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The Best Of Uriah Heep

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Two Decades In Rock 
	cover Two Decades In Rock Box Set
Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
  1. Gypsy
  2. Come Away Melinda
  3. I'll Keep On Trying
  4. Lady In Black
  5. Salisbury
  6. The Park
  7. Look At Yourself
  8. July Morning
  9. Tears In My Eyes
  10. Love Machine
  11. The Wizard
  12. Traveller In Time
  13. Easy Livin'
  1. The Magician's Birthday
  2. Spider Woman
  3. Rain
  4. Sweet Lorraine
  5. Sweet Freedom
  6. Stealin'
  7. Circus
  8. Wonderworld
  9. Suicidal Man
  10. Something Or Nothing
  11. Return To Fantasy
  12. Shady Lady
  13. Prima Donna
  14. Weep In Silence
  15. Can't Keep A Good Band Down
  16. Who Needs Me
  17. Wise Man
  1. Firefly
  2. Free 'N' Easy
  3. Free Me
  4. The Dance
  5. Fallen Angel
  6. It Ain't Easy
  7. Come Back To Me
  8. Chasing Shadows
  9. That's The Way That It Is
  10. Stay On Top
  11. The Other Side Of Midnight
  12. Rockarama
  13. Holding On
  14. Poor Little Rich Girl
  15. Blood Red Roses
  16. Voice On My TV
  17. More Fool You

Rarities From the Bronze Age 
	cover Rarities From The Bronze Age

  1. Look At Yourself*
  2. Simon The Bullet Freak**
  3. Gypsy*
  4. Why**
  5. Stealin'*
  6. Sunshine**
  7. What Can I Do**
  8. Shout It Out**
  9. Return To Fantasy*
  10. Time Will Come**
  11. Crime Of Passion**
  12. Masquerade**
  13. Gimme Love (Struttin')**
  14. Cheater**
  15. Been Hurt**
  16. Love Stealer***
  17. Think It Over*** (Sloman version)
  18. My Joanna Needs Tuning**
  19. Tin Soldier**
  20. Son Of A Bitch**
  21. Playing For Time
* - single edit ** - single B-side *** - non-album A-side Note: This is the only CD on which the original single edit of Masquerade appears.

Collection cover The Collection

  1. Love Machine
  2. Easy Livin'
  3. Look At Yourself
  4. July Morning
  5. Firefly
  6. Running All Night (With The Lion)
  7. Return To Fantasy
  8. Been Away Too Long
  9. Rainbow Demon
  10. Gypsy
  11. That's The Way That It Is
  12. Wake Up (Set Your Sights)
  13. Love Is Blind
  14. Can't Keep A Good Band Down
  15. On The Rebound
  16. All My Life
Original Liner Notes:
Anyone listening to the debut Uriah Heep album, Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble, when it was first released way back in 1970 would doubtless have been as surprised as the band themselves if anyone had told them right there and then that two decades later the name Uriah Heep would still be on concert-hall billboards all over the world. Everyone dreams, everyone has ambitions - but not even the irrepressibly chirpy Cockney guitarist Mick Box would've thought that one a remote possibility.

Especially when he saw some of the reviews they were getting. For years, Uriah Heep were the ' band everyone - except the fans - just loved to hate. They were slammed as 'a poor man's Deep Purple' due to the relentlessly heavy guitar/Hammond organ driven rockers... 'if this band makes it, I'll have to commit suicide', promised another unimpressed hack ... Uriah Heep heard it all.

But they were too damn stubborn to pay any mind to the critics. Instead they took their cue from the smiling faces crammed against the stages, took solace from the consistent - if unspectacular - record sales and just kept on rockin'.

They were every bit as 'umble as Charles Dickins' simpering clerk who unwittingly gave them their name, but they were more stubborn than a stable full of proverbial mules. They refused to give up no matter what happened, enduring their share of personnel changes, upheavels, and even tragedies to play concerts and become a 'name' act in just about every country in the world - from Iceland to Australia, from the USA to the Soviet Union. Just take a look around: it's 1989 and the band are still with us! They have beaten all the odds and survived.

