With the long history of rock, there arnt many who can say they were there from the very beginning, but here we have Uriah Heep strong as ever!
Among venerable UK rock institutions, with Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull dispersing, we are, perhaps, really, down to just Deep Purple, Yes and Uriah Heep left to uphold the tradition of quality original progressive hard rock forged at the very beginning of a golden era for this music, late ‘60s into the nexus year that was 1970.
At that crossroads, along with Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, Uriah Heep helped invent a decorative and uniquely British form of heavy metal with their debut album, Very ‘Eavy, Very ‘Umble. The record was offered as a self-titled on American shores, but whatever the titling, it was historically massive in the invention of a music format that would rule the ‘70s and only intensify in the ‘80s.
It is from those roots, with classic, crucial slabs of nascent metal such as “Gypsy,” “Bird of Prey” and “Walking in Your Shadow,” that Uriah Heep began their ascendance both at home and in the US, culminating in their most enduring works, Demons and Wizards, The Magician’s Birthday and Sweet Freedom, all of which went gold in the States, entering the Billboard Top 40, ensuring years of concert dominance for the band throughout the ‘70s.
Furthermore, Uriah Heep have been responsible for the most elevated and intelligent use of vocals in a heavy metal context amongst the major bands inventing the genre in the 1970s. It is for this reason Heep were coined the Beach Boys of Heavy Metal, and their influence is there for all to see in other bands including the likes of Sweet and Queen. The band were also one of the forerunners with respect to the integration of Hammond organ, along with Mick’s signature wah-wah guitar, a combination that became the template for their sound.
Success has followed the forging of such an audacious formula. Across 25 studio albums, along with myriad live releases and compilations, Uriah Heep have managed to sell 40 million records worldwide, four million of those in the US. Impressive American numbers, but that leaves 36 million records to be sold in the rest of the world, underscoring the fact that Uriah Heep have become, through their relentless dedication to touring, a truly global band, with particular success in Germany, Scandinavia, Japan, Eastern Europe and Russia, where they were the first Western rock band to play live in Moscow in December 1987 to 180,000 people. Through their success as rock ‘n’ roll pioneers this enabled other bands to follow in their wake and Russia is now part of every band’s touring schedule.
The point of all this is that even now, 50 years after the band’s inception, the sun seems to be shining down upon Mick Box and Uriah Heep. Fact is, Heep are one of only a small clutch of heritage acts that are doing everything a band must do to be considered vital, namely touring worldwide and regularly recording and releasing high quality, exquisitely produced full-length records that continue to capture their fan base’s imagination. If there’s another band born in 1969 that has stayed as engaged with their fans as Heep, all the power to them. But for Mick Box, music has never been a competition—him an’ Heep will keep spreading their many messages of positivity all over the world and gaining new fans along the way. Their songs and music have stood the test of time, and with even more new songs on the horizon the mighty Heep are as strong and powerful as ever.
Let’s see what Uriah Heep have to say about Vocalzone!
“It’s five minutes till show time, so time for Vocalzones. We’ve been using them for years, they clear your sinus, they clear the Catarrh at the back of your throat. We’ve never gone up to a show in about 27 years without one of these. They are the best by our test.”