Uriah Heep Catalog to Receive an Extensive Upgrade

by VVN Music

The catalog of English rockers Uriah Heep is about to have a major reissue and upgrade by BMG.

The band, whose origins date back to 1967, released their first album in 1970 and have a total of 24 studio sets in their catalog.

The new reissue program started on September 16 with the release of the new two-CD anthology Your Turn to Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970 - 1990 and the expanded edition of their debut album ...Very 'Eavy...Very 'Umble. They followed on Friday with a two-CD edition of their 1971 album Salisbury.

Each reissue is being curated by founding member and guitarist Mick Box and is being made with the full cooperation of Heep. Each has the original LP on the first disc, remastered by Andy Pearce of Lou Reed and Black Sabbath fame, with rarities on disc 2. New liner notes are written by author Joel McIver along with Mick Box and Ken Hensley.

The new Uriah Heep anthology, Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990, evokes an era when prog, hard rock and heavy metal co-existed in an era of glorious, boundary-breaking music. The songs on this 2CD collection trace the evolution of Heep from inexperienced studio musicians with everything to prove to bona fide, limo inhabiting rock stars. The Anthology cherry picks tracks from some of Heep’s most celebrated albums including Demons And Wizards, Look At Yourself, Return To Fantasy, Equator, Conquest and The Magicians Birthday.

As Mick Box explains: “We were very green! If the engineer had said, ‘Stand in a fire bucket and plug your guitar into that radiator’, we probably would have done it. We had no experience of the studio at all. Two years later we were in America, playing to between 10,000 and 20,000 people a night. We were in a big bubble, with all the private Learjets and so on: I don’t think I went through an airport for 10 years! We were picked up by limos on the tarmac, and all that stuff. We’d take whole floors of hotels, with bodyguards outside each room. It got to those heady, silly heights, but I was personally always up for the fun of it. I never believed it was going to continue, but some did, which was a bit unfortunate...”

Additionally released on September 16 was Heep’s 1970 debut album ...Very ’Eavy ...Very ’Umble. Originally released on the magnificent Vertigo spiral label with original mint condition first pressings now commanding a price of $600+, it is bursting at the seams with creativity and a desire to make a mark in the most fertile era that rock music has ever known, the album was a powerful statement of intent, showcasing the incredible vocals of the late David Byron. Witness the opening cut Gypsy, the musicians stop and start on a dime in a classic opening sequence before Byron’s soaring vocals introduce the ever-lovin’ subject matter. Hensley’s immense organ solo, which not only occupies most of the song’s midsection, but also restarts the entire song towards its back end, is a showcase of a young, hot musician with everything to prove. The musicianship shines bright throughout the album; from the Hendrix inspired blues rocker Real Turned On, and the Mellotron soaked Come Away Melinda, to the bombastic Dreammare and majestic closer Wake Up (Set Your Sights), Heep’s debut showcased a very promising new rock band flexing some serious musical muscle.

This new issue of ‘Eavy brings together the newly re-mastered original album with a second disc of never before issued alternate mixes. Three tracks on CD2 are from the late period Spice (pre Heep) sessions (just prior to Ken Hensley joining the fold) and the rest are all from the Very ‘Eavy sessions, recorded over a period of several months in late 1969 and early 1970. These bonus tracks were recently discovered by Heep uber fan, Robert Corich who has a library of unreleased music used across these re-issues.

Box adds: “Creativity in Uriah Heep was at a peak at the time. Nobody was breathing down our necks, so we moved into a more progressive field after Very ’Eavy... Very ’Umble. We were getting into a period where we would just write things and let them go where they wanted to go, rather than writing to a format. Not that there had been a format before, but this time we really let our hair down, if you like! We decided that there would be no restrictions whatsoever.”

Organist Ken Hensley looks back at this era fondly, saying: “It was beginning to sink in that we were onto something. The management company, the record company, the publishing company and everyone else were all on board, and we had made a bit of an impact with the first album, especially in Europe, so we had some momentum. I took most of the tracks in their rawest forms to the band, and together we turned them into full songs.”

The track lists:

Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990

Disc 1
  • Gypsy
  • Come Away Melinda
  • Bird Of Prey
  • Lady In Black
  • Look At Yourself
  • July Morning – Japanese Single Edit
  • Easy Livin’
  • The Wizard
  • Sunrise
  • Sweet Lorraine
  • Stealin’
  • Sweet Freedom
  • The Shadows And The Wind
  • Suicidal Man
  • Return To Fantasy
  • Devil’s Daughter
Disc 2
  • Weep In Silence
  • Can’t Keep A Good Band Down
  • Sympathy
  • Firefly
  • Free N’ Easy
  • Free Me
  • Woman Of The Night
  • Come Back To Me
  • It Ain’t Easy
  • No Return
  • Too Scared To Run
  • Chasing Shadows
  • Straight Through The Heart
  • The Other Side Of Midnight
  • Rockarama
  • Poor Little Rich Girl
  • Voice On My TV
...Very 'Eavy...Very 'Umble: Deluxe Edition

Disc 1
  • Gypsy
  • Walking in Your Shadow
  • Come Away Melinda
  • Lucy Blues
  • Dreammare
  • Real Turned On
  • I'll Keep On Trying
  • Wake Up (Set Your Sights)
Disc 2
  • Gypsy (Alternative Version)
  • Real Turned On (Alternative Version)
  • Dreammare (Alternative Version)
  • Come Away Melinda (Alternative Version)
  • Born in a Trunk (Alternative Version)
  • Wake Up (Set Your Sights) (Alternative Version)
  • I'll Keep On Trying (Alternative Version)
  • Walking in Your Shadow (Alternative Version)
  • Lucy Blues (Alternative Version)
  • Born in a Trunk (Instrumental Alternative Version)
  • Magic Lantern (Alternative Version)
  • Bird of Prey (US Alternative Version)
Salisbury: Deluxe Edition

Disc 1
  • Bird of Prey
  • The Park
  • Time to Live
  • Lady in Black
  • High Priestess
  • Salisbury
Disc 2
  • High Priestess (Alternative Version)
  • Time to Live (Alternative Version)
  • The Park (Alternative Version)
  • Simon the Bullet Freak (Alternative Version)
  • Bird of Prey (Alternative Version)
  • Here Am I (Alternative Version)
  • Lady in Black (Alternative Version)
  • Salisbury (Alternative Version)
  • Salisbury (Alternative Version) [Live]

1 comment

56dinosaur said...

Odd, that with the expanded 2-CD editions of the group's first two albums now released, that there has been no release date announced for what should be the next title in the series ("Look at Yourself")

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