Uriah Heep

ARTICLE ABOUT Ken Hensley FROM SOUNDS, May 31, 1975

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.
Read on.

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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.

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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!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.
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ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep FROM SOUNDS, June 29, 1974

A great review for the band. Well deserved and nice to see!

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Live Review

By John Howe

The Heavy Metal Kids provided the support for Uriah Heep at Hammersmith on Saturday night. They played a very disappointing set for approximately an hour covering most of their forthcoming album. “Rock and Roll Man”, their new single, gained their loudest applause probably because it was the last number. I`ve seen this band before and think they could have done better.
After about thirty minutes Heep took the stage accompanied by clouds of dry ice swirling around their feet. With invisible legs they launched into material from their new album “Wonderful”, including “Suicidal Man”, “So Tired” and their new single “Something Or Nothing.” There was some excellent keyboard work by Ken Hensley on the title track “Wonderworld” plus some nice playing on the grand piano on a number called “The Easy Road.”
Interspersed throughout the concert were old Heep favourites, “Sweet Lorraine,” “July Morning,” “Easy Living,” and “Gypsy” which went down particularly well. They encored with “Look at Yourself” and, as Mr. Byron somberly explained, their last performance of their Rock and Roll Medley with the emphasis on Blue Suede Shoes.
Two Heep members played particularly well, Mick Box and Lee Kerslake. Box, complete master of his guitar played very tightly, letting rip with his screeching high notes supported equally well by Gary Thain on bass who seems to improve with every performance. Lee Kerslake (a very underestimated drummer in my opinion), played very well, pounding out a sweaty beat, nothing dynamic, and just got on with his job. Byron and Hensley performed just as well of course in their respective trades, but then they nearly always do.
All in all it was a typical Heep concert. The joint was rocking and boogieing all night, and the audience enjoyed it, especially an eighty year old grand-dad who was jumping up and down putting most of the young Heep freaks to shame. Good on yer sport.

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The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
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ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep FROM SOUNDS, June 8, 1974

Sort of disappointing to read that Mr. Makowski didn`t like Heep much – I expected him, as the rocker he is, to be more fond of the band. Well, you can`t win them all! Still a fairly good review of this album.

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Uriah Heep: “Wonderworld” (Bronze ILPS 9280)

Record review by Pete Makowski

Another album, another Heep. There is one thing that bugs me about this band and that`s Dave Byron`s voice, it`s too clean and smooth and doesn`t sound natural in a rock and roll context. This album`s not bad, but I`ve got to admit that I`m not a keen fan of the band. It opens up with “Wonderworld”, which is penned by keyboards man Ken Hensley and is also one of the most impressive tracks on the album. The thing I dislike about Heep`s music is that they seem to be heading in no particular direction, the only thing you could associate them with is the tightly knit vocals, but again I don`t like the vocals. Mick Box is a bitch of a guitarist and really shows his worth on “Suicidal Man” and “”I Won`t Mind”, their single “Something Or Nothing” is a stomper and the best and most diverse track on the album is “The Easy Road”, another one from Hensley. The whole effect of the album is dampened by a pretty awful mix but the two highlights are Mick Box`s playing and Hensley`s songs.

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The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep FROM SOUNDS, June 8, 1974

A good one with Heep, led by a still very young Mr. Makowski. Glad that he finally “discovered” Heep in this one. One of the very best bands to discover if you are looking for great bands from the 70s.

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Heep: silent phenomenon?

By Pete Makowski

It wasn`t until recently that I discovered exactly how popular Uriah Heep are. The extent of their success has spread all over the world and they seem to be getting bigger all the time. They could be classed as one of yer silent phenomenons.
Last week there was a reception for the band`s new album “Wonderworld” and the members were all present. I got to the place a bit too early and found the band`s organist Ken Hensley sitting at a table indulging in a bevy or two.
The record player was consistently playing Uriah Heep music and later a video tape of the band`s Shepperton performance was shown as the place began to fill out with press people and various music people. A few words with Hensley revealed that he has a new solo album in the can which was originally going to be called “Wonderworld”.
“I`ve already got the songs written but I haven`t got the time to complete recording”, he said. Eventually we got to talking about the disadvantages of living next to an airport when I was signalled to get ready for my interview with Messrs Mick Box and Lee Kerslake – two extremely amiable guys.
The band recorded the new album in Munich, basically due to tax reasons, but they also found that the studio was compatible for all their needs. I asked Mick how he felt about the album.
“We`re very pleased with it, because it was a strange studio. What I like about it is that we did a couple of the numbers spontaneously in the studio. I like that `cause when we go on stage we have one go with each song and it`s great if you can do that in the studio `cause you get the right feel.”

