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URIAH HEEP

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Uriah Heep picture
Uriah Heep biography
Founded in 1969 in London, England - Still active as of 2018

URIAH HEEP came into being in 1970, the band evolving from SPICE. The multi talented Ken HENSLEY, who had previously been a member of CLIFF BENNETT'S TOE FAT, and THE GODS (who also featured GREG LAKE in their line up) was brought in, initially to add an organ to the band's sound. In the early years, Hensley, together with Mick Box (guitar) and David Byron (vocals) formed the nucleus of the band. The rhythm section was somewhat transient with both bass and drums being played by a succession of band members. Of these, Paul Newton was probably the most influential member, particularly as early on his father was involved in managing the band.

It wasn't until their fourth album "Demons and Wizards" that the rhythm section was finally sorted out. Lee Kerslake (who had previously played with Hensley in The GODS) took over on drums, and Gary Thain (ex KEEF HARTLEY BAND) on bass. The difference was immediately obvious, and the "classic" line up was born. Sadly, Thain died in 1975 and Byron in the 1980's, both having been previously sacked by the band at different times due to drug and drink related problems respectively.

Line up changes have been a feature of the band throughout their career, with John Wetton, John Lawton, and Trevor Bolder being among the lengthy list of names to feature in the line up. These changes have not always proved to be for the better, and have at times resulted in disappointing albums, the most notorious of these being generally regarded as "Conquest". The band has on a number of occasions been on the brink of extinction, or at least a change of name. Guitarist Mick Box has however carried the torch and ensured that even today, the songs which made URIAH HEEP one of the top acts in the world, are still performed live.

The line up of Bolder, Kerslake, Box, Lanzon, Shaw holds the distinction of having been together for the longest period of any line up in the band's entire career. They still tour regularly, and released their latest album, "Wake the sleeper" in 2008. On that album, Russell Gilbrook plays drums, Kersalake having been forced into retirement for health reasons.

URIAH HEEP's music covers a multitude of styles. In prog terms, they lean towards heavy rock with symphonic overtones wh...
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URIAH HEEP discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

URIAH HEEP top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.37 | 449 ratings
Very 'Eavy...Very 'Umble
1970
3.56 | 214 ratings
Uriah Heep
1970
4.19 | 799 ratings
Salisbury
1971
4.12 | 703 ratings
Look At Yourself
1971
4.07 | 773 ratings
Demons And Wizards
1972
3.86 | 594 ratings
The Magician's Birthday
1972
3.44 | 352 ratings
Sweet Freedom
1973
3.10 | 299 ratings
Wonderworld
1974
3.15 | 296 ratings
Return To Fantasy
1975
3.21 | 244 ratings
High And Mighty
1976
3.55 | 264 ratings
Firefly
1977
2.85 | 207 ratings
Innocent Victim
1977
2.42 | 197 ratings
Fallen Angel
1978
2.61 | 166 ratings
Conquest
1980
2.81 | 180 ratings
Abominog
1982
2.39 | 144 ratings
Head First
1983
1.97 | 133 ratings
Equator
1985
2.56 | 122 ratings
Raging Silence
1989
2.07 | 113 ratings
Different World
1991
3.62 | 183 ratings
Sea Of Light
1995
3.18 | 126 ratings
Sonic Origami
1998
3.39 | 177 ratings
Wake The Sleeper
2008
2.76 | 80 ratings
Celebration - Forty Years Of Rock
2009
3.38 | 153 ratings
Into The Wild
2011
3.24 | 94 ratings
Outsider
2014
3.83 | 134 ratings
Living The Dream
2018

URIAH HEEP Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 182 ratings
Uriah Heep - Live
1973
2.70 | 31 ratings
Live At Shepperton '74
1986
2.75 | 35 ratings
Live in Europe 1979
1986
3.13 | 39 ratings
Live in Moscow
1988
3.03 | 30 ratings
Spellbinder Live
1996
2.89 | 15 ratings
Live On The King Biscuit Flower Hour
1997
3.63 | 16 ratings
Future Echoes Of The Past
2000
4.25 | 50 ratings
Acoustically Driven
2001
3.87 | 24 ratings
Electrically Driven
2001
4.13 | 46 ratings
The Magician's Birthday Party
2002
3.30 | 10 ratings
Live in the USA
2003
3.09 | 16 ratings
Magic Night
2004
3.17 | 10 ratings
Live at Sweden Rock Festival 2009 (Official Bootleg)
2010
2.16 | 9 ratings
Live in Budapest Hungary 2010 (Official Bootleg Volume II)
2010
4.04 | 7 ratings
Live in Kawasaki, Japan 2010 (Official Bootleg Volume III)
2011
4.14 | 14 ratings
Live In Armenia
2011
4.00 | 4 ratings
Live In Brisbane Australia 2011 (Official Bootleg Volume IV)
2011
3.33 | 6 ratings
Live In Athens, Greece 2011 (Official Bootleg Vol. V)
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live at the Rock of Ages Festival Germany 2008 (Official Bootleg Volume VI)
2013
3.93 | 10 ratings
Live at Koko London 2014
2015
3.00 | 3 ratings
Raging Through the Silence - - The 20th Anniversary Concert - Live At The London Astoria 18th May 1989
2017

