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Different World

February, 1991

Different World Cover Lineup:
Overview - Often heralded as Heep's worst album (no it's definitely not that; that distinction belongs to Equator), this is still a pretty good hard rock album. While the songs are not quite as memorable as those on Innocent Victim or Fallen Angel, the album definitely has a much harder edge. Phil relies much more on the organ than on Raging Silence, but once again he's buried in the background. Mick's distinctive sound is also lost on much of the album. These two factors, along with some lackluster songwriting, result in an album that is easily lost in the pre-grunge late 80's/early 90's hard rock morass. The blame for this rests solely on Trevor's shoulders as producer. Still, this album is much better than most Heep fans will admit. The reissue does clean up the sound somewhat. Grade: B
note: The reissue also contains a couple of alternate Raging Silence remixes (which really don't sound different from the originals) and an alternate live version of the horrible Rockarama from the Live In Moscow album. These all detract from the album! What should've been included were the demo tracks 'Power's An Addiction' (an early version of Blood On Stone) and 'Winds Of Time' (an as-yet unreleased song) and possibly the demos that were recorded in 1992-93. Worst set of bonus tracks in the entire reissue series.

1. Blood On Stone - An outstanding riff from Mick, the best on the album. Combined with some heavy organ work by Phil and a good melody, this is easily one of the most Heepish-sounding songs on the album. Lots of relentless power and drive from Trevor and Lee while Mick's guitar is stronger here than anywhere else on the album. Grade: A+

2. Which Way Will The Wind Blow - This leads off with a hot 'n' funky riff, ala Stay On Top. The chorus has a catchy hook and some decent harmonies. The mix on this one is quite weak, especially Trevor's bass. Grade: A-

3. All God's Children - Nearly identical in feel to the previous song, except for the children's choir at the end. Ironically, the choir offers the strongest harmony vocals on the entire album, which may also explain one of the problems on this album, as Heep has always been known for having the best harmony vocals in hard rock. This chorus also has a catchy hook. Grade: A-

4. All For One - Indistinctive mid-tempo rocker in the Bryan Adams vein. Nothing to note about this song other than it's boring. Grade: C+

5. Different World - Mid-tempo rocker but much more enjoyable. Arrangement is very much in the Hensley vein with its minor-key verses and major-key chorus. Sounds like it would've fit in quite nicely on Demons & Wizards. I especially like Mick's rhythm guitar at the beginning. Grade: A-

6. Step By Step - Heep does Aerosmith. Decent riff and nice harmonies but not much else stands out save maybe Phil sticking to the organ. The break is a big letdown, merely hinting at what should've been done by alternating solos between Mick's guitar and Phil's organ, ala the break on Free 'N' Easy. Good ending. Grade: B

7. Seven Days - Heep does Aerosmith II. Again a nice riff with Phil wailing on the organ and a better melody line. The harmonica is a nice touch. But once again, there's a big letdown as the band breaks for what sounds like an a capella section but Lee's back in before they've had a chance to sing three notes! Grade: B+

8. Fist Touch - Heep back to doing Bryan Adams. Same tempo as the previous two songs, although a little lighter arrangement. The harmonies are disappointing for most of the song, lacking any complexity. Mick gets a real solo for the first time in a few songs but makes the least of it. The band sounds asleep. Grade: C

9. One On One - A big improvement on the last several songs, especially the arrangement. The harmonies in particular are classic Heep. Lee absolutely rips on this one. Mick's solo on the break is excellent. The chord arrangement on the break is also classic Heep. Grade: A

10. Cross That Line - From the first few notes, this song will take you back immediately to High & Mighty. Excellent ballad, and the best song on the album, although Bernie sings too much over the top at times on the chorus. Again, Phil's use of the organ really adds to Heep's sound, rather than those distracting synths. Trevor also adds some nice melodic bass work, something that was lacking all too often after his return to Heep. Grade: A+

11. Stand Back - A decent rocker but I certainly don't walk away remembering the tune like a good album closer should do. It's a nice arrangement but it's lacking something. Mick's final spoken words at the end are what I go away remembering. Grade: B
note: This track was not included on the original vinyl release.

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