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EQUATOR

Uriah Heep

Heavy Prog


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Uriah Heep Equator album cover
1.97 | 133 ratings | 10 reviews | 4% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rockarama (4:20)
2. Bad Blood (3:33)
3. Lost One Love (4:40)
4. Angel (4:47)
5. Holding On (4:20)
6. Party Time (4:20)
7. Poor Little Rich Girl (6:25)
8. Skools Burning (4:25)
9. Heartache City (4:59)
10. Night Of The Wolf (4:31)

Total Time: 46:20

Bonus tracks on 2010 Cherry Red remaster:
11. Rockarama (single edit) (4:03)
12. Back Stage Girl (single B-Side) (4:19)
13. Gypsy (live 1984) (4:52)
14. Poor Little Rich Girl (single version) (4:01)

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Goalby / vocals
- Mick Box / guitar, vocals
- John Sinclair / keyboards, vocals
- Trevor Bolder / bass, vocals
- Lee Kerslake / drums

With:
- Gary Moberly / Fairlight programming
- Tony Platt / Sinclavier programming, producer

Releases information

Artwork: Bill Smith

LP Portrait ‎- PRT 26414 (1985, UK)

CD Columbia ‎- 493339 2 (1999, US)
CD Cherry Red ‎- CDLEM166 (2010, UK) Remastered & expanded w/ 4 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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URIAH HEEP Equator ratings distribution


1.97
(133 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
4%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(5%)
5%
Good, but non-essential (16%)
16%
Collectors/fans only (38%)
38%
Poor. Only for completionists (38%)
38%

URIAH HEEP Equator reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Not so hot

Uriah Heep's wilderness years were coming to an end, but they still had time for one more misfire before getting back on track. "Equator" is something of a lost album, being the first not to be issued on the Bronze label (which had fallen into financial difficulties). It appeared on the Portrait label, and while a promotional video for "Rockerama" was made, the album quickly descended into oblivion. The disastrously uninspired sleeve did little to endear the album to casual browsers either.

The relatively stable line up which had produced the previous two albums was pretty much still intact, the only change being that Trevor Boulder returned to replace Bob Daisley on bass. The rather lightweight pop rock sound of the line up's previous albums continued on "Equator", with tracks like "Rockerama", and "Bad Blood" being little more than melodic rock in the Survivor/Toto etc. mould.

It was some time since the band had dabbled with ballads, so "Lost on love" made for a welcome diversion, with Goalby in fine vocal form, and the rest of the band finding their harmonising ways once more. "Holding on", a more upbeat piece of rock continues the strong vocals and harmonies theme.

"Skool's burning" is a pretty obvious but inferior take off of Alice Cooper's "School's out" but it does lead nicely into one of the best tracks, the Rainbow like "Heartache city".

For this album, the band decided that song writing credits would be done democratically per early Genesis, so all tracks are credited to "Uriah Heep" (presumably the then current members only!).

As happens when winter is finishing and spring starts, the first buds of new life in Uriah Heep appear on this album. It's still pretty simple in its structures, and has a number of melodic rock by the numbers songs, but there's a new found confidence too, and definite signs that they were on their way back.

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Their last album "Head First" was a very good surprise for me. When I listen to the opener "Rockarama", I'm afraid that this one will not be on par. The AOR sound again is pretty present. This side of the Heep (or any other band that have endorsed this genre like Yes for instance) has never convinced me. Actually, I quite hate it. Unfortunately, the Heep will go on the same mood with "Bad Blood". Again, an insipid AOR number, almost a carbon copy of the opener.

We'll get a smooth break with "Lost One Love" : a nice rock ballad like lots of hard-rock bands will produce in their career. Nice guitar break and good bass playing (welcome back Trevor). This song does not really belong to their repertoire though. Still, the best number so far. We'll go back on their pop-rock side with "Angel" which they investigated in "Conquest". At times, it reminds me furiously of Bruce Springsteen. Again, a good rock song.

Although I have a mixed feeling about "Holding On" which again goes AOR and is not my fave here. "Party Time" is pure hard-rock, but tasteless, I'm afraid. You can hear, very briefly but several times, some silmilarities with "Parano´d" (but this one was a jewel of a song). The longest number "Poor Little Rich Girl" starts like a rock ballad and develops into a pompous song a la "Salisbury" (I had the same impression already on their previous album with ""Roll-Overture"). Rather weak.

"Skools Burning" is one of my preferred song on this album : a solid rock number like the Heep should release more. It really kicks you. The song flows nicely into "Heartache City" which is also a good hard-rocking number. Great rythm with a very good guitar work (what would the Heep have been without Mick).