This compilation - a mere scratch on the surface of their 19-studio album, five frontmen career - couldn't hope to be a comprehensive resume of all the band have done and are capable of. But listen to it and hear most of the classics - Gypsy, Easy Livin, Return To Fantasy, July Morning... they're all here, along with a few goodies time has overlooked, and maybe even a few surprises.

Not least for all those who said the band would never last...

Echoes In The Dark cover Echoes In The Dark

  1. Echoes In The Dark
  2. The Wizard
  3. Come Away Melinda
  4. Devil's Daughter
  5. Hot Persuasion
  6. Showdown
  7. I'm Alive
  8. Look At Yourself
  9. Spider Woman
  10. Woman Of The Night
  11. I Wanna Be Free
  12. Gypsy
  13. Sunrise
  14. Bird Of Prey
  15. Love Machine
  16. Lady In Black
Original Liner Notes:
MALIGNED, misunderstood dismissed and even derided by the rock critic fraternity, Uriah Heep were a classically misunderstood '70s rock band. Yet nearly two decades later their music (and there was a lot of it) still has power, adventure and excitement. Listening now to the sheer energy and musicianship of the constant front-line interplay between guitar, vocals and organ, two things emerge; a restless quest for pushing relentlessly ahead with their own frontiers, and the absolute contemporaneity of many of their performances. If they were released for the first time today, several of the tracks on this collection wouldn't sound out of place perched at the top of the 'Rock Chart' section of the 'Chart Show' or even in the Top Ten itself.

Heep had something a lot of critics couldn't or wouldn't hear. The fans did though. Their album Uriah Heep Live went gold on both sides of the Atlantic because Uriah Heep live were a phenomenon. They delivered: they took pains to deliver; they delivered on record and on stage and the fans knew and the critics didn't. What Heep were really about was music, not outsiders' attitudes, and their music is truly interesting - its roots, its influences, its effect. Heep were formed at the beginning of the '70s, a time when 'pop' was becoming a teeny-tainted dirty word, and 'rock' (without the 'roll') was the correctly cred path of musical righteousness. As all the '60s bubbles got burst, the progressive spirit of pop reincarnated itself in rock: heavier (as in "heavy with significance", louder, weightier, more self-consciously experimental, performance music for the stoned. Heep filled the bill. For a few years they became one of the dozen top rock bands.

Secretly though, their roots, like those of contemporaries Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, did lay in the '60s, in the acid experiments of '67 and later. Said Heep drummer Keith Baker in 1970 "It all started with the hippie thing in 1967. Although flower-power got played out by the press in a matter of weeks, all the energy it created is still there, only now it's not talked about."

Heep's genealogy can be traced back to the Stalkers, a late '60s group featuring Londoner Mick Box (b.8 June Ď47) on guitar, and Essex-born vocalist David Byron (b.29 Jan. '47). They metamorphosed into Spice who excited the enthusiasm of music mogul Gerry Bron, producer, publisher, manager, Bron persuaded them to take on multi-talented Ken Hensley (b.24 Aug. '45), keyboard player, guitarist, songwriter, and formerly in seminal progressive rockers The Gods with Greg Lake, Mick Taylor and bassist Paul Newton. Newton joined Hensley, Alex Napier was brought in on drums, and the new band got an old name - that of the unctuous Dickens Character from David Copperfield.

That line-up cut Heep's debut LP Very 'eavy, Very 'umble for Bron's Bronze label; it contained Gypsy an all-time Heep favourite that became a blueprint for at least one facet of their style. With their breathtaking keyboard-guitar front-line interplay topped by Byron's swooping vocal lines and high-register harmonies (prompting one commentator to dub them "the Beach Boys of Heavy Metal"). Heep proved in one fell swoop their musicianship and versatility (it contains one non-original track, the atmospheric postapocalyptic ballad Come Away Melinda) but at the same time it branded them.

"The 'heavy' image is a drag because it creates an interest among the sort of people that aren't really our type of audience," explained David Byron in 1971. "If anybody listens to us expecting something on the lines of Black Sabbath they're going to be really disappointed. Likewise, it might drive away a lot of people who would otherwise dig us. Heavy bands are limited to use those basic simple heavy riffs, so they're bound to run out of material or start repeating themselves after not very long. I don't think we've ever been a heavy band in the usual sense of the word. There's always been an effort to get a balance of light and heavy shades."

