stars.

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 Blood On The Highway by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.54 | 19 ratings

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Blood On The Highway
Ken Hensley Prog Related

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have always found difficult to analyse solo albums from artists who were part of one of my beloved bands. This is the reason why I will only review one Peter Gabriel album on this site. The deception was major, and so for lots of great men in rock music.

Ken is part of these persons for whom I have the deepest respect for their work, but while he was one of the key players (without play on words) in the great Heep, I was not really moved with his solo output. Such masterpieces he wrote! Such superb Hammond organ parts he played! While in the Heep, though.

This last album to date is somewhat more rocking than usual (which is a very good news), but the AOR style takes the lead for the majority of the songs; and you might know that this is not my cup of tea, at all.

You can find some good rock songs, some good melodies, some good guitar breaks. Yes. You can find these?But don't expect any masterpiece song on this album. Decent FM rock music ("You've Got It") is not too bad but didn't we expect more from the man? At least, I was; even if I consider this "Blood On The Highway" as one of his best studio albums ever released.

Good rock ballads ("It Won't Last"), weak ones ("Think Twice") or syrupy ones ("There Comes A Time"). These three songs really form a rather weak middle part which is fortunately saved by an excellent and quite dynamic "Okay". Fully in the vein of the great "Easy Livin": this is my preferred song from this offering (but I'm biased). Even some "Highway Star" feel can be noticed at the end.

I was quite excited to listen to the great Glenn Hughes on two tracks from this album, but I have to say that I was not really thrilled by the song writing available druing "What You Gonna Do". His input is much more worth during the excellent remake of "The Last Dance".

I rate this is album with three stars (which is slightly upgraded to be honest). There is no prog relation to be found, but some good good rock moments for sure.

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 More Than Conquerors (with John Wetton) (DVD) by HENSLEY, KEN album cover DVD/Video, 2002
4.00 | 6 ratings

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More Than Conquerors (with John Wetton) (DVD)
Ken Hensley Prog Related

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Wizards in the heat of the moment

In 2001, Ken Hensley returned from the US to the UK on a permanent basis (or at least until he move on to Spain!) and renewed some old acquaintances. He joined up with former Heep member John Wetton in the recording studio, with Wetton contributing to Hensley's then current solo album, "Running blind". In December that year, he also played again with Uriah Heep for the first time in over 20 years. It was during the weekend of "The Magician's Birthday party" that Hensley and Wetton also got together on stage for the gig captured here.

While the song writing credits would tend to indicate a bias towards Hensley's recordings, it should be remembered that Wetton played on the original Uriah Heep recordings of a number of them, and performed others live while a member of that band. Further, it is a lesser known fact that Wetton (not David Byron) actually provided the lead vocal on "One way or another" when it opened Heep's "High and mighty" album.

The main gig runs to around 90 minutes, drawing in songs from Wetton's solo career, his time with Asia, Hensley's solo work, and music from the David Byron era of Uriah Heep. John's fine voice suits the Heep material well, with songs such as "Return to fantasy" and "July Morning" retaining all their magic. While Ken was never as talented vocally as David Byron, his voice was actually very similar (to the extent that many people do not realise even now that it is his voice on the album version of "Look at yourself"). Ken and John trade lead vocals through the gig with the latter being slightly the more dominant.

It is interesting to hear songs such a the aforementioned "One way or another" and "Confession" getting a live airing, simply because they first appeared on an album the two were both involved in. Interesting too is the way some of the Uriah Heep songs, while played out in full, are blended together in a continuous medley. As "Return to fantasy" becomes "July morning", Ken tells the audience "this is your bit now". He then proceeds to deliver a truly impassioned vocal, demonstrating that over 30 year later the song still means a great deal to him. Pleasingly, Ken plays the original Hammond solo this time, rather than the staccato version which tends to find favour in the Uriah Heep live set. It is only when we get to the famous screamed section that we look in vain for the late David Byron.

John Wetton's selections from his own (or joint) compositions tend to be ballads and power ballads such as "Battle lines", "Emma" and the particularity emotional "Hold me now". Ken on the other hand mostly goes for upbeat numbers from his solo work. These, including the opening "Overture", are all from his then current album "Running blind" (on which the entire line up here except John Young appeared) although "I don't want to wait" first appeared on the "Time to time" collection.

Hensley and Wetton keep a couple of crowd pleasers up their sleeves for the encore which consists of Uriah Heep's "Lady in black" and Asia's "Heat of the moment. In all, a highly enjoyable set which blends a fine cross section of songs from the history of these legendary artists.

The duo is augmented by the presence of four other musicians, including Dave Kilminster, Steve Christie, Andy Pyle and John Young, the packaging failing to give these guys the credit they deserve. (The booklet does however helpfully tell us the the "Jump to tracks" option lets you "choose the track you'd like to hear".)

The DVD also contains four bonus promo videos. Of these, two are for songs from Hensley's "Running blind" album, both of them featuring in the main gig. These videos are straightforward film of Hensley and his band performing the songs. Wetton's "Battle lines" is also included in the gig, the video here being a superb period drama piece taken from the film "Chasing the deer". His Asia song "Praying for a miracle" is only included in this section (not in the gig), the performance here being a live one by post-Howe Asia.

