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Uriah Heep

Allegedly the role-model for Spïnal Tap, Uriah Heep have managed to get through eight bass players, six drummers, five lead singers, and four keyboard players in their 30-year career. You will truly be a master of rock trivia if you can name them all.

Uriah Heep have never had a good rep. It's even been alleged that being a fan of Uriah Heep should be a -10 point Odious Personal Habit in GURPS. All this is of course completely undeserved.

Rude things they have said about Uriah Heep

(If you are one of these people and you deny saying any of these things, please email me at once, and I will might correct it).

Tim's reviews of all those albums

Contrary to popular belief, I don't have every album the band have done, so there are gaps in this list.

Very' Eavy Very 'Umble

Heep's first album. Highlights are the two most well-known ones; the anthem 'Gypsy', and it's musical opposite, the acoustic guitar and mellotron ballad 'Come Away Melinda'. The rest of the album is a bit of a muchness, although the slightly jazzy 'Wake Up (Set Your Sights) show some promise. In short, the debut of a band still searching for a musical direction.
My Rating: 3 Heeps


A marked improvement on it's predecessor, and one of my personal favourites. One of the band's most diverse albums, varying from the so-called 'Danish Fjord Rock' of 'Bird of Prey' through the atmospheric ballads 'Lady in Black' and 'The Park', to the 17-minute title track, a semi-orchestral piece featuring brass and woodwind sections; the album's undoubted highlight and one of the most underrated of the rock/orchestral crossovers that were fashionable at the time. On this album the band's trademark Hammond organ-led sound began to take shape. The two singles from this album, 'Bird of Prey' and 'Lady in Black' (The latter a huge hit in Germany) still feature in the band's live set today.
Rating: 5 Heeps

Look at Yourself

While this album has a more unified feel to it's predecessor, to me it doesn't quite scale the peaks of 'Salisbury'. Still notable for classics like 'July Morning' and the title track.
Rating: 4 Heeps

Demons and Wizards

No, this isn't the title of a Role-Playing Game! This album and it's successor are the twin high points of the David Byron years. It was the first album to feature the rhythm section of Lee Kerslake and the late Gary Thain, generally reckoned to be definitive Heep lineup. Both the title and the Roger Dean cover match the fantasy theme of the lyrics.
Rating: 5 Heeps

The Magician's Birthday

Carries on where 'Demons and Wizards' left off. Opens with the definitive Heep song 'Sunrise', and carries on in a similar vein. Another 'must have'. Unfortunately the remastered version seems hard to get hold of in Britain; my copy is actually a US import.
Rating: another 5 Heeps

Sweet Freedom

Doesn't manage to top either of the two previous offerings, but still has it's moments; notably the Hammond-heavy title track, the epic 'Pilgrim' and the semi-acoustic 'Circus'.
Rating: 4 Heeps


One of the most underrated albums in Heep's catalogue. Not as heavy as earlier work, the highlight of the album is perhaps Heep's best ever ballad, 'The Easy Road'. Other standout tracks include the epic 'Dreams', and the title track itself.
Rating: 4 Heeps

Return to Fantasy

First of two albums recorded with John Wetton on bass (Also in King Crimson, Roxy Music and Asia, among others). Not perhaps Heep at their best, but still has it's moments, most notably the title track, and the epic closer 'Year and a day'. But why are the two non-album B-sides included on the remastered version of the CD better than some of the tracks on the original album?
Rating: 3 ½ Heeps

High and Mighty

Another sometimes underrated album. Perhaps it gets off on the wrong foot, with John Wetton's poor attempt to sing a vocal line written for David Byron (who was sick with chicken pox at the time). This album showcases the band's softer side, with standout tracks being ballads like 'Weep in Silence'.
Rating: 4 Heeps


After original singer David Byron got the sack in 1976, Heep brought the more bluesy John Lawton in to replace him, as well as new bass player Trevor Boulder; this lineup recorded three albums, of which this is the best of the three. Not by any means Heep's heaviest work, but the the slow-burning blues of 'Rollin on', the superb blues-rock of 'Been Away Too Long' and the twin guitar on 'Sympathy' makes this a fine album.
Rating: 4 ½ Heeps

Innocent Victim

The second John Lawton album is much more varied, but less consistent than it's predecessor. It combines a couple of really heavy numbers with some very commercial material, such as 'Free Me', which was No 1 in New Zealand. This is another album where you need to get the remastered version; the outtake from the original LP 'The River' is probably the best track; possibly the standout track from the Lawton Era.
Rating: 3 ½ Heeps

Fallen Angel

It was perhaps unfortunate that 'Free Me' from 'Innocent Victim' was a hit; it encouraged the band to try and make a whole album of commercial pop songs to follow it up, an unfortunate tendency in far too many bands. Of the whole album there's really only a couple of decent tracks, 'Woman of the Night' and 'I'm Alive'.
Rating: only 2 ½ Heeps


The most controversial album the band ever recorded. Marks the end of an era for the band, being the final album to feature main songwriter Ken Hensley. Most of the controversy surrounds the vocals; John Sloman, in his only appearance for Heep, sings in a style quite unlike any Heep vocalist before or since. One can't help feeling there's a great album struggling to get out here, if only they had chosen a singer who's voice was more suitable for the songs! High spots are the two Trevor Bolder compositions, 'Fools' and 'It Ain't Easy', the latter sung by Trevor himself.
Rating: 3 Heeps


After the ill-fated 'Conquest' album, Heep disintegrated; collapsed in a heep, even. However, guitarist Mick Box crawled out from beneath the wreckage to build a new band, with new singer Pete Goalby, John Sinclair on keys, Bob Daisley on bass and brought back Lee Kerslake on drums. Against the odds they came up with what turned out to be a great album. It included several covers, such as 'The Way That It Is', which wipes the floor with Graham Bonnet's lame version of the same song, and Russ Ballard's 'On the Rebound', Original songs were good too, such as 'Think it Over'.
Rating: 4 ½ Heeps

Head First

Very much in the same vein as 'Abominog', but relying much more on Heep-written material. In some ways, is a typical (good) 80s rock album. Side of (of the LP) is more lightweight and poppy, but side two more than makes up for it. Standout cut has to be the epic 'Rolling the Rock'. Compared with earlier albums it's a lot more guitar-orientated, keyboards very much in a supporting role, which tend to be synths rather than hammond.
Rating: 4 ½Heeps

Sea of Light

We jump forward a few years from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, and the present lineup. What we have here is a very successful merger of the best elements of the classic 70s Heep with a more contemporary sound. We do have the return of the hammond organ in a big way, and classic heep-style vocal harmonies (as opposed to 80s-style big choruses).
Rating: 4 ½ Heeps

Sonic Origami

Heep's latest offering, more laid-back than it's predecessor, with quite a bit of semi-acoustic material. Good, but not as good as Sea of Light.
Rating: 4 Heeps

Don't forget to visit the Official Uriah Heep website, www.uriah-heep.com

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