Uriah Heep`s best-selling album notching up worldwide sales of more than 4 million copies didn`t get a very favourable review in Sounds at the time. With songs as good as “Stealin`” and “Seven Stars” on it, it really didn`t deserve a review as bad as this. I think the reviewer may not have liked them much. But history has now categorically shown him to be wrong.
Uriah Heep “Sweet Freedom” (Bronze ILPS 9345).
By Pete Erskine
“Demons And Wizards” I think it was. I recall keeping the cover and pinning it on the kitchen wall, but the celluloid contents somehow found themselves sailing over a neighbouring hedge. Can`t think why. T`was a blatantly unprofessional reaction. Presumably, then, it`s still down to a case of being a confirmed fan or a total non-believer. This continues, in my opinion, in similar vein to previous Heep offspring and will therefore reinforce both parties` opinions. It is neither bad nor good – depending, of course, on how you define these terms – remaining simply as a well-polished, carefully packaged selection of all that is truly familiar in rock. And familiarity breeds contempt. David Byron`s vocals are strident and obtrusive. His neo-operatic warble just isn`t natural. He might be a real goer on stage, and that may compensate, but here he just doesn`t cut it. His voice is too harsh. The material and playing is sometimes laboured, mostly predictable, and the lyrics are banal. The sentiment seems to have been, “It doesn`t matter as long as it rhymes”. Lack of originality can have its charms – providing it`s done stylishly. This is just plain embarrassing, and worth another million or two, no doubt.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Roger Daltrey, Roxy Music, Jess Roden, Billy Preston, Nick Mason, Home, Hemlock, Lou Reizner, Commander Cody, Elton John, Rolling Stones, Tony McPhee, America, Martin Carthy, Dale Griffin.
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