Tag Archives: Uriah Heep

Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep) To Release New Anthology CD, Rare & Timeless

Progressive music took many, many turns as the ’60s turned into the ’70s. One such band that helped shape genre shifts was Uriah Heep. Formed in 1969. By 1970, this turnstile band (boasting of several classic-era line-ups over time, had released its debut, Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble. By 1973, Uriah Heep had released Sweet Freedom as a new signing to Warner Brothers, with the release of their successful single, “Stealin'”.

Between their debut and Sweet Freedom, the band released four other classics (Salisbury – 1971, Look At Yourself – 1971, Demons & Wizards – 1972, The Magician’s Birthday – 1972). With Demons & Wizards, the band had enormous US success with the extraction of “Easy Livin'” as a single. The songwriter for both of these mentioned Uriah Heep hits was Ken Hensley.

Ken Hensley left the confines of Uriah Heep in 1980 after the release of Conquest (1980). With only Mick Box left from the classic lineups, and the changing musical climate, Hensley felt the ongoing directional changes were not in standing with his vision. But before he left, Ken Hensley had dabbled with two solo releases (the incredible Proud Words On a Dusty Shelf (1973), and Eager To Please (1975)). After his departure, he released Free Spirit (1981). From there, Hensley, in addition to his many band collaborations, released ten solo titles.

On March 30, in conjunction with PledgeMusic and BMG UK, Ken Hensley will release a personally curated compilation of fifteen songs, some previously unreleased, and three new tracks (two brand new compositions, and one a re-record of “Lady In Black”, a Uriah Heep song from Salisbury). This new anthology will be called Rare & Timeless.

01 – Free Me (rare Russian release)
02 – Send Me An Angel (previously unreleased)
03 – If I Had The Time
04 – Guilty
05 – The Last Dance (previously unreleased)
06 – Mine (newly recorded for this anthology)
07 – I Did It All
08 – I Close My Eyes (*rare release*)
09 – Take & Take
10 – The Return
11 – Beyond The Starz
12 – Fortune
13 – Lady In Black
14 – The Longest Night (newly recorded for this anthology)
15 – Epilogue (newly recorded for this anthology)

I LIKE!

 

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!

 

Next Wave of 2CD Uriah Heep Reissues Planned For March

As we begin to enjoy the early stages of the complete Uriah Heep reissue campaign, I find myself quite anxious to hear the goodies assembled for the next wave of Uriah Heep classics.  Currently, Very ‘Eavy, Very’ Umble, and Salisbury are in release with great bonus tracks. Of course, there’s also a delightful ‘best of’ our there, too.

The next wave of 2CD expanded remasters are now on the calendar. They include Look At Yourself (1971), Demons and Wizards (1972), and (my favorite Heep set) The Magician’s Birthday (1972). They are all planned for March 31.

Look At Yourself:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD1
01. Look At Yourself
02. I Wanna Be Free
03. July Morning
04. Tears in My Eyes
05. Shadows of Grief
06. What Should Be Done
07. Love Machine

CD2

01. I Wanna Be Free (Alternative Mix)
02. Tears in My Eyes (Alternative Mix)
03. What Should Be Done (Alternative Mix)
04. Shadows of Grief (Alternative Mix)
05. Look At Yourself (Alternative Mix)
06. July Morning (Alternative Mix)
07. Why Fourteen Minutes (Alternative Mix)
08. Love Machine (Alternative Mix)
09. What’s Within My Heart (Alternative Mix)
10. July Morning (Alternative Mix)
11. Look At Yourself (Alternative Mix)

Demons and Wizards:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD1

01. The Wizard
02. Traveller In Time
03. Easy Livin’
04. Poet’s Justice
05. Circle Of Hands
06. Rainbow Demon
07. All My Life
08. Paradise
09. The Spell

CD2

1. Easy Livin’ (Alternative Mix)
2. Rainbow Demon (Alternative Mix)
3. Traveller in Time (Alternative Mix)
4. Paradise (Alternative Mix)
5. The Spell (Alternative Mix)
6. All My Life (Alternative Mix)
7. Home Again To You (Alternative Mix)
8. Why (Alternative Mix)
9. The Wizard (Alternative Mix)
10. Poet’s Justice (Alternative Mix)
11. Circle of Hands (Alternative Mix)
12. Proud Words (Alternative Mix)
13. Green Eye (Alternative Mix)
14. Why (Alternative Mix)