Like many other rock groups, getting a solid permanent rhythm section was a problem that would plague and almost destroy Uriah Heep. Drummer Napier was replaced by Keith Baker for the band's second album Salisbury. Baker was replaced by Iain Clarke for Look At Yourself late in '71, also featuring the percussion of labelmates Osibisa, and Manfred Mann himself playing synth on the track July Morning. By now, Heep were a world-wide attraction with a huge fan following, and this constant touring led to the departure of bassist Paul Newton and drummer Clarke. Their replacements were New Zealander bassist Gary Thain, ex-Keef Hartley, and drummer Lee Kerslake from the Gods. This was to be Heep's strongest rhythm section. The line-up was now perfect. The LPs Demons and Wizards and Magician's Birthday, two of the earliest sword- and-sorcery albums, both went gold in the UK and the USA and were followed by the majestic Uriah Heep Live, the double-album zenith of their career. Then tragedy struck. In '74 Thain received an electric shock on stage in Dallas and was unable to work. His subsequent personal problems led to delays in recording, touring and to clashes with mentor Bron. Thain was asked to leave in February '75: a month later he was dead of a drugs overdose. From then on - albeit slowly - it was all down-hill.

Cataloguing their decline reveals a morass of what seems like almost insurmountable obstacles. A series of disappointing albums, the break-up of the potent original line-up with only Mick Box left striving to hold the band together. Amazingly, after years in the wilderness, Box succeeded in putting together an '80s Heep line-up that saw the group return to the charts in Britain and America with some fine AOR material. It was a deservedly welcome comeback.

This collection though, is not concerned with declines or comebacks; instead it concentrates on Uriah Heep in their charismatic hey-day; a confident and authorative band exploring the further reaches of rock's possibilities, revelling in their own brilliant musicianship and experimentation, offering us their unique vision.


Downunda front cover Downunda front cover

Side 1Side 2Side 3Side 4
1. Echoes In The Dark1. Tears In My Eyes1. Easy Livin'1. The Wizard
2. High Priestess2. Lady In Black2. Sunrise2. Stealin'
3. What Should Be Done3. Come Away Melinda3. Traveller In Time3. Rain
4. Bird Of Prey4. Look At Yourself4. Sweet Lorraine4. Sweet Freedom
5. Rainbow Demon
Original Liner Notes:
"At last we are going to make it to the place where it's sunny at Christmas. After nearly five years running round the world, the thrill of going to a country for the first time is back as we prepare for our Australian trip. This album is only going to be released to you, to commemorate the visit, but it's one we enjoy because it's a package of our short (so far) but happy history."

"Hearing songs like 'Gypsy' and 'High Priestess' after so long was a gas but the secret, I think, is in the complete package. The songs all represent stages our music has gone through up until the recent past and whilst some of you will miss your particular 'favourites', the selection, I think, traces our steps in an interesting way."

"It has become, perhaps, tour own 'private' collection of 'Heep Sounds' and we hope, naturally, that you will enjoy it, and those special concerts in November"

"We send all our love, Ken Hensley, October 1974"

Traveller in Time

Traveller In Time front cover
1. Gypsy
2. Come Away Melinda
3. Bird Of Prey
4. I'll Keep On Trying
5. High Priestess
6. The Park
7. Lady In Black
8. Look At Yourself
9. July Morning
10. Tears In My Eyes
11. Love Machine
12. The Wizard
13. Why
14. Traveller In Time
15. Easy Livin'
16. Circle Of Hands

1. Rainbow Demon
2. Paradise
3. The Spell
4. Sunrise
5. Blind Eye
6. The Magician's Birthday
7. Sweet Lorraine
8. Rain
9. Stealin'
10. Sweet Freedom
11. Wonderworld
12. The Easy Road
13. Return To Fantasy
14. Footprints In The Snow
15. Weep In Silence

Original Liner Notes:

I want to begin by thanking Steve Hammonds, Hugh Gilmour and all the folks at Essential/Castle Music for inviting me to join in this project. I think it makes a real difference to the result and I am hoping this will be a solid addition to your collection or, if you are new to Heep, that it will inspire you to explore the wealth of material that is available.