URIAH HEEP Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.98 | 9 ratings
Easy Livin' - A history of Uriah Heep
1985
3.66 | 13 ratings
Gypsy (DVD)
1985
4.00 | 3 ratings
Raging Through The Silence
1989
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Legend Continues... A Celebration of 30 Years in Rock
2000
4.00 | 3 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
4.61 | 32 ratings
Acoustically Driven (DVD)
2001
2.00 | 2 ratings
Sailing The Sea Of Light
2001
3.86 | 12 ratings
Moscow And Beyond (DVD)
2002
4.17 | 21 ratings
The Magician's Birthday Party (DVD)
2002
3.38 | 8 ratings
Live In The USA (DVD)
2003
3.93 | 9 ratings
Inside Uriah Heep - The Hensley Years 1970-1976
2004
3.89 | 9 ratings
Inside Uriah Heep - The Hensley Years 1976-1980
2004
3.53 | 13 ratings
Magic Night (The Magicians Birthday Party 2003) (DVD)
2004
4.46 | 10 ratings
Inside Uriah Heep - The Hensley Years 1970-1980
2004
4.23 | 34 ratings
Classic Heep - Live from the Byron era
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Ultimate Anthology
2004
3.07 | 9 ratings
Between Two Worlds (Live In London 2004) (DVD)
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Live Broadcasts
2005
3.00 | 3 ratings
Access All Areas (Live in Moscow)
2014
3.00 | 2 ratings
Access All Areas (20th Anniversary Concert)
2015
3.67 | 3 ratings
Live At Koko - London 2014
2015

URIAH HEEP Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Downunda..
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Uriah Heep
1974
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Uriah Heep Vol. 2
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Of Uriah Heep
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best Of Uriah Heep
1974
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Uriah Heep
1975
3.22 | 12 ratings
The Best Of Uriah Heep
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Goldener Lwe
1978
3.51 | 9 ratings
The Best Of (1985)
1985
5.00 | 1 ratings
Anthology Volume One
1986
5.00 | 1 ratings
Two Decades In Rock
1990
2.22 | 4 ratings
Still 'eavy, Still Proud
1990
3.54 | 10 ratings
Rarities From The Bronze Age
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
July Morning / Rain
1991
3.39 | 13 ratings
The Lansdowne tapes
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ballads
1994
3.79 | 10 ratings
A Time Of Revelation - 25 years on
1996
2.96 | 4 ratings
Remasters - The Official Anthology (AKA Uriah Heep Gold - Looking Back 1970-2001)
2001
3.08 | 5 ratings
20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection: the Best of Uriah Heep
2001
3.05 | 3 ratings
Come Away Melinda: The Ballads
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Empty the Vaults: The Rarities
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
You Can't Keep A Good Band Down
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Golden Palace
2002
3.00 | 3 ratings
Revelations - The Uriah Heep Anthology
2004
4.60 | 5 ratings
Gold from the Byron Era
2004
4.00 | 6 ratings
Travellers In Time Anthology Volume 1
2005
4.04 | 8 ratings
Chapter And Verse
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wake Up - The Singles Collection
2006
3.40 | 5 ratings
Easy Livin' - The Singles A's & B's
2006
3.33 | 3 ratings
Platinum Collection
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Of
2009
4.00 | 8 ratings
On The Rebound (A Very 'Eavy 40th Anniversary Collection)
2010
3.86 | 5 ratings
Wizards - The Best Of Uriah Heep
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Icon
2012
4.29 | 7 ratings
Totally Driven
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Classic Rock Years
2016
4.00 | 3 ratings
Your Turn To Remember - The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990
2016

URIAH HEEP Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.17 | 6 ratings
Look At Yourself
1971
3.12 | 6 ratings
Lady In Black
1971
3.67 | 3 ratings
July Morning
1971
3.33 | 3 ratings
Gypsy
1971
2.95 | 3 ratings
Spider Woman
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Special DJ Copy of Uriah Heep
1972
3.33 | 6 ratings
The Wizard
1972
3.83 | 7 ratings
Easy Livin'
1972
2.00 | 2 ratings
Seven Stars
1973
2.00 | 2 ratings
Something Or Nothing
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Uriah Heep Live
1975
2.00 | 2 ratings
Prima Donna
1975
3.00 | 2 ratings
Return To Fantasy
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Make a Little Love
1976
2.00 | 1 ratings
Wise Man
1977
3.00 | 12 ratings
Free Me
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
One More Night (remix)
1978
2.00 | 1 ratings
Come Back To Me
1978
2.00 | 2 ratings
Love Or Nothing
1978
2.50 | 6 ratings
Carry On
1980
3.00 | 5 ratings
Love Stealer
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Feelings
1980
2.20 | 6 ratings
Think It Over
1981
3.18 | 11 ratings
Abominog Junior EP
1982
2.80 | 5 ratings
That's The Way That It Is
1982
2.50 | 4 ratings
Lonely Nights
1983
3.40 | 5 ratings
Stay On Top
1983
4.00 | 4 ratings
Poor Little Rich Girl
1985
2.50 | 6 ratings
Rockarama
1985
2.67 | 3 ratings
Easy Livin' (live)
1988
3.00 | 3 ratings
Lady In Black
1988
2.50 | 2 ratings
Hold Your Head Up
1989
2.75 | 4 ratings
Blood Red Roses
1989
3.25 | 4 ratings
Dream On
1995
3.00 | 2 ratings
Come Away Melinda
2001
3.50 | 4 ratings
Lady In Black
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Official Bootleg Bad Rappenau 2009
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Official Bootleg Krefeld 2009
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Official Bootleg Salzburg 2009
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wolverhampton Official Bootleg 2011
2011
3.25 | 4 ratings
One Minute
2014
4.00 | 1 ratings
Grazed by Heaven
2018

URIAH HEEP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Firefly by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.55 | 264 ratings

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Firefly
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars We've come to 1976 and the band Uriah Heep is now 9 albums in. The band had reached a successful pinnacle for a while with a fairly steady line-up, but had floundered a bit over the previous couple of years. Yes they had lost a member here and gained another somewhere else, but there was a core that looked impenetrable. But it wasn't. The first major change in the band's line-up was taking place as David Byron, the band's amazing lead singer with an impressive range, was having alcohol problems and was fired from the band. This was a huge move and it came when the band was losing strength in their popularity from their move to a more radio-friendly sound. However, the label and the band didn't want to accept the fact that their music output was the problem.

