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Mott the Dog's review on....

Uriah Heep - ...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble

Review: 011
Date: 12 Feb 01

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians: n/a

Tracks Listing:
1. Gypsy
The all-time Heep stomper. Hard, progressive rock doesn’t get much better. Still in their live set today!
2. Walking In Your Shadow
Another stomper and Ken’s first slide guitar work for Heep. Excellent vocals from David.
3. Come Away Melinda
Lovely, gentle anti-war piece wonderfully played by Mick. David’s emotional reading of this will bring tears to your eyes. Beats the pants off the UFO version from around the same time.
4. Lucy Blues.
5. Dreammare
Outstanding! The first Heep tune to deal with magic. Great harmonies.
6. Real Turned On
One of Mick’s best riffs, with lots of hot soloing from both Mick and Ken, who turns in some more great slide work. Love the ending.
7. I’ll Keep On Trying
Another prog number similar to Gypsy with lots of tempo and mood changes. Again, more of those beautiful Heep harmonies atop a heavy riff with a beautiful Beach Boys-like break.
8. Wake Up (Set Your Sights)
Probably the best song on the album. A stunning piece of work.

 


When this wonderful album was first released in June 1970, it was reviewed by the very influential Rolling Stone magazine in an appalling manner. I will briefly quote from the beginning of that review.

If this group makes it I’ll have to commit suicide. From the first note you know you don’t want to hear anymore. Uriah Heep is watered down tenth-rate. Jethro Tull only even more boring and inane.

One wonders how this unnamed journalist feels now that Uriah Heep are celebrating 30 years in the business and over 100 million album sales. Probably walking very gingerly round sharp objects and reviewing Mozart.

No such rash judgment from this dog though as I’ve always rated this album very highly since buying it for it’s cover alone, having never heard the music before.

"...Very 'Eavy ...Very ’Umble" charges in with opening belter. All time Heep favorite “Gypsy” here in it’s original 6 minute 55 second version before it was drawn out to nearly 20 minutes in the stage show to allow lead guitarist Mick Box and keyboard Wizard Ken Hensley to stretch out. Or just possibly so they could sort their hair out. This was the seventies, remember.

But the star of the album has to be lead vocalist Dave Byron. In the world of heavy rock nobody had a voice with such range. Just listen to him pleading on “Come away Melinda” or riding the magic carpet ride of Dreamscape.

Although Uriah Heep are still going strong, the line up has never been stable (they went through 3 drummers just trying to get this album down). 

Mick Box (still looking like one of the wacky characters from W.W.F) leads the band today after 4 lead vocalists, 5 keyboard players, and umpteen bassists and drummers, but last year's offering charmingly titled “Sonic Origano” was one of the years best Prog / Rock master pieces.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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