Sunday, January 15, 2006

And I aint Talkin' bout Dickens!

Uriah Heep's by-the-books progressive heavy metal made the British band one of the most popular hard rock groups of the early '70s. Formed by vocalist David Byron and guitarist Mick Box in the late '60s, the group went through an astonishing number of members over the next two decades — nearly 30 different musicians passed through the band over the years. Byron and Box were members of the mid-'60s rock band called The Stalkers; once that band broke up, the duo formed another group called Spice. Spice would eventually turn into Uriah Heep in the late '60s, once Ken Hensley (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and bassist Paul Newton joined the pair. Former Spice drummer Alex Napier was the band's drummer for a brief time; he was quickly replaced by Nigel Olsson.

Uriah Heep released their debut album Very 'eavy, Very 'umble (called Uriah Heep in the U.S.) in 1970. After its release, Keith Baker became the group's drummer; he recorded Salisbury, the group's second album, before deciding he couldn't keep up with the band's extensive touring and was replaced by Ian Clarke. Featuring a 16-minute title track recorded with a 26-piece orchestra, Salisbury showcased the band's more progressive tendencies. Later that year, Ian Clarke was replaced by Lee Kerslake and Mark Clarke replaced Newton; Mark Clarke quickly left the band and Gary Thain became the group's bassist. This lineup of Uriah Heep was its most stable and popular; beginning with 1972's Demons and Wizards, they released five albums between 1972 and 1975.

After 1975, the band's popularity began to slip. Byron left the band in 1977 and was replaced by John Lawton, yet the group's fortunes kept declining right into the early '80s. However, Uriah Heep soldiers on, continuing to release albums in the '90s. The album roster includes Different World (1994), Sea of Light (1995), Sonic Origami (1998) and Spellbinder (1999). Future Echoes of the Past was issued in spring 2001.

1970 Uriah Heep
1970 Very 'eavy...Very 'umble
1971 Look at Yourself
1971 Salisbury
1972 Demons & Wizards
1972 Magician's Birthday [Mercury]
1973 Uriah Heep Live
1973 Sweet Freedom [Roadrunner]
1974 Wonderworld
1975 Return to Fantasy
1976 High and Mighty
1977 Firefly
1977 Innocent Victim
1978 Fallen Angel
1980 Wonderful
1980 Conquest
1982 Abominog
1983 Head First
1985 Equator
1988 Live in Moscow World Of Hurt
1989 Raging Silence
1994 Different World
1995 Sea of Light
1996 Live January 1973
1997 King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents In Concert [live]
1998 Sonic Origami
1999 Spellbinder
2001 Future Echoes of the Past
2001 High and Mighty [Bonus Tracks]
2001 Wonderworld [Bonus Tracks]
2001 Return to Fantasy [Bonus Tracks]
2001 Electrically Driven
2001 Innocent Victim [UK Bonus Tracks]
2001 Firefly [UK Bonus Tracks]
2001 Live in Europe 1979 [UK Bonus Tracks]
2001 Abominog [UK Bonus Tracks]
2001 Fallen Angel [UK Bonus Tracks]
2001 Live in Moscow [UK Bonus Tracks]
2001 Live
Live in Europe 1979
Sweet Freedom [Castle]
Magician's Birthday [Castle]
Live at Shepperton 74


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