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Uriah Heep - Inside Uriah Heep - The Hensley Years 1970-1976 CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.89 | 9 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "I am now showing off"

I think I can say without any suspicions that I am being biased, that this is the best of all the "Inside" DVD series released by Classic Rock Productions. OK, so I may have chosen the forum name "Easy livin", but there is a certain logic in my assertion.

Here we have a current (Mick Box) and former (Ken Hensley) member of the band contributing to the appraisal, together with two former producers, Pip Williams and Gerry Bron. Bron was also the band's first full time manager. As if that was not enough, we have Louis Rentrop who has run the official Uriah Heep website for many years, Rob Corich who was instrumental in the remastering of their albums, and a good cross section of journalists with the genuine appreciation of Uriah Heep's music.

With such a fine line up of contributors, the historical footage, taken from a Japanese gig and a few other sources, can be seen as a bonus. The sound which has been dubbed onto the Japanese film is actually from a BBC radio recording (as it was for the excellent "Byron years" DVD), but the synchronisation is pretty good. The line ups on the videos are not always those which recorded the song being performed, indeed the film for "The magician's birthday" has the current line up, but there remains a good amount of footage with the classic line up of Hensley, Byron, Box, Kerslake and Thain.

The programme begins with an appreciation of the talents of David Byron, both as a singer and as a front man. There is also glowing praise for Mick Box's lead guitar work, and in particular his unique use of the wah-wah pedal. Indeed Box comments that he feels proud when people who hear his guitar sound and style are instantly able to identify what they hear as being the work of Mick Box. In one of the more amusing part of the programme, Box describes how he would twiddle one hand in the air while playing the guitar with the other in order to say "I am now showing off!". Similarly, Ken Hensley raises a wry smile when commenting that "Lady in black" is one of the bands most successful songs, "Not bad for two chords and a chorus with no words!".

Gerry Bron's contribution proves interesting throughout. Despite the unfortunate circumstances which ultimately lead to the parting of the ways between him and the band, his comments are generally objective and candid. One of the more interesting snippets from him is that John Wetton's time with the band was on a salaried rather than sharing basis, perhaps reflecting the fact that he was passing through.

Other brief contributions come from drummer Lee Kerslake and artist Roger Dean who created the sleeves for two of the bands albums.

In all, a fine rockumentary about the band covering the period from "Very 'eavy, very 'umble" to "High and Mighty", including "Live '73". While the general mood of the programme is upbeat and complementary, no attempt is made to cover up or underplay the issues which would ultimately tear the band apart.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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