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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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Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

Surprised to see URIAH HEEP in the art-rock section on PA, but why not!! They were a hell of a hard rocking band of the era in par with DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH and other LED ZEP. VERY HEAVY, VERY HUMBLE was their first album coming out in 1970 at the same time than DEEP PURPLE IN ROCK. I don't know if the members of the band were very humble, but believe me they were very heavy for their time. For the young ones here listening to death metal or prog metal, it might sound very ''light'', but back then in 1970 this album sounded very ''hard'' and it is still one of their most rocking one, at least from the golden era.

The main ingredients that will define the definitive URIAH HEEP sound are already here: -The hammond organ of KEN HENSLEY -The ''wah-wah'' guitar of MICK BOX -And the fantastic, sometimes operatic voice of the late DAVID BYRON. -Not to forget as all of the players can sing, what will be a great UH trademark, strong vocal harmonies.

The album starts with one of their most enduring anthem that is still played today to their faithfull fans: the anthemic GIPSY; believe me, that was very hard for the time, especially the -very- wild organ solo in the middle.There is no UH compilation that don't include this straight to your face song. A must have.

The rest of the album include a lot of hard rocKing tunes, most of them still very fresh and quite good, like ''walkin in your shadow'', ''real turned on'' or ''dreammare'' . There is also a wonderful ballad with magnificent vocals of DAVID BYRON: ''COME AWAY MELINDA'' that reminds me a lot other ballads like, yes....''I talk to the wind'' from you know who with flute, mellotron and all this athmosphere; just plain beautiful.

The best 2 tracks are the last 2: the rocking ''i'll keep on trying'' already showcasing perfectly the URIAH HEEP sound with again DAVID BYRON on top of his game, a great MICK BOX and all those operatic vocal harmonies that will define U.HEEP The last one ''wake up (set your sights)'' is the most adventurous track of the album, the most prog also with a lot of jazzy touches. Once again, we have here a DAVID BYRON festival and URIAH HEEP shows us that they can do other things than plain hard rock, adding a lot of prog subtetlies to their music. This track is an absolute masterpiece and you never get tired of listening to it.

This is not a 5 stars album, but almost: the only downer is ''LUCY BLUES''; not that it's bad, no, no' just it doesn't bring anything to the plate. British bands at this time were still coming out of the ''British blues'' sound that was still popular at the time and it was custom at the time to do a blues number to be ''in''

2 more extra points: -KEN HENSLEY is not credited on any songwriting for this album; things will change rapidly. -the sound of this album is absolutely fantastic, especially for a 1970 album

A journalist from ROLLING STONE magazine at the time wrote that he would commit suicide if URIAH HEEP made it big somehow. They did: no word if the journalist kept his word!

A great 4 stars album: still one from them i am still listening to often; always a pleasure 4 stars

febus | 4/5 |


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