Ken Hensley was an very important figure in the earliest incarnation of Uriah Heep. Without him I`m not sure they would have become as great as they did. But, then again, being a great and important band member doesn`t necessarily mean that you will do success as an solo artist. The sum of the parts and all that…
There is nothing wrong with this album, but I agree with the reviewer in that it lacks the originality to keep your attention. A Box or a Byron would have spiced things up in my opinion.
Ken Hensley: `Eager To Please` (Bronze ILPS 9307) (37.00).
Record review by Pete Makowski
There is no doubt that this is an improvement on Hensley`s debut offering, `Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf`. It`s a more relaxed confident effort that shows a melodic side to Uriah Heep`s keyboardsman. It still contains some of the dramatic musical intensity that is prominent in Heep`s music but that`s about the only similarity detectable. Here Hensley is backed by ex-Heep bassist Mark Clarke, a very capable musician who holds back or lets forth when necessary. Clarke has also contributed one of the compositions, `In The Morning`, which is easily the best song on the album. It`s screaming with commercial potential, bouncing along merrily with some soulful sax from Ray Warleigh. The closest competitors to this are `Eager To Please` and `Winter Or Summer` which ride on a backbone of brash chord work and strong harmonies. Hensley seems to write his material around the limitations of his voice which is powerful but not very versatile. Drummer Bugs Remberton holds tight with Clarke`s bass playing which anchors the solidity and strength of the band`s sound. Hensley`s repertoire is varied from the heavily orchestrated almost schmaltzy tones of `How Shall I Know?` and the floaty acoustic ballad `The House On The Hill` to the brash supercharged humdingers like `Stargazer`. It`s a shame that Hensley doesn`t explore his keyboard playing a little more. The album could have done with some more guest guitarists, competent as Hensley is, his playing doesn`t have enough style, individuality or originality to keep your attention. A fair offering.