Veteran rockers Uriah Heep have spent fifty years having the last laugh at the critic who ended their review of debut album Very’ Eavy, Very ‘Umble with the line ‘I’ll commit suicide if this band makes it.’ Forty million album sales later, the band are still in great form, and I hope that critic has survived the experience.
Uriah Heep – Very ‘Eavy, ‘Very ‘Umble / Salisbury (BMG)
Release Date: 28 January 2022
Words: Ian Sutherland
While Heep are a very active unit, still touring when possible and releasing excellent albums, they have a tremendous legacy to look back on.
The recent Every Day Rocks box set gave their first seven albums the vinyl picture disc treatment and now BMG have decided to let fans, without box set deep pockets, to get in on the act too.
Very Eavy, Very Umble from 1970 and 1971s Salisbury are both definitely products of their era when you listen to them now. You can hear the band refining their sound, pinning it down in opening classic Gypsy and the likes of Bird Of Prey and Lady In Black. There are experimentations with jazzy passages in I’ll Keep On Trying and adding an orchestra on the epic title track to Salisbury, but it’s the old school hard rock edge crafted in those early years that has helped them to stand the test of time.
These picture disc releases won’t be bought by fans discovering the band for the first time though. These are for the collectors and the Heep cognoscenti, so what do you get for your money? The packaging is minimalist, just a plastic sleeve with the tracklisting. Time has been spent retouching the original artwork of each album, and the focus is on that. It’s what picture discs are about, after all.
More picture disc releases are to come, so if you’re a Heep fan looking to collect them all or create a display at home of your favourite band’s early works, then these are for you.
Just remember to keep listening to the fabulous music too.