There was a time when Uriah Heep were categorised in the same vein as Sabbath – bringing out albums like “Demon And Wizzards” and “Magicians Birthday”. “We thought our way out of that one”, explained Mick. “We never created any of that, there were just a few songs put together that fell into that category.
If “Wonderworld” was originally intended to appear on Hensley`s solo album how come it ended up on Heep`s record? “`Wonderworld` was a song that Kenny had saved for his solo album but the policy we have with the band is that anybody can do a solo album, and other people are, but it musn`t detract from anything you write for the band. So anyone can do what they want but the priority at all times must be Uriah Heep. And we tried out Kenny`s song and found that it suited us.”
As soon as Mick mentioned solo album I immediately decided to pursue the subject. Okay boss, whose a gonna make a solo album, eh? “We`re all in the process of doing one”, replied Mick. Dave is going to do a solo album but that will be totally different to anything that Uriah Heep have done.
“Uriah Heep as individuals are into different things. Some of us like funky music, there`s a few acoustic things that we`ve written. There`s some stuff that we`ve written that we`d like to use a chick singer on because that would be more appropriate. We`ve all got ideas in the back of our minds of what we`d like to do and who we`d like to feature.”
“Funny part about it”, interjected Lee, “is that they`re not name people. They`re just guys that we know as friends”.
“If you make a solo album it does become a drag if you start trading on the big names”, continued Mick. “I`d rather it sold one on my own name than if it sold a thousand because David Bowie was playing a sax solo on it or something like that.

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“We`re all in the process of doing solo albums, it`s just a matter of slotting it in because Uriah Heep has the priority over everything. The solo albums are just so that each individual doesn`t feel 100 per cent stifled within the band.”
The band have been spending a lot of time in the US of lately so how has that affected them musically? “It changes you from a semi-pro band to a professional polished outfit”, said Lee. “If you tour in England”, continued Mick, “you do about three weeks at the most. If you do America you tour about two or three months. With that amount of time together you find out a lot of things outside of the music, if you can live together as a unit, `cause you go through so many ups and downs. You`re living in each other`s pockets all the time.”
“There`s no in betweens in the States”, said Lee, “it`s either you`re great or get off`.
Everything we`ve learnt in America we try to bring over here. You`ve got to think of the audience all the time. They`re the people that pushed you on, they bought your records and tickets. And to go on and cut your act down because the stage is too small is just not professional or good enough. We want the audience to get the best that we`ve got to offer.
“What groups have to realise is that audiences can`t be fooled any more, they`re not stupid. I mean they know exactly what we`re doing. They know what instruments we`re playing, they know how thick the skins on Lee`s drums are. I mean one night my wah wah pedal broke and one guy wrote up and asked if it was the batteries. I thought `how the fuck did he know that?`.”

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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: Bryan Ferry, Captain Beefheart, Jim Capaldi, Lee Jackson, Genesis, Byzantium, Denny Cordell, Ronnie Lane, Blue, Nutz, Arthur Brown, Harry Chapin, Groundhogs.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep FROM SOUNDS, April 13, 1974

I may interpret Mr. Mackies prelude to this article and tell you that he may not be too fond of Heeps certain kind of magic, but luckily this isn`t affecting the rest of this article too much. Yes, it is a good one from the golden days of Heep. And we get some good stories too…

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Uriah`s own heep of gold…

Uriah Heep`s David Byron meets SOUNDS` Rob Mackie

You haven`t really seen a proper sulk until you`ve seen a trendy music-loving rock journalist sent off by his paper to see an un-trendy band that he doesn`t like and actually hasn`t heard for quite some time (but he`s not about to admit that of course).
The corners of the mouth droop downwards, the denim jacket fades a shade lighter, the penetrating journalistic questions dry up and shrivel while the mouth`s still in a tight set.
Just about everyone`s first Uriah Heep interview is done with a pretty surly grace. I mean, the only time I saw the Heep en personne, I was driven from the hall from sheer volume and found them virtually unreviewable. They work hard, they sweat like vaselined pigs, they`re competent on their instruments, they deserve their success in terms of entertainment and that`s it.
It`s self-explanatory. It works, and you don`t feel a desperate urge to see them afterwards and ask them the real meaning of those particularly obscure lyrics, or the philosophy behind their lifestyles.
So we troop off to do our first interview like we were going to the dentist, and we live and learn. The lads with the Dickensian nom de plume are in fact splendid company. Interviews with any combination of Heeps is no bad way to spend some time: they`re a fund of questionable jokes, extraordinary anecdotes and unusual honesty.
They all seem to enjoy their situation without taking it very seriously, and accept the lunacies of touring and being lionised – of which they seem to have had more than their share – along with the gold discs – of which ditto.
The Heep pick up gold discs the way you or I pick up bills. It`s become a habit that`s proving very hard to break.

