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Uriah Heep - Wonderworld CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.11 | 345 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Freely speaking of dreams"

With the soon to come sacking and subsequent death of Gary Thain, it seems incredible that this was to be the last album by the line up which has come to be regarded as Uriah Heep's finest. In fact they only recorded four studio albums together, although the nucleus of the band (Box, Byron, Hensley, and from "Demons and Wizards" on Kerslake) recorded more.

"Wonderworld", Hensley's name for his dream world where he finds inspiration for many of his songs, continued the slightly softer more melodic approach of its predecessor "Sweet Freedom". The opening title track is a power ballad, with soft melodic verses and a sweeping chorus; it is reminiscent of "Sunrise" from "The Magician's birthday". "The shadows and the wind" has Heep's most complex ever vocals arrangement, almost Beach Boys like in structure, if not sound. "The Easy road" is one of those lovely soft Hensley ballads, which he appeared to write with Byron's vocal prowess in mind. It really is a truly moving song.

On side two of the album, "I won't mind" is a plodding blues, and despite the excellent guitar work, one of the most disappointing Heep tracks of the period. The final track "Dreams" has a melody which sounds very similar to the old single "Windmills of your mind" by Noel Harrison. It's a very good track though, if slightly lacking in the impact which previous final tracks have had.

In all, "Wonderworld" is another solid album by the classic line up, but the cracks are definitely beginning to show It does lack the knockout punch of other albums by that line up.

The recently released "deluxe" remaster has excellent sleeve notes and packaging, and includes 6 additional tracks. Two of these are live versions of tracks on the album, one a slightly extended version, and three are tracks recorded as part of the sessions for the album, but not originally included on it.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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