Tag Archives: Salisbury

Review: Uriah Heep 2CD Reissues (Look At Yourself/Demons and Wizards/The Magician’s Birthday)

If you were into Hard Rock in the ’70s, then you fell in somewhere with Uriah Heep. Whether that was with the popular track, “Easy Livin'”, or the later issued “Stealin'”, you likely enjoyed listening to them more than once. Uriah Heep is a UK band with their beginnings rooted in 1969, and who eventually owned the stage and airwaves with their progressive-styled music. They first issued Very ‘Eavy…Very ‘Umble back in 1970. Following with Salisbury less than a year later, the band was as creative as could be expected. And creativity was a strong point. Pushed by an ambitious manager, they continued to create at the highest level producing the classics that followed on the heels of the first two. Those were Look At Yourself (1971), Demons and Wizards (1972), and literally six months later The Magician’s Birthday (1972).

With Demons And Wizards, they began to gain greater notice as “Easy Livin'” soared onto Top 40 radio charts worldwide. Of course, the band had already been gaining momentum with previously released singles but those were primarily FM classics (“July Morning” from Look At Yourself, for example). But it was “Easy Livin'” that captured the attention of the widest audience. Uriah Heep would drift back into FM territory with The Magician’s Birthday songs, but return to Top 40 with “Stealin'” from their ‘nine month later’ album, Sweet Freedom (1973). The story goes on further from there.

On March 31, BMG Music reissued Look At Yourself, Demons And Wizards, and The Magician’s Birthday as newly remastered 2CD sets including essential alternate takes of each album that create elaborate and definitive sets for any Uriah Heep collector.

Look At Yourself includes eleven bonus “Alternative” tracks. They include an extended alternate track (“Tears In My Eyes”), a live alternate track (“July Morning”), and a single edit of “Look At Yourself”. The remaining tracks are alternate mixes with two of them outtakes (“Why Fourteen Minutes”, “What’s Within My Heart”). These tracks are previously unreleased.

Demons And Wizards delivers a treasure of fourteen bonus “Alternative tracks. They provide alternate mixes of the entire album as well as four outtake tracks (“Home Again To You”, two versions of “Why”(one a single edit), “Proud Words” (chosen and re-recorded by Hensley for his solo effort, Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf – 1973), and “Green Eye”). These tracks are previously unreleased.

The Magician’s Birthday – my personal favorite – contains fifteen “Alternative” songs. The original album is represented completely by eight alternate mixes, along with outtakes that include “Crystal Ball” (two versions, one titled as “Gary’s Song”)”Silver White Man” (two editions, one instrumental), “Happy Birthday”, a single edit of “Sunrise”, a single edit of “Sweet Lorraine”.


The remastered tracks make the music even more a joy to listen to. And with the bonus racks, it’s nice to hear the ideas that were played around with in the studio. I love the fact that the band were meticulous with their music. Within the studio. they largely knew what they wanted to end up with. There are several lineups of Uriah Heep, all quite good within their sphere. But the high point version of Uriah Heep had David Byron at the front, Gary Thain at bass with his partner in crime, Lee Kerslake on drums, Ken Hensley with his keyboard magic, and the unmatched guitars of Mick Box.

All three of these reissues are tri-fold housing for the two CDs and wallet housed 20-page booklets. Each booklet are richly designed with informative essays, interviews with original members, Ken Hensley and Mick Box. The booklets contain photos, memorabilia (with singles covers), lyrics, and full credits! Complemented by the earlier released ‘best of’, Your Turn to Remember, these three albums join the first two to make your collection of Uriah Heep classics as memorable as they may ever be able to attain to outside of these new reissues.

Now, we wait for the work and announcements for Sweet Freedom, Wonderworld (1974), and perhaps even Uriah Heep Live (1973). You can bet I’ll let you know! These reissues are the ones that worked hardest at making my year complete, no matter what else comes out!


Uriah Heep’s Salisbury Continues 2016/17 2CD Reissue Campaign

Uriah Heep - Salisbury UKIn my June 22 post (read here), I mentioned that the Uriah Heep legacy catalog titles were being reissued over the course of 2016 and 2017 on 2CD remastered and expanded editions. That campaign begins with …very ‘eavy, …very ‘umble, their debut release from 1970. That album is planned for release on September 30 with an extra CD of twelve unreleased tracks to make this title (and all that follow it) definitive reissues (with their own inclusions of bonus tracks). That reissue will be joined by a 3CD anthology package called Your Turn to Remember – The Definitive 1970-1990.

On October 28, the reissued, remastered, and expanded …very ‘eavy,…very ‘umble will be followed by the second in the series, Salisbury. Salisbury was originally released in 1971, and was considered an admirable follow-up to their first. Salisbury was followed by Look At Yourself (1971) but a mere eight months later. I’m sure that title shows up in November, although there is no schedule available.

As far as covers go, I suspect the UK cover will prevail over the US cover (although I’m preferential to the US artwork for this set, where usually I’m not). Nevertheless, given the status of this reissue, I’m sure that both covers will be represented in one way or the other!

Uriah Heep Salisbury US

Salisbury – Uriah Heep – 2CD Deluxe Edition

CD1 – Original Album 2016 Remaster:
01. Bird of Prey
02. The Park
03. Time to Live
04. Lady in Black
05. High Priestess
06. Salisbury

CD2 – An Alternative Salisbury:
01. High Priestess (Alternative Version)
02. Time to Live (Alternative Version)
03. The Park (Alternative Version)
04. Simon the Bullet Freak (Alternative Version)
05. Bird of Prey (Alternative Version)
06. Here Am I (Alternative Version)
07. Lady in Black (Alternative Version)
08. Salisbury (Alternative Version)
09. Salisbury (Alternative Version; Live)