- Uriah Heep (band)
Infobox musical artist
Name = Uriah Heep
Img_capt = Uriah Heep performing live in
Osnabrück, Germany on December 7, 2007
Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = group_or_band
Progressive rock, Hard rock, Heavy metal, Art rock[ [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll allmusic ] ]
Years_active = 1969—present
Label = Vertigo, Bronze, Island, Warner Bros., Mercury, Chrysalis, Sanctuary, Castle, and others.
Associated_acts = The Gods,
Toe Fat, Spice, Lucifer's Friend, Rough Diamond, Ozzy Osbourne, Trapeze, David Bowie, Wishbone Ash, Blackfoot, Asia, King Crimson, Keef Hartley
URL = [http://www.uriah-heep.com www.Uriah-Heep.com]
Mick Box Trevor Bolder Bernie Shaw Phil Lanzon Russell Gilbrook
Past_members = See: Uriah Heep band member history
Uriah Heep are an English rock band, formed in December 1969 when record producer
Gerry Broninvited keyboardist Ken Hensley(previously a member of The Gods and Toe Fat) to join Spice, a band signed to his own Bronze Recordslabel.
They were sometimes jokingly referred to as "
The Beach Boysof heavy metal" for their melodic songs, and trademark multi-part harmony backing vocals, although their music draws on diverse influences including: progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal, jazz, and even country on occasion. As one of the first bands to fuse progressive with metal, they are a precursor to the progressive metalgenre.Fact|date=September 2007
In spite of their huge popularity in Britain and continental Europe, Uriah Heep were never able to break into the American market in a big way, with the exception of three hit songs, "Easy Livin' " from the 1972 album "Demons and Wizards", "Sweet Lorraine" from the 1972 album "
The Magician's Birthday" (a top ten album in Australia), and "Stealin' " from the 1973 release "Sweet Freedom". The band released several commercially successful albums in the 1970s, including the seminal " Uriah Heep Live" (1973), but their audience declined by the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult bandin the US and UK. Uriah Heep maintain a significant following in Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, Japanand Russia, where they still perform at stadium-sized venues.
Roger Dean created many of their album covers.
Their debut album, "
Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble" (which was self-titled in the United States), introduced a heavy organ and guitar-driven sound, with David Byron's theatrical, dynamic vocals soaring above thunderous sonic backgrounds, although acoustic and jazzelements also featured in the mix. The album's title references the signature phrase of the Dickenscharacter Uriah Heep ("very 'umble") from the novel "David Copperfield" from which the band took its name [cite web
title="Uriah Heep Story"
accessdate = 2007-03-15] . Their second album, "Salisbury", was more squarely in the
progressive rockgenre, with its 16-minute title track featuring a 24-piece orchestra; it also included Lady in Black. Their third album, " Look at Yourself", released at the end of 1971, included the single "July Morning". Subsequent releases would find the group's ever-shifting lineup (between 1969 and 1980, the band changed drummers five times, bassists four times, and lead singers twice) frequently exploring fantasy-oriented lyrical themes, often in lengthy, multi-part compositions, largely penned by Hensley, who would eventually come to dominate the band during his tenure. On December 8, 1975, New Zealand-born former bassist, Gary Thain, was found dead in his Norwood Green home, aged 27, having overdosed on heroin.
Following the 1976 replacement of vocalist David Byron (with John Lawton - formerly of the German band
Lucifer's Friend), Uriah Heep turned away from fantasy-oriented lyrics and multi-part compositions back toward a more straightforward hard rock sound typical of the era. In 1977 they scored a top 40 chart hit in Australia with "Free Me" which went all the way to #1 in New Zealand. The replacement of Lawton with vocalist John Slomanfor the 1980 album "Conquest" was not well received by most fans, and Ken Hensley's acrimonious departure in September of that year left the group in a state of collapse. It fell to guitarist Mick Boxto pick up the pieces and soldier on with a new singer Pete Goalbyof Trapeze fame. Two early 1980s releases, " Abominog" and " Head First", updated the band's sound and generated a brief, newfound interest in Uriah Heep among younger glam metalfans. David Byrondied of an epileptic fit and liver disease on February 28, 1985, at the age of 38. Uriah Heep continued to tour and release both (occasional) studio and (frequent) live albums. The lineup was unchanged from 1986 until early 2007, being veteran Mick Boxat the helm, Trevor Bolderon bass, Lee Kerslakeon drums, vocalist Bernie Shawand Phil Lanzonon keyboards. Their principal tour circuit is in Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian Peninsula, Japan, and Russia, although they returned to Britain for a tour or a showcase concert most years. For several years this was The Magician's BirthdayParty (named for one of their most popular albums), in London. This event consists of fan gatherings at local venues featuring current and former band members, and a concert, often with guest appearances by former members. However, to date, the last Party was in 2004. [ [http://uriah-heep.com/newa/eheep1305.php] ] Mick Boxalso acted as manager until, on April 5, 2005, the band retained Simon Porter as their manager. [ [http://uriah-heep.com/newa/specialstatement.php] ]
In early 2007 drummer Lee Kerslake had to leave the group due to ill health. In March 2007, the band recruited
Russell Gilbrookas their new drummer, and immediately started recording a new studio album entitled " Wake the Sleeper". Originally slated for a Summer 2007 release, Universal Musicfinally released Wake the Sleeper on June 2, 2008. In their Mick Boxannounced that songs from the upcoming album would be performed on their European tour beginning November 24th. [ [http://www.uriah-heep.com] ]
* The power metal collaboration between
Blind Guardian's vocalist Hansi Kürschand Iced Earth's guitarist Jon Schaffer, called Demons & Wizards, takes its name from Uriah Heep's 1972 album "Demons and Wizards".
* "Heepster" is a term referring to fans of Uriah Heep, used among fans to refer to each other. Similar to
* [http://www.uriah-heep.com/ The Official Uriah Heep Website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/uheep Uriah Heep MySpace page]
* [http://www.mick-box.com/ Mick Box' official website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/mickbox Mick Box MySpace page]
* [http://www.myspace.com/trevorbolder Trevor Bolder MySpace page]
* [http://www.ken-hensley.com/ Ken Hensley's official website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/kenhensleymusic Ken Hensley MySpace page]
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