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Uriah Heep - Very 'Eavy...Very 'Umble CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.37 | 455 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I've been surprised to hear from my daughter that "Gipsy" is a cult song 40 years after its first release. She and her friends don't know much of Uriah Heep but this song still works well, probably because it's about an adolescent love ... "I was only seventeen, I fell in love with a gipsy queen"....

This album has been important for a number of bands. I think the first two albums of Eloy for example, have a debt with this one.

Gipsy is a hard-rock song full of guitar and psych organ as we can find in Deep Purple's production. The pauses of silence were tyipical of Moody Blues and the incredible voice of David Byron makes it unique. The sound is hard. Uriah Heep featured in the soundtrack of the 80s adult cartoon "Heavy Metal". Let me say that the definition of Heavy Prog is very appropriate.

"Walking In Your Shadow" has a touch of Black Sabbath in the sense that both the bands may have had the same influences as their debuts were very close.

As often happens with heavy bands, the few slow songs are very melodic and captivating. I think to Deep Purple (Child In Time), Metallica (Nothing Else Matters) and Led Zeppelin (Satirway To Heaven). For Uriah Heep it's "Come Away Melinda". I've been really surprised to read that it's a cover.

"Lucy Blues" is the unnecessary track. It's a blues, really. The great voice of David Byron makes it interesting but from a musical (and progressive) point of view it doesn't have anything particular. Just British blues-revival, leave it to John Mayall, please. (btw I really like John Mayall).

Let's get back to rock on side B. A very strong intro for "Dreammare". This is another track with a Black Sabbath flavour. The "la-la-la" choir is where they differ... the short guitar riff is Hendrixian.

"Real Turned On" is a blues-rock. This makes me think to Wishbone Ash's "Where were you tomorrow" from "Pilgrimage" (same year more or less) even if just a bit harder.

"I'll Keep on Trying" starts with a choir, then after a short "oriental" passage turns into hard rock. This time closer to Led Zeppelin. I think there are no direct relations between the bands that I'm mentioning. All of them are dynosaurus and all were influenced by the same sources. The slow melodic chorus in the middle is a great interlude. I hear some Wishbone Ash also here.

The album is closed by the most "unusual" track. "Wake Up (Set Your Sight)" is jazzy with changes in the signature and absolutely non-trivial chords. It's different from all the rest and a real highlight. The most progressive track of the album for sure.

We can consider it immature respect to albums like Salisbury or Demons and Wizards, but I'm sure that this album has been influential for a lot of bands to follow and it's where the Uriah Heep have set up their sound.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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