Erik Ritland (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) writes "Well,here goes nothing. I like this album. Although it is not as good as either Abominog or Head First, it is still a suberb 80's rock album. OK, so Rockarama is not Heeps best single, but it still rocks. Skools Burnin' is a very nice rocker with a heavy riff and guitars throughout that I also enjoy. I am also impressed with the rest of this album, too - Angel is even ok (and not as bad as claimed, at least as far as 80's power ballads go). And I haven't even mentioned the REAL classics on this!! The only semi-problem is the lyrics, which are easy for me to look past. It still may be Heep's worst album, but all us Heepsters know that isn't saying much!!!!"
Alex Gitlin (Massachucets, USA) writes "(Equator is) one of my "pet peeve" albums (one of the very few UH albums I love to hate!) :-)
Originally I heard it in the mid 80s after it was released, and it seemed OK to me at the time, but I had no idea what proper Uriah Heep's supposed to sound like. (Except Look at Yourself, which sounded like a totally different band)! I had yet to hear Salisbury and D&W, at that point.
Then I bought it on used LP - some time in the late 80s. Had it for a while, listened to it, hated it, sold it. Short story.
Now - thanks to Vlad's kindness and my incessant perseverance to get into a Heep album Against The Odds, just cause it's Heep, I've gotten a CD (CDR to be more precise) copy of it, unremastered, of course, a straight transfer off the LP. Boy, I tell ya, this puppy could use some major remastering! Sounds like it was recorded off a vinyl LP on my grandma's stereo...
On to the music:
Rockarama - lousy piece of 80s pap. Nothing more to add.
Bad Blood - now this is what I call proper 80s pomp rock, complete with Magnum-like synthesizers and American-style AOR lead vocals... Complete with silly lyrics about "Danger Zone"... Peter was the master of this sort of thing.
Lost One Love - the cheesy synths make their triumphant re-entry sounding incredibly close to what would typically be used in a mid-80s American B-movie soundtrack - melodic and sappy, third rate Joe Lynn Turner meets Lou Gramm, not my cup of soup.... The incredibly sappy verse eventually climaxes into an even sappier ballady 80s chorus complete with Whooohooos, bombastic B-movie soundtrack style drums, cheesy keyboard percussion effects and... you guessed it, even sillier lyrics.
Angel - now this one rocks! Better than I'd remembered it. Mind you, the embarrassing synths are there, but underneath a layer of those, I hear an inkling of an organ... a welcome sign. I still can't warm up to Peter's generic AOR vocalizing, but this is still one of the better tunes on the album, thanks to a refreshing original melody; this one is at least semi-passable for a Heep album.
Holding On - Gawd, we're back to the 80s pop AOR schlock. This time it sounds like Asia, only with a heavier rhythm section. The backup vocals, lead vocals, synths, the chorus (Hoowwwldin' Ooowwwn, Ayeeyaaayee) sound so generic and cliched, I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
Party Time - It gets from bad to worse. Maybe I'm just not ready for the return of the 80s, but this one simply turns my stomach! Where's the melody? It's supposed to be a rocker, right? The typically 80s chugging rhythm, cliched background vocals (Partee, gonna be a partee) and just about everything on this song make me instantly appreciate SO, and I'm not kidding. :-)
Poor Little Rich Girl - voxy synthy intro sounds like a stupid and outdated gimmick, which was supposed to create a "mood" of some sort... Goalby sounds sappier than ever on this slow intro, accompanied by synths and Mick's acoustic in the background, and the tune's seemingly going nowhere... Ah - at last, the crescendo. The verse! It's supposed to "kick ass", right? Well, maybe if you're into 80s Journey, Triumph, Foreigner, and such it does, but... This is probably the worst drum sound I've ever heard from Lee. The melodic idea for the verse is passable, but weak. Passable cause it would've passed for background music at a college dormitory party some time in 1985-86...
Skool's Burnin' - here we go, the worst track on the album! This is even worse than Van Halen's "Maxwell Jump", and that was pretty bad!!! The synths, Peter's yelling as though he was stung in the ass, and the lyrics - oy vey... "Speak Up? Shut Up?" The melody is less than abysmal. Diarrhea time.
Heartache City - Is this Poor Little Rich Girl Part II? Same bombastic over the top "big 80s" drums, same vocal style, same nauseating synths, this is 80s AOR schmaltz at its worst. I don't even know who wrote this - I mean, could've been anyone... I bet even Survivor played better music. This wouldn't pass even for a "Breakfast Club" soundtrack. Again, nothing more to add.
Night of the Wolf - the tune I've been waiting for. The only decent track on the CD, IMHO. The pounding synth intro is cheesy, but it's interrupted by a haunting church (reed) organ, before the song erupts into this powerhouse metal epic - at last, the drums sound good - about time. This tune sticks out like a sore thumb on the album - if I had to program bad tunes out on my CD player for regular listening, I'd have programmed everything out except this one, seriously. Good melody, decent lyrics, excellent background vocals, and Goalby's doing his best within his limitations, of course. This sort of heavy metal stuff was apparently much more becoming of Uriah Heep in the mid-80s, so why were they wasting time on everything else (above) is a mystery to me. Hey, Sinclair doesn't sound too bad on those keyboards there at all! Nuff said.
Are you still missing Equator on CD? I wasn't! Night of the Wolf is already on the ATOR box set.
To those who say it's a good album - here: thhhpeeppppththhh (raspberry)."
Thomas Ace Bokgren (Gothenburg, Sweden) writes "Why is everyone so keen on putting down Equator? Of course itīs not a classic like Demons and Wizards but it was 1985. 1985, the middle of the eighties, synthdrums were in and party songs too. Of course songs like Skoolīs Burning and Party Time wonīt win any poetry contests but music can be both art and just pure entertainment. Holding On and Poor Little Rich Girl and magnificient songs and Bad Bloodīs got its charm. Itīs not their best but better than the lousy Different World (All God's Children is more cheezy than all of the Equator album). Remake the album again without the 80īs feel (and skip some songs like Rockarama for instance) and youīll get a much better album. They tried to do a different album and they succeded. Though far from their best."
Brad Duren (Oklahoma, USA) writes "Remember those Heep converts that I mentioned who came on board after Head First? They bailed after this album came out. While I don't think it is as bad as others claim it is, it is not up to par for this band. I think the big problem is the production and mix... no kick, too glossy, and just plain noisy to my ears. Holding On is still a favorite though (remix it and it will be a classic), and Poor Little Rich Girl, Heartache City, and Night of the Wolf are interesting. Skool's Burning and Party Time are tripe... to put it nicely."
Todd Pence (Fairfield, Virginia, USA) writes, "The band showed they could still play with energy, but the creative spark that had left them with Hensley is beginning to make its absence felt here. Still, some good songs, and it can hold its own with other music of the genre that was popular at the time. Pete Goalby's singing is also much improved over the previous two releases, and John Sinclair contributes more with his keyboards."
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