The Magician’s Birthday:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD1
01. Sunrise
02. Spider Woman
03. Blind Eye
04. Echoes In The Dark
05. Rain
06. Sweet Lorraine
07. Tales
08. The Magician’s Birthday

CD2
01. Echoes In The Dark (Alternative Mix)
02. Sweet Lorraine (Alternative Mix)
03. Blind Eye (Alternative Mix)
04. Tales (Alternative Mix)
05. Silver White Man (Alternative Mix)
06. Sunrise (Alternative Mix)
07. Crystal Ball (Alternative Mix)
08. Spider Woman (Alternative Mix)
09. The Magician’s Birthday (Alternative Mix)
10. Rain (Alternative Mix)
11. Silver White Man (inst) (Alternative Mix)
12. Happy Birthday (Alternative Mix)
13. Sunrise (Alt Single) (Alternative Mix)
14. Sweet Lorraine (Alt Single) (Alternative Mix)
15. Gary’s Song (Alt Version) (Alternative Mix)

All sets will adhere to original art. They will include fresh booklets with more photos, more notes and essays, memorabilia, and greater song details.

 

In Memoriam: John Wetton

Recently, we had another musical classic performer pass from us. While I hate being morbid, I believe 2016 has really opened the gates of mortality for those of us who have walked along the fence. We remember the bands and performers in our youth that gave us something special to hold on to. People that we’ll never, ever forget. One of those legends was John Wetton.

John Wetton has been in several bands. He began his journey with Mogul Thrash, a band that admittedly I still know nothing about. From there, he moved on to Family, King Crimson, a touring Roxy Music, Renaissance, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, UK, and Asia. His contributions to all of these bands are unforgettable. And for his stretch across the borders of Progressive Rock, we the fans have been the lucky ones.

But, as time will have it, John Wetton went from life as we know it to a massive band gathering. He passed on January 31.

Let’s remember the great music he left behind.

John Wetton
1949-2017
RIP

(With few exceptions, I will cease to write or post In Memoriam columns. I choose to be ignorant and feel as if they’re sill here. Without columns such as these, it can feel just a bit better. To me, anyway. I did not forget Butch Trucks, either! May he Rest In Peace, also!)

For K Kline, M Nichols, both who inspired this writing.

 

Notes on The 2CD Uriah Heep Collection, Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990

uriahheep_yourturntorememberUriah Heep was one of the bands that helped to begin and further the progressive fantasy element of Rock music way back in 1969. Their debut album, Very ‘eavy, Very ‘umble (1970) started the ball rolling. By the time they arrived at their third album, what they strove to become was in full bloom. One of the songs from Look At Yourself (1971) was “July Morning”, a favorite on FM radio, and the “Look At Yourself” title track. Just a year later, they released Demons And Wizards (1972), an album that landed them a solid US hit with “Easy Livin'”. The UK, ahead of US interest also gave life to “The Wizard” from the same album. The rest of the story is history as the band gained more of a fan-base as they released albums and singles. By the time they reached their debut US Warner release, Sweet Freedom (1973), they were doing what they wanted. The excellent hit song off that album was “Stealin'”.

Over time, the core band began to disintegrate beginning with Gary Thain. He was soon joined by David Byron, the band’s brilliant vocalist. Both ended up dying as a result of their addictions. The band, from a point after the release of David Byron, changed line-ups frequently losing and regaining core members. Mick Box is the only remaining founding member, and the one that insured that Uriah Heep never went away. Amazingly, despite the challenges that presented themselves, Uriah Heep remained artistically viable. Although the band had different members, Box chose them wisely as every Uriah Heep fan will say, the output of the band was, more or less, excellent additions to a growing library. David Byron was an impossible vocalist to replace so they didn’t try; they just filled in the blanks as they went along in admirable fashion.

