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Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969 and are regarded as one of the seminal hard rock acts of the early 1970s.[1][2] Uriah Heep's progressive/art rock/heavy metal fusion's distinctive features have always included a massive keyboard sound, strong vocal harmonies and (in the early years) David Byron's quasi-operatic vocals.[3][4] Twelve of the band's albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached No. 7 in 1975)[5] while of the fifteen Billboard 200 Uriah Heep albums Demons and Wizards was the most successful (#23, 1972).[6] In the late 1970s the band had massive success in Germany, where the "Lady in Black" single was a big hit.[7][8] Along with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep had become one of the top bands in the early 1970s - one of "The Big 4" of hard rock.[9]

Uriah Heep's audience declined by the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult band in the United Kingdom and United States. The band maintains a significant following and performs at arena-sized venues in the Balkans, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia and Scandinavia. They have sold over 40 million albums worldwide with over 4 million sales in the U.S.[10]

Uriah Heep has existed since 1969. The composition later changed several times. Typical are the polyphonic backing vocals and influences of progressive rockhard rock,heavy metaljazz, and even country.


[hide]*1 History


In december 1969 sent Gerry Source, producer and owner of the brand new Bronze Records, a group called Spice in his studio. This group was founded by Box and Byron (pseudonym of David Garrick). At the urging of Source asked bassist Paul Newton to Hensley to strengthen the group. Meanwhile, the name was changed to Uriah Heep.

The debut album, "Very ' Eavy ... Very ' Umble "(1970) introduced a mixture of hard organ-and guitar sounds, with the theatrical voice of Byron nay. Also the typical choral singing was already present. The single ' Gypsy ' was a standard part of the UH-repertoire. The record sold moderately, but the review in the American pop magazine Rolling Stone is still notorious: "If this band is gonna make it I'll have to commit suicide."

The second album "Salisbury" (end of 1970, at the beginning of 1971) found himself more in the progressive rockgenre, with a 16-minute title track in which 24 wooden wind instruments also played a role. Also this album sold not particularly good, but Lady in Black would be a big hit a few years later in Germany. From this album was the most important composer of the Hensley group.

The big break in Netherlands came up with "Look at Yourself" (1971) whose title song and especially ' July Morning ' rock classics were. This played keyboardist Manfred Mann a remarkable solo without the band to have ever met. Producer to tell more and more got Source. That led to conflicts with the father of Newton, who was the manager of the group. Father and son left Newton late 1971.

The first replacement Mark Clarke stayed just long enough to team up with Hensley to write and record the following classic: ' The Wizard '. The high notes in the chorus are by him. But with the heroin addict New Zealander Gary Thain and power drummer Lee Kerslake had Uriah Heep finally a stable occupation-for the time being. The five-piece polite with "Demons and Wizards" (1972) the global breakthrough. The hit single ' Easy Livin' was released twice in Netherlands, and became a hit in 1973.

Source wanted to exploit the global success as quickly as possible and sent the band just a few months later his studio in. "The Magicians Birthday" (1972) expanded in part on the success formula. The opinions of the fans are divided, some find the album unbalanced and too hasty, others believe that it is superior to its predecessor.

The albums remained at a high rate come true. Following the lead of other rock bands came Uriah Heep with "Live 1973" (January 1973). The live album featured a hit cover with a photo album, until then not running.With this album the name was as hard rock topper finally established.

The speed at which the main composer of the band Hensley composed remained very high. Successor "Sweet Freedom" (1973) was recorded in France , approached this album might be the best the livesound. The single was ' Stealin'. The single was banned in the USA because there a compromising feeling occurred. Otherwise it would have been the first American hit single for the band. More or less simultaneously also Hensley's first solo album came out. Because he was assisting by Kerslake and Thain is the music very close to that of Uriah Heep itself. Afterwards the Group may need to combine the best of both albums. Because even "Sweet Freedom" is very unstable.

"Wonderworld" (early 1974) was recorded in Munich, and is also called called blunderworld. Two live recordings, "Live at the King Biscuit Flower Hour 1974" and "Live at Shepperton 1974" only years later were released on the market. On the last six songs that are not on Live 1973 occur.


The classic lineup that since "Demons and Wizards" was started to show cracks. Box, Kerslake, Hensley, Byron and Thain is the lineup that has brought the best of Heep. When Thain suffered an electrical shock inDallas started the trouble. He had to in the hospital. When after some squabbling it became clear that Thain would not fully recover, he had to leave the band. He died in late 1975 to a heroin overdose . In that period enjoyed Uriah Heep his greatest success.

The successor of Thain was John Wetton, who had proven his talents in King Crimson . With him was "Return to fantasy" (1975) included. The title track was a modest hit in Netherlands. The album was less extreme than the predecessors without the typical Heep ingredients to do violence. On side two experimented the group with other genres, such as country.

The band toured all over the world. Touring and recording at the same time began to take its toll. Box said that the band from the US was flown back to London to record a song to be put right back on the plane for the following occur in the us. In the same year 1975 brought Byron and Hensley each also added a solo album out.

For "Hight and Mighty" (1976) became producer and manager Source aside. The gentlemen did it all by yourself. Box has described the album as too light. ' Weep in Silence "is a ballad in the style that much later theScorpions would make famous. The other contribution of Wetton, ' Footprints in the Snow ', is somewhat akin to ' The Wizard '. On this album is clearly the dominance of Hensley as a composer.

