Uriah Heep (band)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Uriah Heep 2008
|Genres||Hard rock, progressive rock, heavy metal, AOR|
|Labels||Vertigo, Bronze, Island, Warner Bros., Mercury, Chrysalis, Sanctuary, Castle, and others.|
|Associated acts||The Gods, Spice|
|Mick Box |
|See: Uriah Heep band member history|
The band released several commercially successful albums in the 1970s such as Uriah Heep Live (1973), but their audience declined by the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult band in the United States and United Kingdom. Uriah Heep maintain a significant following in Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, the Balkans, Japan and Russia, where they still perform at stadium-sized venues.
Uriah Heep were the first Western band to play in Soviet Russia, under Gorbachev's policy of glasnost. They have sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
 HistoryTheir debut album, Very 'eavy... Very 'umble (which was self-titled in the United States), introduced a heavy organ and guitar-driven sound, with David Byron's theatrical, dynamic vocals soaring above thunderous sonic backgrounds, although acoustic and jazz elements also featured in the mix. The album's title references the signature phrase of the Dickens character Uriah Heep ("very 'umble") from the novel David Copperfield from which the band took its name. Their second album, Salisbury, was more squarely in the progressive rock genre, with its 16-minute title track featuring a 24-piece orchestra. Their third album, Look at Yourself, released at the end of 1971, included the song "July Morning". Subsequent releases would find the group's ever-shifting lineup (between 1969 and 1980, the band changed drummers five times, bassists four times, and lead singers five times) frequently exploring fantasy-oriented lyrical themes, often in lengthy, multi-part compositions, largely penned by Ken Hensley, who would eventually come to dominate the band during his tenure. On December 8, 1975, New Zealand-born former bassist Gary Thain was found dead in his Norwood Green home, aged 27, having overdosed on heroin.
Following the 1976 replacement of vocalist David Byron (with John Lawton — formerly of bands Lucifer's Friend and The Les Humphries Singers), Uriah Heep turned away from fantasy-oriented lyrics and multi-part compositions back toward a more straightforward hard rock sound typical of the era. In 1977 they scored a top 40 chart hit in Australia with "Free Me" which went all the way to #1 in New Zealand. The replacement of Lawton with vocalist John Sloman for the 1980 album Conquest was not well received by most fans, and Ken Hensley's acrimonious departure in September of that year left the group in a state of collapse. It fell to guitarist Mick Box to pick up the pieces and soldier on with a new singer Pete Goalby of Trapeze fame. Two early 1980s releases, Abominog and Head First, updated the band's sound and generated a brief, newfound interest in Uriah Heep among younger heavy metal fans.
David Byron died of an epileptic seizure and liver disease on February 28, 1985, at the age of 38. Uriah Heep continued to tour and release both (occasional) studio and (frequent) live albums. The lineup was unchanged from 1986 until early 2007, being veteran Mick Box at the helm, Trevor Bolder on bass, Lee Kerslake on drums, vocalist Bernie Shaw and Phil Lanzon on keyboards. Their principal tour circuit is in Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian Peninsula, Japan, and Russia, although they returned to Britain for a tour or a showcase concert most years. For several years this was The Magician's Birthday Party (named for one of their most popular albums), in London. Mick Box also acted as manager until, on April 5, 2005, the band retained Simon Porter as their manager.
In early 2007 drummer Lee Kerslake had to leave the group due to ill health. In March 2007, the band recruited Russell Gilbrook as their new drummer, and immediately started recording a new studio album entitled Wake the Sleeper,where they used the double drums in the songs Wake The Sleeper and War Child. Originally slated for a summer 2007 release, Universal Music finally released Wake the Sleeper on June 2, 2008.
A United States tour for June/July 2010 was delayed due to immigration problems; the first two dates had to be rescheduled. This resulted in an appearance at B.B. King's in New York City as being the first date of the tour.
Uriah Heep performed live on the Progressive Rock stage at the inaugural High Voltage festival in London's Victoria Park on July 25, 2010. They played the 1972 album Demons & Wizards in its entirety.
Uriah Heep are currently recording a new album, which is due for release in 2011.
 DiscographyUriah Heep have released 22 studio albums, 12 live albums, 13 compilation albums and 27 singles.
 Current members
- Mick Box - guitar 1969–present
- Trevor Bolder - bass 1976 - 1981 1983–present
- Phil Lanzon - keyboards 1986–present
- Bernie Shaw - vocals 1986–present
- Russell Gilbrook - drums 2007–present
 Former members
- Ken Hensley - keyboards 1969 - 1980
- David Byron - vocals 1969 - 1976
- Paul Newton - Bass 1969 - 1971
- Alex Napier - drums 1969 - 1970
- Nigel Olsson - drums 1970
- Keith Baker - drums 1970
- Ian Clarke - drums 1970 - 1971
- Mark Clarke - Bass 1971 - 1972
- Lee Kerslake - drums 1971 - 1979 1981 - 2007
- Gary Thain - bass 1972 - 1975
- John Wetton - bass 1975 - 1976
- John Lawton - vocals 1976 - 1979
- John Sloman - vocals 1979 - 1981
- Chris Slade - drums 1979 - 1981
- Gregg Dechert - keyboards 1980 - 1981
- Peter Goalby - vocals 1981 - 1985
- John Sinclair - keyboards 1981 - 1985
- Bob Daisley - Bass 1981 - 1983
- Steff Fontaine - vocals 1986
- ^ http://www.uriah-heep.com/newa/heepstory14.php
- ^ Universal Music. "Wake the Sleeper press release". www.wake-the-sleeper.com. http://www.wake-the-sleeper.com/. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- ^ Kirk Blows. "Uriah Heep Story". www.uriah-heep.com. http://www.uriah-heep.com/newa/heepstory1.php. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
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