Thursday, October 27, 2011

Deep Bands: Uriah Heep

 Uriah Heep - Uriah Heep

Hello, everybody! I'm so sorry for not having up anything in a long time. I've been very busy with school work and just haven't had the time to post things and honestly, not a lot is happening really. So to show that this blog is still active, I'm going to post here another installment of Deep Bands, this time on Uriah Heep. This one will be different: it'll just be line-up listings with history behind each one. I wrote this months ago so please enjoy and I'll have some reviews up for albums very soon. Thanks!

For pictures and more information on the line-ups, check out the official  Uriah Heep website. It's very informative!

Uriah Heep I (1969-1970)
David Bryon- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Paul Newton- bass
Alex Napier- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Albums
Very ‘Eavy…Very ‘Umble (1970) *titled Uriah Heep in the US

Notes: Uriah Heep formed in 1969. Byron and Box, along with Newton and Napier, were in a band called Spice. When former Toe Fat keyboardist Ken Hensley joined, the band’s manager suggested they change their name to Uriah Heep. The name came from the character of the same name in Charles Dickens’ classic novel David Copperfield. The band got to work on the debut album but just as the band was nearly complete, Napier left the band.

Line up length: One month

Uriah Heep II (1970)
David Bryon- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Paul Newton- bass
Nigel Olsson- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Notes: Byron’s good friend, Elton John, suggested they hire his drummer Nigel Olsson. Olsson was able to complete the work Napier left unfinished. With that, the Very ‘Eavy…Very ‘Umble was released. However, Olsson wouldn’t last for long. He left a month later to rejoin Elton John.

Line up length: One month


Uriah Heep III (1970)
David Bryon- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Paul Newton- bass
Keith Baker- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Albums
Salisbury (1971)

Notes: Keith Baker replaced Olsson and joined in time for the recording of Salisbury. The album would feature songs such as “Lady in Black” (which later became a huge hit in Germany in 1977) and the sixteen minute epic self-titled track, complete with strings and horns. Baker left the band soon after.

Line up length: Eight months


Uriah Heep IV (1970-1971)
David Bryon- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Paul Newton- bass
Iain Clarke- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Albums
Look At Yourself (1971)

Notes: Iain Clarke joined the band to replace Baker. With their fourth drummer, the band recorded Look at Yourself. Compared to the first two albums, it seemed as if Heep had found their sound with this album. Songs like the self-titled track, “July Morning”, “Tears in My Eyes”, and “Love Machine” are highly regarded as some of the band’s best material. Like the drummers before him, Clarke left the band. Not only did Clarke leave but original member Newton left as well.

Line up length: A year and one month


Uriah Heep V (1971-1972)
David Byron- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Mark Clark- bass
Lee Kerslake- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Notes: Mark Clark replaced Newton on bass and Hensley’s Toe Fat/The Gods former band mate Lee Kerslake joined as the new drummer. The band wrote some material at this time but end after Clark left the band.

Line up length: Three months



Uriah Heep VI (1972-1975)
David Byron- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Gary Thain- bass
Lee Kerslake- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Albums
Demons and Wizards (1972)
The Magician’s Birthday (1972)
Sweet Freedom (1973)
Wonderworld (1974)

Notes: When New Zealand born bassist Gary Thain joined in 1972, the band was set. Many Heepsters alike would agree that this was the band’s classic line-up, as they found the most success of any other line-up. Demons and Wizards is sometimes called the band’s best album. It had hits such as “The Wizard”, “Traveler in Time”, “Circle of Hands”, and “Easy Livin’”. The latter managed to crack the US charts. The band would appear again on the US charts with 1973’s “Stealin’”. The band even released a live album, which showed the critics that Uriah Heep was a band not to underestimate. The line-up ended when the band fired Thain. Thain had gone deep into drug addiction and the band dismissed him.
Gary Thain would later die in December 1977 from a heroin overdose.

Line up length: 3 years


Uriah Heep VII (1975-1976)
David Byron- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
John Wetton- bass
Lee Kerslake- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Albums
Return To Fantasy (1975)
High And Mighty (1976)

Notes: Bassist John Wetton, fresh out of King Crimson, took Gary Thain’s place. Return to Fantasy was much of a “return to form” type of album for the band. However, High and Mighty wasn’t so lucky: it flopped badly. At the same time, Byron’s behavior was becoming increasing difficult to put up with. The band had no other choice but to fire David Byron. John Wetton also announced this departure from the band soon after.
David Byron later died in February 1985 from a heart attack due to his drinking problem.

