Uriah Heep. A character straight out of Dickens — literally. The guy from David Copperfield is darkly unctuous, insincere, full of fake fawning.Which probably applies to some rock bands, then and now. But the character only shares a name with the British rock band, which traces its roots back more than 50 years. They were originally called Spice, but the record company thought that was pretty weak. So late 1969 being the 100th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ death, they decided to honor the author by borrowing a name from one of his books. And let’s face it, Uriah Heep is one that sticks out. My old high school radio-television teacher hated them, calling them “Uriah heap of feces.” It even stuck out to him.
Đang xem: Uriah heep best album
Since that time they’ve cranked out more than two dozen studio albums (not counting various compilations and live sets). They’ve had 25 different members (including, briefly, bassist John Wetton and longtime Elton John drummer Nigel Olsson). Only guitarist Mick Box remains from the original group.
That’s a heap of music and musicians.
This one came out after the Demons and Wizards tour and before their sixth studio effort, Sweet Freedom, was released in late 1973.To these ears, this is a great representation of The Heep in concert while they were at the top.Cracks were already appearing. The last album hadn’t sold as well as the one before. The next one also did worse than that.Byron and bassist Gary Thain were starting to sink into the alcohol and substance abuse that would end their tenures with the band (and all too early, their lives). But several of the performances on Live are excellent, especially the hits like “Easy Livin’”, “Look at Yourself” and “Sunrise.” These are done straight, just like in the studio versions, but the energy is palpable. And Byron’s vocals are remarkable. He was one of the top singers in rock during his peak, a fact often forgotten (especially with his sudden decline). There are clunkers in the longer offerings, but Live is a goodcompendium and shows just what Heep could do in concert.
And so that’s my Top 5 of Uriah Heep. None is perfect. And there are 20 other albums on their resume, so you may have a different list. And that’s okay. Let us know what you think. We’ll accept them straight—no fake humility or dark unctuousness.