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Demons & Wizards

May, 1972

Full front & back cover scan - 640 x 313 59K
Demons & Wizards cover

Overview - This has long been considered Heep's Magnum Opus, and with good reason. It's not just a set of great songs, but it's the chemistry between the musicians, the arrangements and performances, and the flow that make this album work so well. One of the best mixes of heavy electric with acoustic instruments ever. Every Classic Rock fan should have this album in their collection!! Grade: A+
To see the inside cover, visit the Original Liner Notes page!

1. The Wizard - Perfection. I dare you to name one other heavy metal band that could marry the heavy to the acoustic so well! (and don't Say Led Zep, cuz they didn't!!) Grade: A+

2. Traveller In Time - On this heavy rocker, Lee and Mick (whom I assume wrote the music), take us on a musical journey full of unexpected directions that hitherto only Brian Wilson had done. Grade: A+

3. Easy Livin' - The most famous and, if possible, most overplayed Heep track of all. One of the all-time great driving songs and a piece of Classic Rock History. Grade: A+

4. Poet's Justice - A more predictable piece, but a lovely arrangement, especially the harmony vocals and Ken's organ. Poetic lyrics indeed! Grade: A-

5. Circle of Hands - Musical Heaven! This song is second only to July Morning as quintessential Heep. One of my favorite two Heep songs, this gives me chills every time I hear it (at least once a week). The version on Live '73 is even better. Grade: A+

6. Rainbow Demon - Very powerful piece of music, despite its plodding pace and some occasionally over-the-top vocals by Dave. Heavy metal keyboards don't get any heavier than this! Superb performance by the band. Grade: A

7. All My Life - Fun rocker featuring Ken's slide. The band sounds like they're having a great time, especially Dave. I actually prefer this to Easy Livin'. Grade: A+

8. Paradise/The Spell - Paradise is very much in the vein of Circle Of Hands. It features David at his emotive best in another spine-tingling performance. The Spell is a lightweight rocker that could've been on Fallen Angel. Ken's piano playing stands out. Grade: A+

Why - (Bonus track - 'B' side of The Wizard (UK) and Easy Livin' (US)) This version is my favorite Heep song of all. It may also contain the greatest bass solo in rock history. Fantastic performance by the entire band on what is essentially a 7 minute jam. Grade: A+
note: Don't bother with the single edit as it cuts out 95% of the solo!

Home Again to You - (Bonus track) A decent rocker but it's obvious why it didn't make it past the demo stage, as the quality of the songwriting doesn't match the rest of the album. Still, it matches the quality of 90's hit music. That should say something about Heep! Grade: C+

Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf - (Bonus track from Time Of Revelation) A good band performance of the title track from Ken's first solo album, but David doesn't read this song nearly as well as Ken. It also misses the harmony vocals. Stick with the solo version. Grade: B+

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