As is customary for Classic Rock Legends" releases, the extras also include snippets from other DVD's released by the label. In this case, these cover bands such as Wishbone Ash, Ian, Gillan, Caravan and Asia.

In summary, a wonderful package, the main course of which is a unique event which will particularly appeal to fans of Uriah Heep, Asia and of course the two principal performers.

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 The Wizard's Diary, Vol. 1 by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.38 | 12 ratings

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The Wizard's Diary, Vol. 1
Ken Hensley Prog Related

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It was perhaps a good idea from Ken to revive some Heep oldies. The major problem is that most of the songs featured here are second tiers.

I'm not talking of course about some enormous and remarkable songs from the great Heep. There are three of those ones featured: a superb dynamite "Easy Livin", a great rendition of "Circle Of Hands" and one of the best version available (even if on the short end) of one of the greatest, and one of my top five Heep by all means: "July Morning" of course.

I'm quite happy as well with the excellent version of "Sweet Freedom" featured here, but that's about it for this album. "Stealin", "Rain" or "Lady In Black" were never favourites of mine. Neither the original, or live or "reworked" in the studio like on this album.

Dear Ken would have been inspired to reconsider "Look At Yourself" or the great "Love Machine", not to tal about "Sunrise" or "Magician's Birthday". But instead, we'll get some poor AOR rendition of average Heep songs.

I am a Heep fan from the early hour and I have been in contact with most of the great man's work in solo, but I really can't be enthusiastic about this album.

I don't really like this album, and I'm only rating it with three stars thanks to the awesome tracks I have mentioned. Unlike it is titled here, on Ken's official web-site, there is no reference of a "Vol. 1" which could lead to the feel that a "Vol 2" could be expected".

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 Cold Autumn Sunday by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.67 | 8 ratings

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Cold Autumn Sunday
Ken Hensley Prog Related

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This album is more on the rocking side than usual. Of course, there will be some nice ballads (like the title track, although its country style is not my cup of tea or the well named "Romance"), but the overall mood is radio friendly, AOR oriented (too much to my taste: "Inside The Mystery", "When").

It is one of the most commercial album from the great man, and I have to admit that it is not the facet I prefer. Vocals are well performed (as usual). For those who are discovering his solo career, this might well be a surprise; but Ken proved for a long time now that he was quite a good singer (and not only doing some backings as while he was in the Heep).

Most songs are shortly formatted and sounds more as pop-rock tunes ("Longer Shadows" which is one of my faves). Still, none of them are weak (except "Secret" probably), even if not great either. I guess that, by now, it is difficult to surprise his fans. It's have been quite a ride since the early days and Ken hasn't anything to prove any longer. His albums are dedicated to devoted fans and there is little room for revolution.

Upbeat rock for "Brown Eyed Boy" is quite alright, but again, the AOR-ish style is not the best way I can appreciate the artist. At the end of the day, there aren't enough good songs featured on this "Cold Autumn Sunday" to get the third star from me. Five out of ten. Average.

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 The Last Dance by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.57 | 11 ratings

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The Last Dance
Ken Hensley Prog Related

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ken has used us to a mix of ballads and more rocking affairs in his solo career. He will basically reproduce the same sort of approach in this "Last Dance".

Although it opens on a quite heavy/bluesy "Crying" which is not very much my cup of tea, this work do hold some very good songs which should be attractive for those of you who have appreciated his work while being with the Heep.

I have had quite a mix feeling about his solo work of which his live performances (with the help from some friends) have to be considered as the best achievements. At least I feel so.

The accent is definitely more on the rocking angle with "Letting Go", but again on the heavy side. One can appreciate the vocal abilities from the man, but it seems that these heavy keyboard lines that were the trade mark of the mighty Heep are just forgotten and leave the place for guitar riffs.

The rocking mood keeps on with "Give Me A Reason", but this time it is clearly more pop oriented. This song was apparently sleeping on the shelves for a long time before it found its place here.

One of the best piece of music featured on this album, is the beautiful and charming "Second Chance" which opens on a fantastic and soaring guitar break. Really captivating this one. Vocal part might sound a bit mellow, but again, Ken is performing quite convincingly in this duty (even if lyrics aren't brilliant during the chorus). Still, the guitar work is exceptional.

There are some let downs as well ("I Know Who You Are"), but these aren't that many and are quite rapidly forgotten. "The Voice Of Love" comes immediately on the rescue with its well balanced rhythm and great beat. One of my fave with "Second Chance" but in a totally different style.

The same feeling applies to the excellent and punchy "Give Them What They Want". Another excellent rocking song which relates to great old times, for sure (the contrary of "Who Knows" actually, which could have been prevented).

The balance between rock affairs and ballads goes on with the very good "Dancing": as its title would suggest, this is quite a good dancing song: wild rock music my friends.

The long closing and title track mixes those elements in a quite pleasant mood. Again, guitar work is excellent and by far the highlight. An excellent way to close this album.

I would say that it was quite a long time that Ken released such a good studio album. Maybe too many ballads are involved ("Did You" is another of those ones) to make it a four star album, but seven out of ten is my judgement.

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Thanks to Alberto Muņoz & easy livin for the artist addition.

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