In 1976, John Lawton became the new lead singer after the band turned away David Coverdale, Ian Hunter and Gary Holton. He was fairly unknown, but had worked with a few smaller bands. It was admitted that he didn't have the range of Byron, but he could hold his own with the style of music the band was playing. Also, the band had unknowlingly lost their most talented bass player John Wetton who said he wasn't feeling comfortable with the band, so they recruited Trevor Bolder who had played for David Bowie in the past. Bolder would end up staying with the band until his death, so at least their woes with ever changing bass players were ended, but their lead singer problems were only beginning. However, this line-up would at least put out 3 studio albums and 2 live albums before more changes would come.

Uriah Heep came into their 10th album with a new attitude and confidence, that was at least what would be said about it. 'Firefly' looked to giving the band back it's earlier, more stripped down sound, sort of a return to their roots. But, that had been said about their last few albums also. This one would originally consist of 8 tracks, but would be re-issued in an expanded remaster in 2004 which would include other songs that were recorded around the same time, but unused, adding 8 more tracks to the album.

On the original album, Ken Hensley would be soley responsible for writing all of the tracks except for co-writing credit with Jack Williams for 'The Hanging Tree' (the first track), and 'Who Needs Me' which was completely written by Lee Kerslake. Granted, this first track does recall earlier UH music, melodic with a good mix of heavy guitar and keys. It's a good start for the album. This is followed with the more soulful 'Been Away Too Long', which also dips into the earlier sound of the band. Lawton has a soulful enough voice to pull it off, but you can also hear him straining to put power behind the higher notes. The instrumental break even adds in some light prog, and you almost think the band is on their way back. Kerslake's contribution comes next with 'Who Needs Me', a more straightforward rocker, and Lawton's vocals prove their rock god possibilities. 'Wise Man' was an attempt at a single from the album. It is a slow rock ballad drenched in synth keys that are still restrained. It's a predictable track that in theory should have done well for a single, but didn't seem to chart anywhere in the world. Not a bad track that should have sounded good on the radio, but nothing to get excited about either.

The 2nd half of the album begins with 'Do You Know'. Much like the opening track, this one draws on the thick organ sound, which almost brings a more constant drone-like quality, but the music is fast and upbeat again with a lot of spirit. But it is also quite poppy. This side of the album has two 6+ minute tracks, the first of which is 'Rollin' On', the next track. This is a nice, moderate moving track based on a blues-rock style. This track cements the hard rock style of the band and almost sounds like something that you would expect from 'Rainbow', 'Montrose' or any of the other hard rock bands of that style. Other than a repetitive chorus, it's pretty good with some great soulful guitar playing from Box. 'Sympathy' was another attempt at a single, which at least did chart in Germany. It picks the pace up a bit more, but is quite straightforward, and Lawton lets loose a scream during the vocals that doesn't really help and the song really doesn't go anywhere. 'Firefly' ends the album with the 2nd 6 minute track. Hensley and Kerslake help out on the vocals which build a nice harmonic chorus that will also recall the band's glory days. It is only the 2nd track that closely resembles anything prog, and when the song builds intensity later in the track, it really gets much better. It does have a more 'suite-like' structure, but fades much to early. You can tell that the band seemed to be on the right track this time, but unfortunately, it would have trouble following through with this completely in subsequent albums.

The 2004 deluxe edition adds a lot more tracks to the album. It starts with 'Crime of Passion' which was a non-album b-side to the 'Sympathy' and 'Wise Man' singles. It is one of the heavier tracks from the album sessions with a good guitar riff. Three outtakes follow this, starting with 'A Far Better Way' in a demo mix. It has an unfinished sound to it, as expected, but not a bad track that would have been decent with a little more work. It starts weak, but gets better as it continues and has Lawson hitting a lot of high notes at the end as he tries to turn it into an anthem. 'I Always Knew' starts to show the band running out of ideas, and it lacks anything new or interesting, sounding like bad 70's plastic funk, like they were trying to write a song that would be eligible for 100s of prom night theme songs. This was a good one to leave off of the album. Unfortunately, the next one is even worse: 'Dance Dance Dance' is a horrible attempt at disco or something equally as bad. Ugh!

At this point, the bonus tracks goes to alternate versions of songs on the album. There is a demo version of 'Been Away Too Long' which seems to go from being lifeless to over-the-top in split seconds and another demo version of 'Do You Know' which is a little bit better than the previous track. This is followed by a long 9+ minute live version of 'Who Needs Me'. This version incorporates a long guitar solo which is accompanied by a repetitive background riff. It's a good addition that allows the listener insight into the band's concerts. During this time, the band was opening for 'Kiss', and this track shows UH's dominance in the talent aspect over the questionable musical talent and quality of Kiss. The reissue ends with the TV backing track for 'Wise Man' that was used for commercial purposes.

The reissue does add a little value to the overall album, but not enough to boost it above the 3 star rating that the original album generates. Firefly is a good enough album and is a good attempt to return to form for the band, but instead of building on that, UH makes the mistake of continuing to become more commercial friendly. The album is good enough, but has very few progressive moments. However, it isn't obnoxiously commercial either. You can detect some real spirit from the band. The only time this lacks is when the band ventures away from that into a more popular music territory, and unfortunately this will continue for several albums. Firefly is not a complete wash out though, and should be heard if you have a chance. But it is still material that is far away from the stellar material of their glory days, yet it is still better than "Fallen Angel" and other albums that are yet to come.