Fortunately, the closing number "Night of the Wolf" is superb. I really do not understand the band when they decide the song list. This should have been the opener, with no doubt. Strong melody, great rhythm and fabulous backing band. Another great Heep song.

But this is not enough to make even a decent album. I would rate it two stars.

Review by Cristi
COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
3 stars I will start by saying that I really enjoy listening to this album; the main problem i have is with some of the lyrics and the themes some songs have - poorly inspired, just ordinary and if i remember right, during the Byron era, the lyrics were important and beautifully made.

My favourite songs are Bad Blood, Angel, Holding On, Poor Little Rich Girl, and especially Heartache City and Night of the Wolf - two of the best songs UH wrote in the 80s. The lyrics ruin the rest of the songs for me, although I do listen to the entire album, but the lyrics are disappointing for me.

Still three stars, but the album is for Uriah Heep completionists only. AOR fans will also enjoy this album a lot.

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars First, this album is a controversial album amongst Uriah Heep fans and not only them, and second, i really enjoy listening to this album. Maybe Equator is not among the best they done so far but is a good one in my opinion. The AOR sound is more present than on previouses albums but in the end turns to be a good hard rock/AOR album. Depends from what angle do you see this album, from a prog view this is a 2 star album maybe 1 star, but if you listen also to hard and heavy or AOR might be a good one for you, as it for me. Some forte tracks are the opener Rockarama, the heaviest and maybe the best piece from Equator is Heartache City and the funny (lyrical speaking) track from here Skools Burning, the rest are so so. In the main though, for many Heep fans this album did little for Heep's career and stands as one of their worst efforts so far along with Conquest, but to me is a 3 star album, good but non essential. The next albums have more quality songs and has more power maybe because of the line up changes made by the main man of the band Mick Box.
Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Good news for Uriah Heep's fans: They making music again after the poor Head First album. Of caurse, not a masterpiece, but yet music! We can't expect something big for that Uriah Heep's. Moreover, every big 70s' band has a big crisis in the 80s, without any exception. It's something like an unwritten law!!! The best think about that album is the returning of Trevor Bolder - member of the second best line-up for the band. Some of the songs contain melodic feelings in their. I would notice, that even in their worst works Uriah Heep are trying to follow thier own style and thier own trademarks - harmonized backing vocals and similar to older songs beginnings for a couple of songs. The last I have to do in my review is to notify the best tracks of the album. I suppose they worth enough to listen to them somethimes. They are: Rockarama, Bad Blood (probably the best one), Holding on and Skools Burning! I believe the album would be also 2 stars, even without these best songs!
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars 2,5 stars, really.

This is the third and final album of the Goalby-era. Third after the "perfect pair" that was the previous combo "Abominog"-"Head First".

On a positive note, it marked the studio return of Trevor Bolder on bass guitar but, unfortunately, it's regarded by many as the worst and most controversial album by Uriah Heep.

I quite disagree. In fact it is actually surprisingly good. I can't deny that the overall pop mood of the record is very 80s sounding but still, even though made of "plastic", the sound and choruses are quite recognizable as UH's and there are a bunch of tracks that always captured my attention and should better not be overlooked: first of all "Poor Little Rich Girl", an extended number (over 6 mns) with melancholic acoustic guitar intro that leads into multi-part choruses and pure symphonic break (reminding me of THE ENID). Then the terrific closer "The Night of the Wolf" with its dramatic vibe and organ section. This is definitely one of the greatest Heep songs ever, that alone makes the album worth buying. Another good track is "Lost One Love", a nice power ballad with great keys from John Sinclair and a convincing heavy section. True letdowns are only "Skools Burning" and "Party Time".

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
1 stars When they released their 12th album 'Equator' in 1985, Uriah Heep was struggling, yet they kept going. They had recorded 2 previous full length albums with their lead singer Peter Goalby, and had some success fitting into the developing heavy metal movement at the time: 'Abiminog' did quite well with the public, however 'Head First' had disappointing sales and the band lost their major CBS label backing. They were able at this time to get signed on with Portrait Records, a CBS affiliate, and were given another chance, which was 'Equator'. The 2 previous albums got fairly good reviews since they had moved to a more commercial sound, but they had also tried adjusting that sound from light to heavy, just trying to find that sweet spot that would put their band back into the spotlight.