This two CD collection represents the best of the band across a nearly 9-year time span and contains all of my personal favourites. It goes deeper into the catalogue than previous compilations and I think itís more complete because of that.

Thereís too much material here for me to comment on every song but I am happy to share some of my memories with you. Itís not hard for me to "flash back" to some of these moments and I hope this will, in a sense "put you there" and enable you to share the journey.

As I listened to the tracks at my studio in St. Louis, it occurred to me that the earliest recordings were done on 8-track machines at Lansdowne Studios and, over the years, we enjoyed all the progress that recording technology made available. Nevertheless, the earlier recordings have a certain "magic" to them and you can hear the excitement of a band that was beginning a long journey into Rock & Roll history.

Gypsy came from a rehearsal and was really the first collaboration between the guys who were ĎSpiceí and myself. On hearing this song, Gerry Bron made the decision to re-name the band and Uriah Heep was born. It was also a song that became an "anthem" at European festivals in the early 70s and one which never left our live repertoire.

Come Away Melinda was and still is a great song and is a great reminder of Davidís ability to interpret lyrics in a sensitive and powerful way.

In many of the songs from the first two albums, High Priestess and The Park for example, you can hear the great contrasts in the bandís music and the freedom we had to experiment in those days!

Lady In Black became such a legendary song in Europe and places like South Africa (!) and I am still amazed at the strength of a song with two chords (Am & G) and a chorus with no words in it!

Look At Yourself was a very significant album for Heep as it launched the band in America which was (and still is) the biggest record market in the world. The album contained many songs which went on to become classics and July Morning (a song I still like to play) is definitely one of those. By the way, I donít know if you know that the cover of Look At Yourself, with the Mirror and the eyes, was Mick Boxís idea, hatched in the back seat of our car on the way back from a gig in the north of England!

I still believe that Demons & Wizards was the best musical time of Heepís career, at least as far as the 70ís are concerned and The Wizard is a great reminder of that. Itís a song that still gets plenty of airplay on classic rock radio in America and another song that I love to play live. Our biggest world-wide hit Easy Livin still gets played a lot too and was a song that was if partially written in the back of a taxi, on the way home from gruelling days in the studio. Life in a headlining rock band was a lot of fun but it certainly wasnít easy!

Circle Of Hands, which closes the first CD, was inspired by a very silly seance I went to in Santa Margharita, Italy but I think itís still a powerful Heep song.

CD 2 begins with two more songs from Demons & Wizards and I am so happy that we were able to include Paradise/The Spell as (in my opinion) itís a timeless high point in the bandís music.

The Magicianís Birthday was a little hurried as a follow up to Demons & Wizards but we have included the stronger moments from the record. To be honest, I was a little surprised that Blind Eye didnít become a hit singleÖ itís still one of my personal favourite songs.

Of course, Sweet Lorraine became a "signature" song for the band both on record and in our live shows and itís a nice reminder of Garyís rare writing contributions. I really missed Gary after he was gone from the band.

Rain is another favourite of mine and was written during a dinner break from recording the album. As we went to leave the building, it was pouring with rain and I decided to stay and mess around on the piano. The song starts with a simple reflection of what I had just seen and was finished by the time the guys got back from dinner. We recorded it immediately and the rest is history. Stealin became a big song for us, especially in America and it, too, still receives a lot of airplay.

Moving toward the end of the "Byron Years" we hear David at his best on Sweet Freedom, Wonderworld and The Easy Road. These were very difficult time for us but I think we still managed to get "focused" in the studio. I wasnít really happy with recording outside of England thoughÖ I was too used to my own pillow!

Finally (and appropriately in my opinion) we end the compilation with two song from High And Mighty, which is still one of my favourite albums. It wasnít a "typical" Heep album and was largely ignored in a commercial sense but that has never bothered me too much. On reflection, it was a bit like making a solo record with the band! Footprints In The Snow and Weep In Silence remain as two of my favourite songs and I think they are two of the best songs I have written so I am very happy that they have been included.

So thatís a little "walk through the past" as I saw it and I hope this will help you to enjoy what I think is the best collection of Heep music that has been put together!

With best wishes, God bless, -Ken Hensley

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