Uriah Heep state that year on Pinkpop where it suffers from many technical problems and feud with the organization. It is also one of the last concerts of Byron. A week later he gets his resignation because he is in the eyes of the others had made impossible. Byron in February 1985 was found dead in his home, probably by excessive alcohol consumption.

New start[Edit][]

Wetton leaves for Wishbone Ash. Uriah Heep makes a fresh start, but at a difficult time. "High and Mighty" to attract old fans had disposed of without new. While Uriah Heep tries to solve the internal problems break The Sex Pistols by. The established rock legends are set aside in one fell swoop and reckoned henceforth to the dinosaurs. Uriah Heep is one of them.

John Lawton (ex-Matches Friend and Les Humpries Singers) is the new singer. Bowie 's Spiders From Mars is bassist Trevor Bolder about it. Three albums makes this line-up: "Firefly" (1977), "Innocent Victim" (1978) and "Fallen angel" (1979). There are large successes in Germany where ' Lady in Black ', ' Free Me ' and ' Love or Nothing ' big hits. But in Netherlands, England and especially in the United States lost its reputation and fame is Uriah Heep.

Influenced by drug decision Hensley to Lawton warning. "Conquest" is released In 1980 with John Sloman on vocals and Chris Slade on drums. Kerslake switches to Ozzy Osbourne. Many fans have already pulled out. The album certainly has creativity in itself but too little "Heep trade mark".

Hensley keeps than for seen. He is seen as the driving force behind the band, but also partly for the downturn. The new band leader is Box. He's going to continue with the present line-up then supplemented by keyboardist Greg Deschert, but after the single flopped ' Think It Over ', he decomposes Uriah Heep.

Neither Byron nor Hensley could reach the same level, without the band nor Box and Uriah Heep without these two key figures.


After a period of a hefty daily drink resurrects Uriah Heep as a Phoenix from its ashes and comes in 1982 "Abominog" out. The line up consists of Mick Box, Pete Goalby, Bob Daisley, Lee Kerslake and John Sinclair."Abominog" sounds extremely heavy and is well received. "Head First" (1983) is of the same cut but something gepolijster. Then throws in the towel and label Bronze is the band without a contract. For the Portrait label is included in 1985 "Equator". Daisley is then replaced for the returned Trevor Bolder.

The album was not a success. Break to the wilderness years. Sinclair and Bernie Shaw and Phil Lanzon Goalby steps on. join in 1986, and there are still so far. The lineup that would maintain the more than 20 years with each other is: Box, Bolder, Kerslake, Lanzon and Shaw. With varying degrees of success are albums listed as "Raging Silence" (1989) and "Different World" (1991). Only when "Sea of Light" (1995) the light sees many Heep fans awake again. It appeared in 1998 "Sonic Origami" is certainly as constant quality with obvious classic Heep features. In 2000 Heep under the care of Classic Rock Productions.

Various dvd's be included during live concerts whose reunion concert from 2001 with Hensley and Lawton is the most memorable. The band has signed a new contract with Sanctuary, in september 2007 the new album come true.

In Netherlands, a fanatical fan base for a large popularity. Uriah Heep was already two times on the Arrow Rock Festival Bospopand once on. In between, let the band see themselves in the club circuit.

In January 2007 the band drummer Kerslake leaves for health reasons. Not much later, Russell Gilbrook takes his place. Russell is a power drummer who has played with the greats in the rock world such as Tony Iommi and Van Morrison. With Russell in the summer of 2007 is the new studio album Wake the Sleeper included. Universal has the album released worldwide in June 2008.

In October 2009 brought Uriah Heep their 40-year anniversary album "Celebration" with new studio recordings of twelve of the best known songs as well as two completely new songs.

After the first (sold-out) concert of the European tour on april 12, 2011 in Weert was on 15 april 2011 the 23rd studio album "Into the Wild" released in Europe (May 5 in North America) via Frontiers Records.

On 21 may 2013 Trevor Bolder died from cancer.

Uriah Heep brought in a total of 23 studio albums, 12 live albums, 13 compilation albums and 27 singles.


Uriah Heep is named after the villain in the novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

Radio 2 Top 2000[Edit][]

Number (s) with markings

in the Radio 2 Top 2000

' 99 ' 00 ' 01 ' 02 ' 03 ' 04 ' 05 ' 06 ' 07 ' 08 ' 09 ' 10 ' 11 ' 12 ' 13
Easy livin' 298 142 231 165 138 212 253 231 389 230 264 241 347 311 379
  1. Uriah Heep. Retrieved on September 6, 2009.
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named workhard
  3. Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (1994). Uriah Heep biography. Retrieved on April 8, 2010.
  4. Stephen Thomas Erlewine. Uriah Heep biography. Retrieved on April 8, 2010.
  5. Uriah Heep UK Charts. Archived from the original on 2012-05-24. Retrieved on April 8, 2010.
  6. Uriah Heep Billboard 200. Retrieved on April 8, 2010.
  7. LADY IN BLACK – THE NEW SINGLE BY URIAH HEEP. Uriah Heep – Official Web Site. Retrieved on January 2, 2010.
  8. Uriah Heep. Singles.
  9. Uriah Heep Nail on the Head Tour Live in London and Norwich.
  10. Official site of band