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Uriah Heep - Salisbury CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 824 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

1971: the prog movement is burgeonning back then in England; new bands like YES, KING CRIMSON,ELP etc are making it big and show the rest of the Rock world that you could bring some refinement, complex musical structures, odd timechanges, weirdness and still sell a lot of records.

I guess at the time URIAH HEEP was between a rock and a hard place: which way to go? play it hard like on the first album, play it prog or mix it up like DEEP PURPLE with ''FIREBALL''? i guess the band decided to make everybody happy and go both ways. MICK BOX will still have room for hard rocking solos and KEN HENSLEY will explore his prog tendencies.

So we have here a strange album going for the most hard rocking tune like ''Bird of Prey'' with again a formidable operatic high- pitched performance from DAVID BYRON to one of the most pompous, over the top prog piece i ever heard , the title track''Salisbury''. But when i write pompous, over the top doesn't mean it's bad: no, on the contrary ,it's quite good, but i can understand, not everyone can be fond of this long 16mn piece. Anyway, pompous is part of the prog vocabulary and if we didn't like it, we wouldn't been glued to this site.

All the tracks are GOOD;yes, some of them are great like the wonderful ''the park''. Have you ever heard something else as exquisite than this song? and once again, those BYRON vocals!!!!!! He was definitely one of the best, upthere with guys like MERCURY. KEN HENSLEY do a lead vocal on the classic ''lady in black'', a song that will become a success in Germany,,,,a few years later, with its sing-a-long anthemic chorus.

''Salibury'' the title track, this is something else. This is the kind of tracks that detractors and haters of prog will put at your face (better,your ears ,) to show you how self indulgent and bombastic prog can be.They might be right, but you know what, that what makes prog so interesting . Oh yes, that's pompous, and you have the dramatic intro, and you have the orchestra, and you don't want to forget the brass section,and of course the choir, everything to make a punk rocker commit suicide. But you have so many wonderful moments in there, especially the many tasty guitar solos from MICK BOX.A great piece of music.

URIAH HEEP will never be so prog in the future . A curious album going in different directions, but that's what makes its charm and character. Also, like on the first album, it has a great sound and a very original great cover.


febus | 4/5 |


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