BMG is currently undertaking a restoration project of Uriah Heep classic releases (which I’ll gladly follow through every release and report on). The label began with a superb 2CD anthology that explored Uriah Heep from its ‘umble’ beginnings to 1990, a core afterlife, if you will. The set is called Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990. (Your Turn to Remember is taken from the band’s song of the same name found on their Return To Fantasy (1975) album, which has two songs represented on the first CD.) Within its paneled casing, the two CDs explore Uriah Heep well, with CD one concentrated on the David Byron years, and CD two working with subsequent vocalists (High And Mighty – 1976 utilized David Byron and is the only represented album on CD 2 to do so. But although CD 2 contains a number of songs with various voices, they never suffered because the music was so strong.

The set contains 33 songs representative of Very ‘Eavy, Very ‘Umble in 1970 and Raging Silence from 1989, and the fifteen studio albums recorded between those two. As with any set, selections may not fit every one’s idea of a perfect anthology, but this one certainly whetted my appetite for the whole albums. Listening to this anthology, which I’ve done to excess already, has brought up memories that needed revisiting by hearing whole albums. And with the upcoming remasters, it’s going to be a great 2017 for classic Uriah Heep remasters and bonus tracks.

The included 20-page booklet crams in a wealth of album covers, posters, and an eye-opening new interview with Mick Box, and Ken Hensley. The booklet concludes with a two-page track-list of songs found on the 2CDs, complete with credits.

This anthology is a must have set for Uriah Heep fans. It makes traveling on long, lonely highways feel like you’re traveling with long time friends.

uriah-heep-your-turn-to-remember-back-cover

 

 

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)

 

Uriah Heep To Get Complete Reissue Campaign AND A 2CD Anthology

If there is something that will get me off whatever I’m doing, and fire up the laptop to do a write-up, it’s this piece of news (THANKS to M Judkins for the MetalTalk headline!) This is a new reissue campaign for Uriah Heep that seems to encompass their entire library.

Beginning on September 30, BMG will revisit Uriah Heep with the first 2CD Deluxe Edition of their first album. …very ‘eavy, …very ‘umble from 1970 . That album will feature new remastering, as will all of their titles. In addition to the original album remastered, there will be a selection of bonus tracks that will represent an alternate …very ‘eavy,…very ‘umble, all never previously reissued (see track-list below).

The booklet for the reissue should be quite a feature as well with new notes, essay, and photographs.

But that’s simply not all. The first thing that accompanies the release of their first album 2CD reissue is a 2CD anthology of great Uriah Heep tracks called Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive 1970-1990. It will offer 33 great Uriah Heep tracks that include “Easy Livin'”, “Sunrise”, “Suicidal Man”, “Stealin'”, “Gypsy”, and much more. (I’m a little disappointed that “The Magician’s Birthday” or “Wonderworld” didn’t make the selective cuts but I’m going to be getting those reissues soon enough!)

The entire campaign will benefit by the curating of Mick Box and Ken Hensley. The campaign will run from the debut reissue in latter September on through 2017. (I’ll be sure to let you know of every reissue as it’s announced!)

Uriah Heep Very Eavy Very Umble 2CD Deluxe EditionUriah Heep – …Very ‘Eavy, …Very ‘Umble – 2CD Deluxe Edition

CD1: Original Album Remastered

01 – Gypsy
02 – Walking In Your Shadow
03 – Come Away Melinda
04 – Lucy Blues
05 – Dreammare
06 – Real Turned On
07 – I’ll Keep On Trying
08 – Wake Up (Set Your Sights)

 

CD2: An Alternate …very ‘eavy, …very ‘umble (All tracks previously unreleased)

01 – Gypsy
02 – Real Turned On
03 – Dreammare
04 – Come Away Melinda
05 – Born In A Trunk
06 – Wake Up (Set Your Sights)
07 – I’ll Keep On Trying
08 – Walking In Your Shadow
09 – Lucy Blues
10 – Born In A Trunk
11 – Magic Lantern
12 – Bird Of Prey (US Alternate Mix)

Uriah Heep – Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive 1970-1990

CD1:
01. Gypsy
02. Come Away Melinda
03. Bird Of Prey
04. Lady In Black
05. Look At Yourself
06. July Morning – Japanese single edit
07. Easy Livin’
08. The Wizard
09. Sunrise
10. Sweet Lorraine
11. Stealin’
12. Sweet Freedom
13. The Shadows And The Wind
14. Suicidal Man
15. Return To Fantasy
16. Devil’s Daughter

