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Fallen Angel

Reissue Liner Notes

Fallen Angel Inside Cover Fallen Angel was Uriah Heep's twelfth studio album excluding compilations. Released in July 1978, it was the final of a trio of studio albums released that featured vocalist John Lawton. Innocent Victim, the band's previous album, had not only renewed interest in the band but had also given them a successful hit single in Europe and other parts of the globe. Free Me, although a catchy little number, was quite unlike anything the band had done before. Nobody can doubt this was a good song, although it is quite remarkable that it topped the charts when you consider this was the height of the punk explosion. The success of Free Me did much to influence the direction of the Fallen Angel album. It was full of material that was in a similar vein to Innocent Victim. As a well known journalist commented at the time, "It's full of hit singles." The problem was that none of the songs took off in quite the manner Bronze Records expected them to. Maybe it was the departure to short, catchy numbers that alienated some fans, or maybe it was just the general trend of rock music followers at the time. Whatever the cause, the album was not well received by the fans, and the album only achieved moderate sales. Behind the scenes there was much unrest within the band, much of it centered around Gerry Bron and the choice of material used.

The album itself was a very good sliver of vinyl. In fact, it has stood the test of time remarkably well compared with some of their earlier albums. The album was probably a few years ahead of its time, as the material almost had an AOR feel to it.

Fallen Angel was probably quote a prophetic title for the band during this period. With the internal unrest coming to a head, it was not going to be long before the line-up was to change once again. The band did however return to the studio to start work on a fourth Lawton-led album. Jimmy Miller (producer for the Rolling Stones) was even hired to produce the album. The band, recalling the Jimmy Miller period, laugh a lot because they could never understand how a producer could produce material from a toilet or Paris, the two places seemingly the favorites of Miller's. According to the band, Miller liked Paris and the toilet for recreation rather than production duties. Before completion of this project, the unrest between Lawton and Hensley, and between Kerslake and Bron came to a head, and resulted in the departure of both John Lawton and Lee Kerslake. Tapes of some of the material do exist as the infamous Five Miles Acetates.

Cheater was the B-side to the now obligatory single Come Back To Me and appeared for the first time on CD in 1991 on Rarities From The Bronze Age (Sequel NEX182). Originally an outtake from the Fallen Angel sessions, this track could easily have been the A-side as it was commercial enough! In fact, it was one of the best commercial songs the band ever wrote! The single, as was the album, was not well received by the fans.

Gimme Love (Struttin') is a Fallen Angel out-take. This was originally titled "Struttin'&qout; but was re-named "Gimme Love" and used as the B-side to a European release of Love Or Nothing. It also appeared for the first time on the Rarities... release in 1991.

A Right To Live is also a Fallen Angel out-take. Originally scheduled as the B-side to another single (single mania had obviously taken over Bronze Records after the success of Free Me!), the track never made official release except as a promotional item in Europe. How many were made and distributed remains a mystery. Original copies of this single could actually be the rarest official Uriah Heep release to date.

We have included a recently unearthed track (Been Hurt, the original version) as a bonus on this release. Most UH aficionados have probably already wondered why this track has been included, as it first appeared as a B-side from the Conquest album sessions with John Sloman on vocals. This version is the hitherto unreleased original with John Lawton on vocals. This was actually recorded during the now infamous Five Miles sessions with Jimmy Miller as follow-up material to the Fallen Angel recordings just prior to the departure of John Lawton and Lee Kerslake in 1979. Three other completed tracks have also been released on the Essential Records 4 CD boxed set Time Of Revelation (ESFCD298). Been Hurt is an interesting inclusion, as the track was later re-recorded with John Sloman on vocals during the sessions for the Conquest album. You can make your own decision about which is the better version. If Lawton, who has a phenomenal voice, had stayed with the band, who knows what could have been achieved? He didn't, and the band replaced Lawton with John Sloman, and Lee Kerslake with Chris Slade (ex-Manfred Mann's Earthband) on drums. They were to record the Conquest album, which without a doubt, was the most controversial album of the band's career.

© 1991, 1997 Robert M. Corich

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