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Reissue Liner Notes

Salisbury was Uriah Heep's second official release of twelve-inch plastic. Recorded again at Lansdowne Studios in London's Holland Park, the band put together an interesting array of material that was to contain the epic title track, their most ambitious project to date which was in many ways years ahead of its time. These recording sessions were also to provide the band with one of their best selling songs ever, Lady In Black, although the impact of this song was not to be realised for quite some years. Lady In Black was re-released in 1977 as a single and climbed rapidly to the top of the German charts. The song was such a successful hit it retained the number one spot for thirteen weeks! This was enough to earn the band the coveted Golden Lion award, the European equivalent to a Grammy.

The band's membership had altered since the release of their debut album Very 'Eavy Very 'Umble, but was to remain stable for the recording period of this album. Mick Box, David Byron, Ken Hensley and Paul Newton had remained but Nigel "Ollie" Olsson, the latest in a string of drummers who contributed to the debut album had departed to play drums with the Elton John band. Olsson later went on to become a successful producer. Not deterred with his departure, the band replaced Olsson with Keith Baker, formerly of Bakerloo. Baker only stayed on board for this one album and left due to the band's rigorous touring schedule which was to prove too much for him. Until recently no one from the band had any contact with him, then in 1993 he was located by Paul Newton, both who now play in the local Midlands music scene (on occasions together).

Musically, Salisbury proved to be an experimental time for the band as the writing relationship between Box, Byron and Hensley was developing at a rapid pace. Produced again by Gerry Bron, the album once released, was to contain only six tracks, although the title track was a sixteen and a half minute epic containing brass and woodwind instruments. Salisbury was indeed an ambitious project for the band to have tackled at this early stage in their career. Salisbury, however, was largely ignored by the British press and it was to be another year before the band made any serious headway with record sales.

The US and Canadian release on Mercury differed from the original UK release. Bird Of Prey, the UK opening track for the album, had already appeared on the US release of Heep's debut album. In place of this, Simon The Bullet Freak (later used as a B-side in the UK) was added. The cover art was also vastly different. Like the first album Salisbury had no singles set for release in the UK although Lady In Black backed with Simon The Bullet Freak was released on the Continent. Simon The Bullet Freak did grace the U.S. and Canadian versions of Salisbury in place of another album track, Bird Of Prey. Lady In Black was to receive a Grammy in Germany later on in the band's career. Simon The Bullet Freak penned by Ken Hensley was an anti-war song written for the mood of the times. It was originally recorded on 8-track and was an outtake from the Salisbury sessions in 1970.

© 1991, 1995 Robert M. Corich

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