There are some bands that are shall we say a little embarrassing to admit you love. They often times have histrionic vocals, overblown arrangements and some serious flared trousers.
Usually the albums are packaged in a Roger Dean cover, which regardless of your taste in album art is still a lot cooler than most people are willing to admit.
These bands often have a checkered history and may have gone on a tad too long as a band, or maybe they are just happy chugging along powering out overwrought rock extravaganza’s that have no concern for fashion. Their albums usually have a strong fantastical element holding them together, they may even have the odd concept going on.
Uriah Heep are a little embarrassing at times but they have a way with a tune, often alternating between prog excess and hard rocking brevity. They are almost the poor relative of Purple who spent too long in the company of Yes and were not ashamed to admit they really liked to sing about Magicians and Wizards. I am also happy to vote for Mick Box as the most underrated guitar slinger out there.
So tonight it was Uriah Heep night with The Magician’s Birthday and Demons and Wizards failing to wake my wife up as she snoozed on the couch. It’s not Roger’s best cover work but it is very fine to stare at as Mick and Ken and the boys chug along pretending to be more serious than they really are. At some point I found myself transported back to my 13 yr old self as I earnestly studied the lyrics for some meaning that only I could decipher.
Funnily enough as I searched for Demons and Wizards this evening I found it nestling behind the Elvis Costello albums.
11 thoughts on “Weaker than a moment…”
Nothing embarrassing here, I’ve wanted a copy of Look At Yourself for years now.
I have been looking for a copy of Salisbury and Look At Yourself for awhile it seems.
I am not really embarrassed apart from when the roof is off the car and I am at stop lights.
The last time I saw Salisbury, someone was trying to get £80 for it!
Weird you can get a reissue on Amazon for 30 or so. The ripoff games that go on are amazing to me sometimes, I will keep looking for a reasonably priced one.
No embarrassment for me either. Saw the current Mick Box-led version of Uriah Heep in concert just this past year and couldn’t contain the giddy joy as they ran through the full 10-plus minutes of “The Magician’s Birthday”:
In the magic garden
Some were singing, some were dancing
While the midnight moon shone brightly overhead.
COUNT ME IN!!!
Count me in as a third fan of the 70s Heep. When I wrote about them, I was surprised by the love out there too!
It’s here, btw.
Also, how interesting to note Elvis Costello craves Heep too!
That’s a great article, now I have to find more Heep.
Prog is fine as long as it’s not Yes or Genesis …
There is a rich vein waiting for you there is you give it the time. I am still wrapping my head around Topographic Oceans.
Hmm … saw Yes in the late 60s and unlike other live bands then who supported one another, Yes all seemed to be vying for attention and the result was what I’d call a restless nightmare. Nice article, by the way …