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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Demons And Wizards

In 1972 Uriah Heep finally managed to decide who they were. Vacillating between being a Floyd or Zepplin clone, they had released three LP's; 1970's 'Very 'eavy, Very 'umble', and 1971's 'Salisbury' and 'Look At Yourself'. Though those records contain moments of what Heep would come to be, it wasn't until their fourth record that they settled on what the Heep sound was, which was huge organ, tons of wah, tight bass and drums, with lots of vocal harmonies.

Holed up at Lansdowne Studios in London for March and April of that year they recorded what would ultimately be their opus; 'Demons and Wizards'. Containing such classics as 'Easy Livin', 'The Wizard', and 'Traveler in Time', Uriah Heep had the ability to deliver quick rock anthems, as well as the nine minute prog indulgence that critics loved to hate, and I loved to take drugs and listen to. Since then, on both accounts, not much had changed.

Uriah Heep has changed. Oh, they're still around. Mick Box (guitar) has kept the band going since original band honcho Ken Hensley (organ) left in the mid seventies. The Heep of the late seventies was a Spinal Tap style roustabout of band members and just plain bad albums. Settling in the early eighties with a line-up that featured former Spinal Tap keyboardist John Sinclair (not a joke, seriously ironic) and former Ozzy bassist Bob Daisley, who brought with him, from the Ozzy camp, former Heepster Lee Kerslake (drums). The Heep was back, and if not better than ever, certainly better than they had been for some time. During this time they recorded the ridiculously titled, and even more ridiculously packaged 'Abominog', and 'Head First', the latter of which is simply a great record.

Heep is however Heep, and there's a new lineup of old memebers.

If you like heavy music with progressive leanings, you still may not like Uriah Heep, but I do, and so does Ken, and Tony Alva (to a degree).

Amen. Lately I can't stop listening to that Live 1973 album. Gary Thain has become one of my heroes because of his bass playing on that. He's actually the first bassist I can say is an influence of mine.

I mentioned to my bass teacher in an email the other day that Thain's playing makes me feel like mine sucks total ass. He replied, "Let's do some Uriah...you're ready!" I think he has too much faith in me, but I love him anyone. Hey, he taught Adam Clayton how to play. And he just did I think four studio tracks for George Clinton.

One thing I learned today is that Thain actually played at Woodstock with the Keef Hartley Band.

And sadly, Dec. 8 will be the 30th anniversary of the poor fucker's death.
A band I've only heard of, never heard.

What kind of music is it?

Behold one of the greatest bassists ever (IMO).
Dave - cross Yes with Sabbath over a few pints.
Ken, nice with the linkin'
Always happy to share the Heep.
It's just such a funny name.

"Uriah Heep."

It sounds like the 70's, doesn't it?

Say it again.

"Uriah Heep."
The "Wizard" is a most awesome tune. I'll now head over to Amazon and make a few UH selections...
Just don't buy UH willy nilly, Ken bought 'Wonderworld'and found out the hard way. Stick to 'Greatest Hits', 'Demons and Wizards', and 'Magicians Birthday'. 'Look at Yourself' isn't bad.
I think we've all made the impulsive Uriah Heep purchases, only to find out later that:

"Uriah Heap's One On The Heap."
See now, the Saxon one was funny but now you're stretching.
Ah, but there was a method to my madness. Gary Thain's bass playing.
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