CD2:
01. Weep In Silence
02. Can’t Keep A Good Band Down
03. Sympathy
04. Firefly
05. Free n’ Easy
06. Free Me
07. Woman Of The Night
08. Come Back To Me
09. It Ain’t Easy
10. No Return
11. Too Scared To Run
12. Chasing Shadows
13. Straight Through The Heart
14. The Other Side Of Midnight
15. Rockarama
16. Poor Little Rich Girl
17. Voice On My TV

 

Uriah Heep’s Sweet Freedom Makes A Reappearance

On May 27, Sanctuary Records will reissue Sweet Freedom, the 1973 classic Uriah Heep album that provided the hit single, “Stealin'”. Sweet Freedom has already been blessed with remastering and expansion with the 2004 set that included six bonus tracks including a rousing live version of “Stealin'”. There’s little doubt that those 2004 editions have sold through. Early in 2015, Sanctuary re-released that reissue in the UK. It would appear that that re-release will now be made available in the US. So, nothing special save that if you’ve never had it, now’s the time to rectify that oversight. It’s nice to keep such classics in circulation, right?

Personally, I’d have liked to see this reissue as vinyl LP.

Sweet Freedom Uriah Heep

 

[UPDATE] Two 1972 Uriah Heep Classics To Be Re-Released On CD And LP

Uriah Heep The Magician's Birthday[I was just alerted to a late July post by the fine release news site, DMME, that there are indeed updated Uriah Heep packages destined for our anxious hands. According to the site, Ken Hensley has decided to roll out a major upgrade to all of the Uriah Heep titles with more bonus tracks. The upgrades are expected to roll out over two years. The site stated a 2016 beginning time-frame, however, we now know that November 6 of 2015 will be the start with the two mentioned classics. therefore, I’m positive that remasters are in store for us as well as greater expansions making for definitive editions!

Thanks to DMME and Demitry E for the heads up! Specific reference article here.]

Sometimes I come across brand new, right out of the box, information on titles that do not provide any real material to fully describe its entry (or re-entry for reissues). Normally, I just kind of wait it out to see what potential information might leak out. But this is Uriah Heep, we’re talking about.

I don’t claim to love EVERYTHING they did, but it sure was close to it. So anytime some little bit of news comes out with their name attached, I get focused.

Uriah Heep - Demons WizardsOn November 6, Sanctuary Records will revisit two classic Uriah Heep titles including my all-time favorite, The Magician’s Birthday (1972). The other title is Demons & Wizards, which was released the same year as The Magician’s Birthday. (Talk about a steady stream of creativity with bands back in the day. More than one would release albums just six months apart from each other.)

Demons & Wizards will be reissued on CD and vinyl LP, as will The Magician’s Birthday. I’m hoping that with the release of the two titles on vinyl LP, that there will be a new remaster OTHER than the 2003 Expanded Editions.

If this turns out to be more special than just mere vinyl LP opportunities, then I will update as more info comes out. Otherwise, hope for the best!

 

Two 1972 Uriah Heep Classics To Be Re-Released On CD And LP

Uriah Heep The Magician's BirthdaySometimes I come across brand new, right out of the box, information on titles that do not provide any real material to fully describe its entry (or re-entry for reissues). Normally, I just kind of wait it out to see what potential information might leak out. But this is Uriah Heep, we’re talking about.

I don’t claim to love EVERYTHING they did, but it sure was close to it. So anytime some little bit of news comes out with their name attached, I get focused.

On November 6, Sanctuary Records will revisit two classic Uriah Heep titles including my all-time favorite, The Magician’s Birthday (1972). The other title is Demons & Wizards, which was released the same year as The Magician’s Birthday. (Talk about a steady stream of creativity with bands back in the day. More than one would release albums just six months apart from each other.)

Demons & Wizards will be reissued on CD and vinyl LP, as will The Magician’s Birthday. I’m hoping that with the release of the two titles on vinyl LP, that there will be a new remaster OTHER than the 2003 Expanded Editions.

If this turns out to be more special than just mere vinyl LP opportunities, then I will update as more info comes out. Otherwise, hope for the best!

Uriah Heep - Demons Wizards