 Fallen Angel by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.42 | 197 ratings

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Fallen Angel
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

2 stars When 1978 rolled around for Uriah Heep, it seemed the band was in a pretty good place, even though their music had taken a turn that would bring them further and further away from their progressive sound and closer to the radio-friendly sound. At this point, when 'Fallen Angel' was released, it was to be the 3rd album in a row without any changes in the line-up. Even though John Lawton didn't have the crazy range that original singer David Byron had, he was holding his own, and definitely would have his moments on 'Fallen Angel'. The bad news is that this album was the most commercial of any of them, and it is quite easily seen by the song titles as the songs were about love and relationships, no more fantasy-inspired lyrics.

What you do end up starts out as a pretty good rock record that is a little too heavy to be considered pop, but far from being a heavy metal or progressive record either. If you don't listen to the album for the sake of prog, you might even find enough substance to the variety in the track offerings to consider it enjoyable, especially after a few listens and the individual songs start to stand out a bit. That's just fine from a rock standpoint, but the bad thing is that it doesn't have much 'lasting' power to it. And as the album continues, it gets poppier and more annoying.

Way back in 1978 when I bought this album, I had high hopes for it since I had just recently gotten into 'The Magician's Birthday', and I was hoping for something like that. I was completely disappointed and hardly ever listened to the album after that. Now, when I listen to the album, I find that I still recognize many of the simple rockers here, and there is a bit of nostalgia there, which is fine. The music doesn't sound as dated as I though it would, but it is definitely very commercial. The opener 'Woman of the Night' is probably the best of the album, there is a tasty rocker called 'One More Night' and a schleppy ballad 'Come Back to Me' which at least does show off Lawton's soulful vocals to a great extent.

But, the album is even worse on the 2nd side, you have the very 80's keyboard riffage of 'Whad'ya Say' which has the danger of making one nauseous as images of spinning disco balls pop into your mind. 'Save It' has a powerful blues-riff that starts it off, but soon speeds up and becomes very annoying, sounding like a bad rip-off of Grand Funk Railroad complete with garbage sax. It only gets worse as it goes on with the 'la-la-la's' of 'Love or Nothing'. And the attempt at an acoustic sound on the title track closes it all off quite embarrassingly. The only half-decent track on the 2nd side, 'I'm Alive', sadly gets buried in the rest of the trash making up that side.

The album did poorly despite the label continually pushing the band to be more commercial, barely cracking the top Billboard 200. The continued pressure to put out albums like this would take its toll on the legendary status of the band which would continue for years, even when the band would show up on the next album with a new line up. Sadly, the band and the record company just couldn't take the hint and the band would continue to have many more misses than hits for several years after that even constant line-up changes could help.

 Salisbury by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.19 | 799 ratings

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Salisbury
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars Uriah Heep was a band in flux right from the beginning, even through their best years. They were stable, for the most part, through the release of their first 3 albums as they only had different drummers through that entire time while being able to retain the rest of their members during that time. So, for the release of their 2nd album 'Salisbury', the line up consisted of David Byron on vocals, Mick Box on guitar, Ken Hensley on keyboards and Paul Newton on bass. Keith Baker (the original drummer for Supertramp) takes the place of both Nigel Olsson (who went on to be Elton John's drummer) and Alex Napier on drums, and even he would leave the band after the release of Salisbury because he didn't want to tour with the band, who was beginning to open for some huge names like Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf.

This album would see the band sort of unsure where it wanted to go, but it also saw them venturing into progressive music, their first real steps into the genre. The band would also rely more on the songwriting talents of Ken Hensley, not just Byron and Box as the first album did. This might have been part of the reason for the move into the progressive rock arena.

The album starts off with 'Birds of Prey' which had been a hit between the UK release of their debut album and this album, although it did appear on the US version of 'Very 'eavy, Very 'umble'. Many consider this song Uriah Heep's most popular. It has the heavy guitar riff combined with Byron's over-the-top high vocals. This was the sound that would go down as UH's trademark sound that they would unfortunately abandon way too early in their career for a more commercial sound. You would almost swear that this is where Queen got its sound. 'The Park' proves Hensley's songwriting ability and the movement to progressive music is quite apparent. Byron's falsetto pretty much makes up the entire vocal performance on this one also. The song is more pensive than the opener helping to give this album a similar level of variety and emotion that makes 'The Magician's Birthday' album so great. Again, the leaning towards progressive music is proven after the 3 minute mark as the instrumental break changes tempo and meter and opts for a more fusion style. The vocals resume coming back in acapella at first with instruments slowly joining in again.

'Time to Live' goes back to the dark and heavy sound with a great guitar solo in the introduction. The vocals are more natural this time staying in a mid-range and not soaring off into the stratosphere as often and the song is more of a straightforward rock. 'Lady in Black' goes for a softer, acoustic sound and a steady mid-tempo beat. The fifth track on the UK version of the album is 'High Priestess' while on the US version it is 'Simon the Bullet Freak'. Both songs are written solely by Hensley. The timing of each song is about the same and why they were different is anyone's guess. The former is a bit heavier and more unhinged where the latter is a mid-tempo, yet heavy, blues-based song. Both of them are pretty decent.

'Salisbury' is the final track on the album and is quite an epic track at 16 minutes. The band has recruited a 27-piece brass band to help create a full, head-on progressive masterpiece. It was quite impressive that the band could pull something like this off on what was only their 2nd album. And the song is definitely impressive as it mixes the orchestra with the rock instruments, and Byron's crazy range is more than adequate for a track of this scope. Back in these early days, UH was proving it was a force to be reckoned with and that the musicians involved were extremely talented. It's too bad they never reached the status of bands like Deep Purple or Chicago, but the fact that they had such a hard time holding on to a regular line-up is probably one of the main reasons and that pressure from the label to be more commercial kept them from reaching that level. But this track should take away any doubt that UH deserved more recognition than they ever got. But, the band was given a lot of freedom for this album, and it ended up being another step in elevating their careers at least in its early years.