Line up length: A year and five months

Uriah Heep VIII (1976-1979)
John Lawton- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Trevor Bolder- bass
Lee Kerslake- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Albums
Firefly (1977)
Innocent Victim (1977)
Fallen Angel (1978)

Notes: Lucifer’s Friend singer John Lawton became the band’s new lead singer. Former David Bowie bassist Trevor Bolder became the new bassist. This line-up released three studio albums, all of which were mildly successful. The band found hits with “Wise Man” and “Free Me”. Lawton was fired either due to friction between he and Hensley at the time or because of the presence of Lawton’s wife. When the band found Lawton’s replacement, Kerslake left the band after disagreements with the band’s management.

Line up length: 3 years and a month


Uriah Heep IX (1979-1980)
John Sloman- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Trevor Bolder- bass
Chris Slade- drums
Ken Hensley- keyboards

Albums
Conquest (1980)

Notes: John Sloman replaced Lawton and Chris Slade replaced Kerslake. The line-up released Conquest in 1980 to poor reviews. It came to the point where Hensley was writing almost every song for the album. During the tour, Hensley wasn’t too happy with Sloman. Nothing against Sloman but Hensley had opposed to hire him in the first place. With bad management at the same time, Ken Hensley left Uriah Heep. This left Mick Box as the only original member.

Line up length: Five months




Uriah Heep X (1980-1981)
John Sloman- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Trevor Bolder- bass
Chris Slade- drums
Gregg Dechert- keyboards

Notes: Gregg Dechert had the very difficult task in replacing Hensley. This line-up only released a single called “Think It Over” (which was later recorded by a different line-up in 1982). The line-up came to an end after Sloman announced his departure from the band. Slade and Dechert soon followed. Box and Bolder tried to see if David Byron was interested in rejoining the band but Byron declined. Bolder left and joined Wishbone Ash. This left Mick Box by himself for a few months until he decided to take part in the rebirth of Uriah Heep…

Line up length: Two months


Uriah Heep XI (1982-1983)
Peter Goalby- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Bob Daisley- bass
Lee Kerslake- drums
John Sinclair- keyboards

Albums
Abominog (1982)
Head First (1983)

Notes: Box was able to recruit Kerslake, who had just been sacked from Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band with bassist Daisley. With Sinclair and singer Goalby, Heep was reborn. Abominog was released in 1982 and renewed interest in the band thanks to the MTV friendly video for “That’s The Way That it Is”. After Head First in 1983, Daisley left.

Line up length: One year


Uriah Heep XII (1983-1985)
Peter Goalby- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Trevor Bolder- bass
Lee Kerslake- drums
John Sinclair- keyboards

Albums
Equator (1984)

Notes: Bolder rejoined the band in 1983. It’s a position he still holds to this day. Sinclair left in 1985. An exhausted Goalby left as well.

Line up length: 2 years and five months


Uriah Heep XIII (1986)
Steff Fontain- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Trevor Bolder- bass
Lee Kerslake- drums
Phil Lanzon- keyboards

Notes: Phil Lanzon joined as the new keyboardist. Steff Fontain, however, didn’t stay for very long. Within two months, he was out.

Line up length: Two months


Uriah Heep XIV (1986-2007)
Bernie Shaw- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Trevor Bolder- bass
Lee Kerslake- drums
Phil Lanzon- keyboards

Albums
Raging Silence (1989)
Different World (1991)
Sea Of Light (1995)
Sonic Origami (1998)

Notes: Bernie Shaw joined as the band’s sixth lead singer. To date, this line-up of Uriah Heep has outlasted all the previous line-ups. The band released a number of studio albums and toured frequently. In 2007, Kerslake left.

Line up length: 20 years



Uriah Heep XV (2007-present)
Bernie Shaw- vocals
Mick Box- guitar
Trevor Bolder- bass
Russell Gilbrook- drums
Phil Lanzon- keyboards

Albums
Wake The Sleeper (2008)
Celebration (2009)
Into the Wild (2011)

Notes: Drummer Russell Gilbrook replaced Kerslake. In 2008, the band release Wake the Sleeper. This marked the band’s first studio album in a decade. As of 2011, this line-up is still together. Uriah Heep lives on four decades later…

Line up length: 4 years and counting


Total number of members: 24 (6 singers, 6 bassists, 7 drummers, 4 keyboardists, and one guitarist!)

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