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Raging Silence

April 1989 (UK) / July 1989 (US)

Raging Silence cover Lineup:

Overview - This album is miles beyond Equator in every possible way. Bernie Shaw proves himself to be Heep's most capable vocalist since John Lawton (they'd been thru John Sloman, Pete Goalby and Steff Fontaine). Mick in particular stands out with his distinctive guitar sound and the production is a vast improvement as Richard Dodd gives the band a big, meaty sound. The biggest improvement, however, is in the lyric writing. Although several of the songs are covers, all of the songs have a socially conscious edge that had been missing since Ken Hensley's departure. This provides Heep with their first true album theme since The Magician's Birthday. The weakest part, however, is Phil Lanzon, whose keyboards hide in the background, giving the album a feel more like a Rainbow album than Heep. Grade: A-
note: There are two previously unreleased alternate live versions from the Live In Moscow album, Too Scared To Run and Corina, but why do we need more alternate versions of these songs when they're also released as alternate versions on Still 'Eavy Still Proud? Wasted disc space.

Original US running order:

  1. Blood Red Roses
  2. Rich Kid
  3. Lifeline
  4. Voice On My TV
  5. Cry Freedom
  6. Bad Bad Man
  7. More Fool You
  8. When The War Is Over
  9. Rough Justice
  10. Hold Your Head Up
  11. Look At Yourself

1. Hold Your Head Up - Excellent, faithful cover of the old Argent classic, I like this version as well as the original. Although Bernie goes a little over the top Hold Your Head Up cover at times, Mick's solo is excellent, the harmonies are great, Lee shines, and Phil's synths work better than on any other song on the album. Grade: A+
note: The reissue contains the 12" extended (by nearly 1.5 minutes) version. There is also a slightly edited version on Different World.

2. Blood Red Roses - One of the best melodic rockers Heep has ever done, written by former vocalist Pete Goalby. This features nearly all the traditional Heep elements, from a great opening riff to tight harmonies to a memorable melody. Mick is in top shape here on both fills and his solo while Trevor shines with some great melodic bass work. Grade: A+
note: The reissue contains an extended version. There are also remixes from 1990 on Different World and A Time Of Revelation but the differences are very slight.

3. Voice On My TV - The first in a series of songs speaking out against those who seek to make a profit off of peoples' religions. Excellent melody line, especially on the chorus and its harmony vocals, which reminds me very much of early 80's Cheap Trick. Great ending. Grade: A

4. Rich Kid - Borrowing the opening riff straight from Gypsy, this song features some nice riffs on both the bridge and chorus. Whether or not you like this song is probably dependent on how annoying you find the opening riff. Another hot (and much too short) solo from Mick. Grade: A-

5. Cry Freedom - For the first time, Phil goes to the organ, providing a nice intro. Marie Zackojiva adds a line in Russian to set the tone for a tale of an ice skater defecting to the West. Very much in the mood of the time, with the Berlin Wall coming down and following Heep's appearances in Russia. Well-arranged and performed, especially by Bernie, this song almost feels like a James Bond movie. Mick's wild, flashy solo captures the excitement of the song quite well. Grade: A+

6. Bad Bad Man - Great rocker with excellent lyrics about an L.A. cop, this song contains one of my favorite Heep lines ever - "I take peace from the wicked". Best riff on the album. Phil's keyboards, however, are too cheezy. This would've been a lot better if he'd stuck with the organ. Grade: A

7. More Fool You - Finally, Phil hits the organ and sticks with it! The riff is simple but effective and the organ gives it that Heep feel. Mick is in top form, with his trademark fills and solos. Once again, great lyrics and a well-arranged song. Grade: A-

8. When The War Is Over - I loved this ballad when the album first came out. I still think the band does a great job with this cover, especially Bernie. Phil's keyboards, however, sound quite dated and the songwriting sounds like a typical 80's (e.g. Journey or Heart) ballad. Another good solo from Mick and nice harmonies from the guys. Grade: B+

9. Lifeline - Bernie shows his ability to sing with emotion, filling his voice with a yearning that fits the lyrics. Nice band performance, especially Mick. Grade: A-

10. Rough Justice - Again, what a difference the organ makes to a Heep song! Mick's riff feels so much more full when Phil gets off the cheezy synth sound! Lots of energy from the band here. Great sing-a-long chorus. Lyrically, this is the sequel to Stealin', although these are the weakest lyrics on the album. Phil almost gets a solo. Grade: B+

11. Miracle Child - (originally 'B' side of Hold Your Head Up) Phil sings lead on this decent but unremarkable rocker. Stupid lyrics. Grade: B

12. Look At Yourself (live) - At 8:00, this is double the length of the original. Lee kicks in with a long thundering intro followed by Phil's cheezy synths and then Mick lets loose. Bernie proves that he can handle David's old rockers quite well and in fact can perform some of them, this song included, better than John Lawton. The harmonies are also quite tight. As long as Phil sticks to the organ, this song really cooks. Whenever he switches to his synths, the song looses the drive for me. Still, it's Mick and Lee who really make this song rock! Grade: A

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