The extended version of the album released in 2003 adds in a lot more tracks in that it brings 'Simon the Bullet Freak' back to the album and features an almost 8 minute outtake called 'Here Am I'. The other things on this version are 3 single edits of tracks on the album and 2 alternate versions.

When you listen to this album now, it is hard to believe that a band like this would end up not getting the attention that it deserved. If they were left to their own inventiveness, who know what they could have accomplished. Yes, they would have another masterpiece with 'The Magician's Birthday' and 'Demons and Wizards' but after that, the pursuit of commerciality would bury the band into obscurity for quite a while. That, along with an ever changing line-up would prevent the band from ever making a real comeback, though there were occasional decent albums, nothing would ever sound as great from them as these early progressive gems.

 Equator by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.97 | 133 ratings

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Equator
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

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.

 Sea Of Light by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.62 | 183 ratings

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Sea Of Light
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars In 1995, Uriah Heep was feeling pretty comfortable with one of their periods in time when they were experiencing a stable line up that would last from 1986 to 2007. Though it wasn't exactly the best years of the band, like the glory years of the early 70s, eventually, the band had to meld somewhere along the way, and they finally did, when they shed the more pop-oriented sound of many of their previous albums to replace it with a heavier and tighter sound, and that is what many fans saw the album "Sea of Light" as, a return to their original sound. But, was it really?

This steady line-up would consist of Bernie Shaw on lead vocals (who would remain the lead vocalist on all the rest of Uriah Heep's albums), Mick Box on guitar (the only original member), Phil Lanzon on keyboards and vocals, Trevor Bolder on bass and vocals and Lee Kerslake on drums. In fact, the newest member was actually Shaw at this time as most of the other members had been working together since 1981.

The album, at least from the outside, looked very promising to prog enthusiasts and older fans because of the art work from Roger Dean, the artist famous for the famous covers of many progressive bands, including Yes. But it is the music that actually determines if it really is a return to form, or if it is just another pop-metal album. In reality, as much as the fans want to believe it is a return to form, it is only a step towards that. There are some great, heavy numbers featuring some blistering guitar work and great keyboards, but even the best ones like "Against the Odds", "Universal Wheels", "Fear of Falling" (sung by bassist Trevor Bolder) and "Love in Silence" which has one of the best instrumental breaks (and is also the most progressive of the album) with its almost symphonic and cinematic feel can't seem to get the overall feel of the album to rise about just average hard rock. The chorus on "Words in the Distance" calls back memories of the old Uriah Heep with the lite-gothic harmonies, and the guitar on "Fires of Hell (Your Only Son)" mixes well with the organ as it did in the early days.

Unfortunately, for myself at least, I still hear a lot of the pop-element in the music especially in tracks like "Sweet Sugar", the sappy ballad "Mistress of All Time", the directionless "Logical Progression", and the fact that pretty much all of the tracks have the usual, tired standard structures of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, break, chorus and it mostly comes across as a mediocre "Journey" album more than anything, and that's not a good thing for a progressive rock lover. Believe me, I would love this album to be a return to form, but I just don't hear that. There is very little progressive rock to this album. But, as far as a nice heavy rock, pop-metal album, it is still the best of the band's albums to come out from this line up. The music is well written and highly polished. It is also the one album I enjoy the most out of this period of time for the band. Unfortunately, instead of moving forward, as one would hope, the band doesn't really move ahead and actually takes a step backward for the next few albums. I can easily give this a 3 star rating for the stronger tracks which help the album, but also for the average sound of the lesser tracks. It is a great album for commercial heavy rock, but it is doubtful that it can be called metal and surely can't be called progressive. At least the album was a ray of hope when it was released that the band might be improving, but unfortunately, that ended up not happening, at least for the time being.

 Sonic Origami by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.18 | 126 ratings

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Sonic Origami
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

2 stars 'Sonic Origami' is the 20th full-length studio album from Uriah Heep. This one was released in September of 1998. At this point in the band's history, the members were seeing more consistency in their line up than they had for a long time. Lead singer Bernie Shaw had been the lead singer now for almost 10 years, and would continue to be up to the present day, making him the lead singer longer than any other previous vocalist for the band. Mick Box (guitars) of course is the one constant force behind the band. Phil Lanzon (keyboards, vocals) has been in the band now since 1986, and continues to the present day. Trevor Bolder had been playing bass for the band since 1983, and Lee Kerslake (drums) was still going strong as he had been since 1981. Unfortunately, this would be Lee's last album even though he would remain with the band until 2007, bad health would force him to quit the band before their next album 'Wake the Sleeper' would be released in 2008.

This album would only be released in Japan initially, and didn't see a released in the US until a year later. The band was still continuing to follow the pop/rock style that they had been chasing for several years now, and their 'unique' sound of the 70s was long since abandoned. However, there is a degree of nostalgia here as the first track 'Between Two Worlds' was dedicated to the original lead singer David Byron, who died in 1985, and Gary Thain, the bassist who was with the band in their peak, who died in 1975 after being fired by the band and died of a heroin overdose later the same year. The track is emotional sounding enough, but it is quite straightforward hard rock-pop that they were playing at the time. Shaw's vocals are great however, and it seemed that the band had at least settled on a vocalist that could do justice to the legacy of the band that started with Byron. Otherwise, the track has all of the features of a great hard rock song with a killer solo from Box at the final part of the track.

So, everything is sounding promising at first. The album cover is tasteful, some of the tracks have durations over 6 minutes, and the album is following the decent 'Sea of Light', so the expectations were high for this one. Most of the tracks are consistently written by Box and Lanzon, except for a few, one of which is the 2nd track 'I Hear Voices', which is written by Bolder. This one, however, is totally commercial sounding, very typical arena type hard rock. 'Perfect Little Heart' follows in the same formula, and it seems we are back to mediocre rock/pop music. 'Heartless Land' is more acoustic driven, but follows the same style, sounding more like 'Survivor' than the classic 'Uriah Heep'.