David Byron`s definitely a registered gold album addict. “Actually, the more you get, the more you expect. It`s got to the point now where we`re on the phone saying `Has it gone gold yet?`, every week. And they might say `No, it`s got another 50,000 to go yet`, and you`re not really happy until they say it`s gone gold.” Soon, they`ll be wanting platinums for a million units.
It all means money, but then again, this is England, and you`re not allowed to have money, so the last few Heep albums have been recorded elsewhere – the last one in Paris, the next in Munich.
That`s all going to change, because Heep will quite logically have a studio of their own in the not too distant future, then have their own jet, their own film studios… The thing is you see that if you sit back watching  your bank balance getting pregnant, it all gets hived off in the direction of the Inspector of Taxes.
So what you do is spend it before somebody else does. “We need a plane actually, a little eight-seater, and then when we`re not using it we can rent it out you see. I mean we could all have a stereo system in every room and a colour TV set in the loo but what`s the point?”
The way the money does get used is to enable a band to create the sort of freedom that cuts down on the niggles of working: you get your own recording studios so that you don`t have to go through all the booking hassles, the having to be there at a certain time, and be out at a certain time.
Get your own plane and you don`t have the interminable hanging around at airports. You take off when you want to, do what you want on the plane, land at a convenient time and so on, get someone who can make your own films.

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That step was taken after the band had hung around in the dressing rooms for an edition of Don Kirshner`s Rock Concert in the States, waiting on certain West Coast bands to finish tuning up and start playing, and feeling the adrenalin ebbing away. Eventually, they took the unusual step of leaving.
“I said `I`m going to be so drunk in a minute that I can`t guarantee my performance or anyone else`s and I can`t guarantee anyone else`s because nobody`s feeling too happy now, and we`re likely to not do too well. So we blew it, and I said `OK, let`s make our own films, then if someone wants a TV commercial and someone else wants a five-minute documentary, then we`ve got it, and we won`t have people saying `Stand on the spot marked `X` and all that.`”
So Heep hired Shepperton studios, hired their own audience and Tony Palmer to direct, and the half-hour section in America`s “Rock Concert” will be their own film, presented the way they want, with the sound checked out and so on… The Heep are becoming more and more a self-contained all-purpose unit, and they`re fond of doing things in style.
You can`t eradicate all the ills of touring though by shelling out some cash. A band like Heep that puts out albums with titles like “Demons And Wizards” and tours the States is going to run up against a few weirdos as sure as the Titanic isn`t going to float back to the surface.
There hasn`t been a rock `n` roll assassination yet, not actually on stage, but how would you feel if you were up there trying to lay down what we in the trade call a tight set, and you know that one of those pink, blurred faces out there has threatened to shoot the organist? Not awfully well, I suspect.
“I was just chatting to a girl before this date we had in Detroit. She said, `By the way, you`ve heard about the threat on Kenny`s life tonight?`. I said, `You`re kidding`. She told me that some chick`s husband had said he was going to come to the gig and shoot him.”

Now, while you might laugh off such talk in Cheltenham, you can pick up the local paper in Detroit and read a downpage item about the six unsolved murders the day before, and what if another longhair snuffs it? That`s life innit?
“We had police everywhere, all around the stage, but we didn`t tell Ken about it. The rest of us were on stage for 90 minutes waiting for a bang. That sort of thing, you just come off stage at the end of it and throw up.”
Then there was the time some pleasant young lady in San Francisco who had unsuccessfully tried to pull the Heep singer left a couple of notes in reception at the hotel: `Please phone home, terrible personal problems` and `Please call your lawyer re your divorce.`
Fortunately, David knew he didn`t have any personal problems at home and could laugh that one off but things like that could turn a travelling musician slightly spare.
The Heep have done their fair share of hotel molesting, and there was the time drummer Lee Kerslake dived into a pond fishing for goldfish with a penknife.
Another time time out for Mr. Kerslake came when he took rather a lot of valiums under the impression that they were asprins or something, while he was off on a fishing trip. “We literally carried him onstage in Phoenix, and he couldn`t play anything. He played, but he played through all the numbers and all the breaks exactly the same. To stop him you had to take his sticks away. We just turned all the amplifiers up, and looned about hoping no-one would notice.
“But he played the same tempo all night, and he`d be about two bars behind us. At the end of the first song he shouted to me over the P.A. `Ang on, me cymbals are fucked.` Then he got up, unscrewed all the cymbals, turned them all upside down, screwed them all back on again, sat down and shouted `OK`.”
Ah, the stories we could tell. But there isn`t space, so to make for a stunning last paragraph, allow me to reveal that the next Heep album has a track with an orchestra on it. And when you`ve adjusted to that, your lug`oles will have to get re-tuned again, for a David Byron solo album which is likely to be as Un-Heepy as Ken Hensley`s:
“Yes, I`m definitely doing one. It gives you a new lease of life.
“I`ve got about six songs now that I`ve written and they`re totally different. Some of them are rock `n` rollers and some of them are very slow. But you can experiment because you`ve got nothing to live up to, and in a way it doesn`t matter.” Still, I don`t think he`d be averse to a solo gold album, either.

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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: Elton John, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, Refugee, Mott the Hoople, Queen, Sweet, The John Peel Column, Little Feat, Sparks, Strawbs, Ducks Deluxe, Alquin,  Dr. Feelgood, Jimmy DeWar.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.