For 'Equator', the band line up didn't change a lot from the previous 2 albums, but it also was the only album that this exact lineup would record together. As mentioned, Peter Goalby was the lead vocalist (1981 - 1986), Mick Box was the guitarist (as always), John Sinclair was on keyboards and backing vocals (1981 - 1986), Trevor Bolder on bass and backing vocals (1976 - 1981 and returning in 1983 - 2013) who had returned from a brief 2-year absence, and finally Lee Kerslake on drums (1971 - 1979, 1981 - 2007). 'Equator' should have been set up to be a big hit with the power metal movement going on and with a band that had a recognizable name, so it looked like it would be a win for the band. However, success should never be assumed.

'Rockarama' was the first single. It has a catchy beat, and follows a Def Leppard formula, driving beat and a poppish sound. The public obviously didn't want a DL clone band, especially one that had been around for more than a decade before and already had an established sound. The single failed. And it was the most catchy song on the album. Things didn't look good. Even back then, the clich's in this song just sounded fake as they use MTV lyrics to try to garnish some success. Not only that, this song is awful for both radio listeners and progressive lovers. 'Bad Blood' continues with the same beat and almost sounds just like the preceding song, but washed out with even more synthesizers. Pop-metal never would produce any musical gods, at least any that would be revered for very long. The disappointments continue with the token ballad that came next in the line-up with 'Lost One Love'.

If you can continue past this horrendous track with the hope that things might get better, you will probably be disappointed, unless you love that washed-out 'Foreigner' sound. 'Angel' gets poppier than ever turning into 80's synthesizer heaven ('Starship' anyone?) as the band reaches for prom-theme song status (Bleah!). 'Holding On' gives the band 'Chicago' a run for their pop money. You can't even call this metal anymore, let alone progressive rock. 'Party Time' is embarrassingly hilarious. The sad thing is that they were being serious. 'Poor Little Rich Girl' might bring up the hopes of fans with it's over 6 minute duration, but don't fall for that trap as it turns into a crappy synth mess in the middle, while the rest is a sloppy power ballad. 'Skool's Burnin' is even worse than the title sounds. If it was burning, it was mostly likely because someone tried to catch the library copy of this abomination on fire. If you are still listening to this album, next it fades out and back into the next track 'Heartache City'. At least this one isn't washed in synths as much, but the bad Foreigner imitation continues. Many consider 'Night of the Wolf' more of a return to form and the best track on the album. Maybe it is in a way, but that isn't saying much and isn't worth the trouble. Box has a great guitar solo which is too short. Oh, and rumbling drums. And more pop metal hoopla. That's it. Just listen to the last Giuffira album and you'll get the gist of it.

Someone with bad intentions decided to finally push this album through to be remastered in 2010, the last UH 'classic' album to be remastered. What were they thinking? There were 4 bonus tracks added as if anyone cared; the single edit of 'Rockarama' and 'Poor Little Rich Girl'. Did we really need to hear those? Also included was a track left off the album (used as a B-side) called 'Backstage Girl'. Remember, this is supposed to be their throw away track. Yep. Too bad the other tracks didn't go in the trash with it. There is a 1985 live performance of 'Gypsy' on the extended remaster included. Hopefully no one fell for that gimmick, right?

When the dry ice smoke cleared and the hair spray fumes had dispersed, Goalby had to quit the band because his voice had been thrashed. John Sinclair would also leave the band to work with Ozzy Osbourne. The album tanked and for good reason. The band blamed the label for not promoting the album very well. Everyone else blamed the music for being pop- metal drivel, not even good enough for the likes of Motley Crue or Cinderella fans. What we ended up with was an album that was only good for a gag-gift at your next family Christmas party. Or maybe your Uriah Heep geek friend.

Latest members reviews

1 stars Cheesy 1980's AOR rock. Put this in the category of Survivor, Quiet Riot, Triumph, and Poison. Possibly the one semi-good track is the last, "NIght of the Wolf", but maybe it is only good compared to the rest of this. From the start of "Rockarama" you know this was made in 1985. Bad synths, ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#442823) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars God, honestly, I'm getting really tired of this subpar stuff from Uriah Heep. Sure, Trevor Boulder came back on this album, but was it really worth it? No, the simple answer. I'm gonna keep my review short because this album just dosen't deserve it. The sound is really so predictable, but ... (read more)

Report this review (#258247) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Monday, December 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars It's sad to say something bad about one of your favourite bands. The plain truth is: this album is only for Heep fans who wants to complete their collections. Rockarama (the opening track) was the single culled from the album, but is a poor track (and also has a ridiculous videoclip). Followin ... (read more)

Report this review (#31387) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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