As the album continues on, you once again come to the realization that the band is still only interested in playing accessible rock/pop, and, other than the first track, can't even be considered hard rock. One mediocre, uneventful song follows another. Even the longer tracks don't carry enough weight or reason for the extra time. Nothing continues to stand out on this album. On 'Change', they try to have a symphonic feel to the track during the synth heavy instrumental break, but it seems quite watered down. On 'Across the Miles' the band even pays homage to the band that it is trying hard to be like as it is a 'Survivor' cover. Shaw does an okay impression of Steve Perry here. But it's just more mediocrity. 'The Golden Palace' is a long 8+ minute track that makes an attempt at orchestration, but even though it's a nice attempt, there is nothing progressive about it, and it has too much of a religious overtone to it to be appealing to me.

It's a shame that the band had to go on this long trying to chase down a comeback that wouldn't happen, especially when they were trying more to sound like 80s and 90s rock/pop bands than they were trying to resurrect their unique sound. The band had a lot of hope for this album, but it ended up not charting in any country, and the band stopped releasing new studio material for 10 years. As much as the fans wanted to have a real comeback album, nothing they could say or do would change the fact that the band couldn't replicate their popularity of the past. The music just lacked the spirit of their past music, and the fact that they were trying to copy other hard rock bands to try to get some sales by using their formulas just wasn't going to be the thing that would bring the band back into notoriety. The album just ends up being another mediocre attempt to bring back their glory days, but it sounds nothing like what they did back then. This one is only for lovers of soft, arena rock.

 Sweet Freedom by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.44 | 352 ratings

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Sweet Freedom
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Uriah Heep's 6th full-length studio album 'Sweet Freedom' was released in 1973 and had the honor of following up what was UH's biggest two albums in their discography, 'Demons and Wizards' and 'The Magician's Birthday'. It also followed the release of the band's first live album 'Uriah Heep Live', which was released in April of 1973. This album would be the first album on the ever popular Warner Brothers label, and, unfortunately, we start to hear the heavier corporate influence, as the band starts to lean more on popular sounds and moving further away from progressive rock.

The line up during this immensely popular time in their history remained the same as it did for those two albums, and would continue to remain the same for the next album 'Wonderworld'. David Byron, the original lead vocalist, would continue to be the voice of the band, and of course there is the one constant member Mick Box, guitarist. Ken Hensley (keyboards, guitar) was also an original member and would continue until 1980 for the 'Conquest' album. Lee Kerslake (drums, percussion) had been around since the 'Demons and Wizards' album and would continue through the 'Fallen Angel' album until 1979. Gary Thain (bass) started around the same time as Kerslake, but would be replaced by John Wetton in 1975 on the 'Return to Fantasy' album. Things were going well for the band, and they wanted to try their hands at some new sounds (new to the band anyway) and try to win over even more fans. This, however, would be the slow decline of the band as they tried to bring in a more accessible sound. This album would end up being pretty much as big of a seller as the previous two albums and would feature the single 'Stealin'' which charted in 5 countries including the UK and US.

The album starts off with the funky scratch of 'Dreamer' written by Thain and Box. The track starts everything off with a heavy guitar riff that seems to be one of the band's heaviest, but the chorus has a definite accessible sound with most of the band harmonizing and the guitar ends up driving the song along with a hard rock sound. Right away, it drops the dark and deeper organ-heavy feel of the previous album. This is followed by the popular and familiar sound of the single 'Stealin'', which is a great track for a single. This is one of the many tracks written by Hensley. It is a bit quieter, on the first verse and chorus, with Byron's unmistakable, soulful voice and Hensley's heavy organ drenched riffs. Box gets to show of his catchy guitar on the middle instrumental break. So far, it seems the band has picked up a lot of enthusiasm and melodic sensibility from their successful time together with this powerful one-two punch.

'One Day' is co-written by Hensley and Thain. The hard-rock sound continues with the solid opening of the track, which continues to keep the solid power on high as the track continues. Byron's vocals sound more restrained on this track, probably just the way that the new big record label (for the band) Warner Brothers wanted, his vocals sounding very much like a confident and headlining vocal. But this is also where we start to see a slip in the band's quality, because a lot of their personality was in Byron's more vulnerable, soulful and emotional vocals, and the fact that so far, nothing as emotionally wrenching as 'Sunrise', 'Blind Eye' 'Echoes in the Dark' and 'Rain' has been made apparent on Sweet Freedom yet, and we're already almost through the first side of the album. The title track comes next, and is the longest track so far, at just over 6 minutes. Well, the organ and the vocals are sounding a bit more like the UH of before, but, it also seems to burn up a little bit of time just making crescendos out of repeating riffs. There is some style to this track, however, there isn't much substance, no daring organ or guitar solos that stand out, but there is a lot more standardized song structure, even in this longer track written solely by Hensley. It's an okay track, but just lacks anything memorable.

On to the 2nd side of the album, 'If I Had the Time', written by Hensley, starts off with thick organ and synth playing a riff that repeats and then softens before Byron's vocals start, this time with more promise of a more emotional melody. After each verse, the synth riff repeats and follows this pattern for a second verse, then goes into a heavier bridge, but the synths stay in control through the track, repeating that same riff. Though the song has a more memorable melody, the track still offers no real substance and no progressiveness. The guitar finally comes in during the last minute, the band becoming full before quickly fading out. 'Seven Stars' is another one by Hensely, more upbeat, but still melodic and pretty basic. The organ and rhythm guitar pretty much guide this one along, but again, the track is quite simple. When Byron runs out of lyrics, he starts reciting the alphabet to the melody. 'Circus' has an acoustic feel with a jazz edge, it has a nice, mellow vibe to it, and Byron's vocals match it quite well, restrained and soft. It's a better track, just short. It's obvious that there are different songwriter influences on this one as Thain, Box and Kerslake have the credits for this one. The longest track 'Pilgrim' is saved for last. Co-written by Hensley and Byron, it is probably the best track on the album, and is more reminiscent of material on 'The Magician's Birthday. It's just too bad they had to wait until the end of the album to really let loose. There is a full on assault of keys and guitar to start this one off, and it sounds a bit more like the UH of earlier times. Even the funky scratch of the guitar sounds good, and the high pitched synth riff that plays during the vocal breaks has the typical UH sound. Byron gets a chance to show off his vocal abilities, which doesn't happen enough on this album. After a few verses, the music becomes darker with some excellent organ and guitar work. Finally, Box gets to let loose after being pretty much muted through most of the album. Best track on the album, which totally does justice for the talent involved in this band. Too bad music like this wasn't present through the rest of the album.

On the 1996 remaster, two more tracks were added, an outtake called 'Silver White Man' written by Byron, and 'Crystal Ball' written by Thain. Both tracks are outtakes recorded earlier, but not used previously on an album. Both are quite standard tracks, 'Crystal Ball' being a little more interesting, but neither track really adding anything more to the album.

The 2004 Expanded Deluxe Edition does not have these two added tracks, but instead adds 6 more tracks to the album. First is 'Sunshine' which is a non-album b-side from 'Stealin' single. Co-written by Thain and Box, the track is heavier, and sounds more like something from 'The Magician's Birthday', though it would have fit on this album much better than some of the other tracks, but it is a bit repetitive at the end. After this, there is an extended version of 'Seven Stars', which boosts the album version from 4 minutes to 7 minutes, but it only adds more repetition and alphabet singing. Another extended version follows, this time of 'Pilgrim', which adds another minute and a half to the track. This was already the best track on the album, but this longer version makes it even better with added organ and guitar work in the extended instrumental section. Next there is a demo version of 'If I Had the Time'. This stripped down version features Thain and Byron singing together, and it is actually better that the album version. The last two tracks are alternative live versions of 'Sweet Freedom' and 'Stealin'.

It's a shame that the music of Uriah Heep started to see a slow decline in their music from this point on, for quite some time. The move to a more accessible sound is apparent, and the album remains mostly unremarkable until the last two tracks. The deluxe edition definitely adds to the album and is the version that should be acquired if you are looking to buy the album. 'Pilgrim' is the definite highlight to the album, and 'Circus' is great, but too short. The one thing that is obvious here, that the real star was Byron, and he was unfortunately not put to the best use here as most of the songs didn't highlight his vocal abilities. I think if not for the untimely death of Byron in 1985, he might have become better known as one of the best of the classic rock vocalists. As for this album, however, there are better ones out there, this one averages out to 3.5 stars.

 Different World by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.07 | 113 ratings

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Different World
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

2 stars Different World was the 18th album in Uriah Heep's ever growing discography. It was released in 1991. It was also the 2nd UH album in a row to feature the exact same line-up. Of course, Mick Box is on guitar as usual. Bernie Shaw does the lead vocals again, his 2nd album for the band, but his stint as lead vocalist continues without any break until the present day, making him the longest lead vocalist for the band ever. Phil Lanzon is on keyboards and vocals, and it is also his 2nd album, and like Shaw, he would also remain with the band. Trevor Bolder returns on bass and vocals, but his time with the band started back in 1983 and would continue until mid-2013. Lee Kerslake comes back as the drummer, and was the most senior (other than Mick Box) of the members, however, he would also be the first of this line-up to leave in 2007 with his final album being "Sonic Origami" (released in 1998). So, this was the beginning of a line-up that would persist through 4 studio albums total.

This album would only be released in UK, Europe and Japan originally, and would be the first album from the band that would have no singles released in the UK. The album would not be released in North America until 1994, when it was released in Canada and in the US in 2000. Even though the album seen a more limited release, it was still the first album since 1985 that had a supporting tour. Bassist Boulder also acted as producer for this album and found it a bit tough wearing both the producer and band member hats.

The music is a pop metal affair, the music being upbeat, yet very accessible with very little progressive music found throughout the album. There really isn't a whole lot that stands out on this album, the music being mostly quite generic and sounding like the commercial hair metal that was so popular during this time. The music is pretty average, and there is the usual arena-rock sound that was also popular in the 80s. There isn't much here that would be considered challenging.

The first two tracks, "Blood on Stone" and "Which Way Will the Wind Blow" are pretty standard hard rockers. "All God's Children" features a choir of children singing on the choruses, and seems happy and uplifting, not really something you wanted to hear from the band. "All for One" is totally MOR and radio friendly sounding like a soft rock "Journey" track. It sounds like Jonathan Cain was in on their songwriting sessions. The title track carries on that pop sound. "Step By Step" takes on the "Survivor" sound of the "get in their and fight" positive mentality, more pop-metal. This same pop-rock formula continues through the rest of the album as the band tries to cash in on the tacky sound that worked so well for all of the power pop bands of the 80s and 90s.

Any Uriah Heep fans looking for any kind of semblance to the heavier psychedelic and more inspired music of the bands first years in the 70s will only be disappointed. The band sounds nothing like it did in the beginning, it just as well be another band that could have been called something simple like "Europe" or "Starship" or "Foreigner" or, well you get the idea. This is far from the band's glory days and even far from the more progressive metal sound that would come later. There are some reissues of the album available with bonus tracks, but I don't know who would want an extended version of this album, because you hear everything you need to hear in the first 3 minutes. This one should be avoided unless you are a raving fan, and even then you might be disappointed.

 Demons And Wizards by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.07 | 773 ratings

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Demons And Wizards
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars 1972 was a great year for Uriah Heep as it saw the release of their two best albums they would create in the many years that the band has been active. "Demons and Wizards" was one of those two albums. Yet with all of it's popularity and love that it receives from progressive music lovers, it took a long time for me to finally get it. I have always been a lover of the other 1972 album "The Magician's Birthday", but often failed to be as enthusiastic about "Demons and Wizards" until just recently, when I started exploring the band again. With these two great albums, I have never understood why the band would soon move to a more pop/hard rock type of sound, but that is what would happen as they moved away from these two albums.

So, Demons and Wizards features the classically known line-up of the band, the one that is the most loved of the fans. Of course, there is Mick Box, the only constant member and lead guitarist through the years. At this time, David Byron was providing the lead vocals, and would until about 1977, and these two created that classic sound. Most of the bass was done by Gary Thain, except for two tracks where it was performed by Mark Clarke, the only tracks to be performed by him as a member of the band, while Gary would remain with the band until 1974 to be replaced by John Wetton. Lee Kerslake was the drummer, and, except for a short break between 1980-82, would be until 2007. Original member Ken Hensley would play everything else, especially all the keys, which at the first and best years of the band, were probably the most important instrument as the band was notoriously keyboard heavy with many synth and organ solos. Ken would remain with the band until 1980.

This classic lineup was responsible for the bands two most important albums, and also for the sound the band is most famous for, the blues based, fantasy inspired, keyboard heavy music that most everyone is familiar with. Demons and Wizards is one of the albums that spotlight this sound the best, and is one of their most popular albums. The music isn't heavy on it's progressive style, meaning that the meters are fairly standard and constant through each individual piece. The thing that makes them considered progressive is more in their choice of lyrical content and their concepts. I usually compare their music to that of Deep Purple and Rare Earth, soulful, with a heavy leaning towards blues-based music, heavy on organs and synths, some tracks with extensive jamming, and just a touch of psychedelic flavor, yet also quite heavy. That is the overall case with this album also. The main thing that separates this from "The Magician's Birthday" is that the songs are a bit less emotional, yet they are more high-energy and upbeat, more rock-oriented yet less pensive and personal.

The album starts off with "The Wizard" which is actually sung by the short-term bassist Mark Clarke. It is also composed by him and Ken. The track is not necessarily the best opening track, though it is an okay song, it doesn't really have the energy or upbeat attitude of the rest of the album and isn't really developed that well. It was released as a single, yet it is a song that is unremarkable and not memorable. "Traveller in Time" however, is the polar opposite of that, bringing in the high energy that will last throughout the rest of the album, especially on the more accessible first side. It is a bit more progressive sounding and brings the band in full force. "Easy Livin'" was the band's most successful and recognizable single, the 2nd released from the album and their only one to break the American Top 40. The melody is simple and has that arena rock style that invites the crowd to sing along to.

From here on out, the album continues with high energy rock, dowsed with some excellent keyboard solos and sprinkled with great guitar work. The real standouts on the album are "Poet's Justice", "Circle of Hands" and "The Spell" which reach masterpiece status, and actually help carry the album. Even the weaker tracks like "Rainbow Demon", "All My Life" (which could have been a single too), and "Paradise" still have enough energy to make them relevant.

Strangely enough, one of the outtakes that later appeared on the 1996 remastered edition and the 2003 expanded deluxe edition is probably the best track from those sessions that created this album. Why it wasn't originally included on this album is a puzzle because it is one of the strongest. That track is simply called "Why", and the best version of it is on the 2003 edition since it is in an extended 10 minute version. This version has one of the best jamming tracks recorded in studio by the band, that will definitely conjure up memories of some of the best blues-based rock jams from Rare Earth and early Grand Funk Railroad. It also showcases that talent of the band, and can give you an idea of what their live show jams were like. This 2003 expanded edition is the best of the re-releases of the album. It also includes and unnecessary single edit of "Rainbow Demon", but also has a decent outtake called "Proud Words on a Dust Shelf" that unfortunately repeats itself too much, but also the excellent track "Home Again to You" which also should have been included on the main album as it is better than some of the weaker tracks. "Green Eye" is another demo, but it sounds a bit unpolished and unfinished, not quite as interesting. However, overall, this expanded edition is worth it and with the two excellent tracks, actually elevate the album to a 4 star affair.

Demons and Wizards is a great album that I finally appreciate, however, I still don't consider it quite as good as The Magician's Birthday, I at least finally appreciate it for what it is. There are some great tracks here and show the band at it's best.

 Salisbury by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.19 | 799 ratings

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Salisbury
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by Tim Lloyd

5 stars I discovered Salisbury at the bottom of my brother's milk crate (the older larger crates!), while home convalescing at home with Whooping Cough! I was 14, very bored, took one look at the album cover, and thought the band name was simply ridiculous!

Anyone other than myself would simply keep going through the hundreds of albums...after all, there was Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and The Who right in the same milk crate! Well, as history would have it, I pulled the album out, mesmerized by the length of grooves shown for the title track! That did it for me! And so I ended up playing the album until my needle was sculpting the grooves 1/4" wide from overplaying!

As the saying goes, "cleanliness is next to godliness". If so, then this album comes in third! Simply put...unmatched songwriting melodies and creativity, arranging, production, and performance! "Look At Yourself" was equal for its own reasons...and then like Kung Fu's master, the pebble was snatched from the hands of a short-lived brilliant band.

The Mk. II band went on to several pieces of beauty that will no doubt be written about for a millenium...but this one stands on its own, and will stand the test of time...or until the English Channel runs dry of water...whichever one happens first! Long live Salisbury...and yes I love "Simon The Bullet Freak", even though it reduced the title track by approx. 3 minutes on side two!!!

Thanks to Easy Livin for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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