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Uriah Heep tickets

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artist information

Uriah Heep

Uriah Heep are an English rock band, formed in December 1969 when record producer Gerry Bron invited keyboardist Ken Hensley (previously a member of The Gods and Toe Fat) to join Spice, a band signed to his own Bronze Records label.

Sometimes jokingly referred to as "The Beach Boys of heavy metal" for their melodic songs, and trademark multi-part harmony backing vocals, although their music draws on diverse influences including: progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal, jazz and even country on occasion. As one of the first bands to fuse prog with metal, they are a precursor to the progressive metal genre.

In spite of their huge popularity in Britain and continental Europe, Uriah Heep were never able to break into the American market in a big way, with the exception of three hit songs, "Easy Livin' " from the 1972 album Demons and Wizards, "Sweet Lorraine" from the 1972 album The Magician's Birthday (a top ten album in Australia), and "Stealin' " from the 1973 release Sweet Freedom. The band released several commercially successful albums in the 1970s, including the seminal Uriah Heep Live (1973), but their audience declined during the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult band in the US and UK. Uriah Heep maintain a significant following in Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, Japan and Russia, where they still perform at stadium-sized venues.

History - 1969 - 1985

Their 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 ; it also included "Lady in Black". Their third album, "Look at Yourself", released at the end of 1971, included the single "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 twice) frequently exploring fantasy-oriented lyrical themes, often in lengthy, multi-part compositions, largely penned by Hensley, who would eventually come to dominate the band during his tenure. On December 8th 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 the German band Lucifer's Friend), 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 glam metal fans.

Sadly, for David Byron it all came to an end on February 28th 1985, when, aged 38 and a victim of long term alcohol abuse, he died of a heart attack.

History - 1986 - Today

Uriah Heep still tour and release both (occasional) studio and (frequent) live albums. The lineup has been the same since 1986 with 'veterans' Mick Box at the helm, Trevor Bolder on bass and Lee Kerslake on drums. The vocalist is Bernie Shaw and Phil Lanzon on keyboards have been present since 1986. Making it 20 years as of 2006 that the same act has been touring and recording, and have music spanning five decades. Their principal tour circuit is in Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian Peninsula, Japan, and Russia, although they return to Britain for a tour each year that culminates in The Magician's Birthday Party (named for one of their most popular albums) in November in London. This event consists of fan gatherings at local venues featuring current and former band members, and a concert, often with guest appearances by former members. To date, the last Party was in 2004.

Mick Box also acted as manager until, on April 5, 2005, the band retained Simon Porter as their manager.

In December 2006, the band announced that they were recording a new album with producer Mike Paxman for Sanctuary Records, with release planned for 2007.

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 Wake The Sleeper, which is to be released in early 2008.

Acoustically Driven

An unplugged concert CD which was recorded in 2001 with some guest musicians.

  • flute: Ian Anderson
  • backing vocals: Kim Chandler, Billie Godfrey, Emma Robbins
  • strings: Pauline Kirke (cello), Liz Chi Yen Liew (violin), Sarah Chi Liew (violin), Saskia Tomkins (viola),
  • Melvin Duffy (pedal steel guitar, slide guitar), Steafan Hannigan (percussion, uillean pipes),
  • other functions: Jim Hughes (guitar technician, stage manager), Pip Williams (acoustic guitar, arranger, producer, string arrangements). See also discography / live albums

Current members

Uriah Heep band members 1969-2007
1969-1970
  • David Byron – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • Paul Newton – bass guitar
  • Alex Napier – drums
1970
  • David Byron – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • Paul Newton – bass guitar
  • Nigel Olsson – drums
1970
  • David Byron – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • Paul Newton – bass guitar
  • Keith Baker – drums
1970–1971
  • David Byron – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • Paul Newton – bass guitar
  • Iain Clarke – drums
1971–1972
  • David Byron – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • Mark Clarke – bass guitar
  • Lee Kerslake – drums
1972–1975
  • David Byron – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • Gary Thain – bass guitar
  • Lee Kerslake – drums
1975–1976
  • David Byron – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • John Wetton – bass guitar
  • Lee Kerslake – drums
1976–1979
  • John Lawton – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
  • Lee Kerslake – drums
1979–1980
  • John Sloman – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Ken Hensley – keyboards
  • Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
  • Chris Slade – drums
1980-1981
  • John Sloman – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Gregg Dechert – keyboards
  • Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
  • Chris Slade – drums
1981–1982Disbanded
1982–1983
  • Peter Goalby – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • John Sinclair – keyboards
  • Bob Daisley – bass guitar
  • Lee Kerslake – drums
1983–1985
  • Peter Goalby – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • John Sinclair – keyboards
  • Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
  • Lee Kerslake – drums
1986
  • Steff Fontaine – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Phil Lanzon – keyboards
  • Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
  • Lee Kerslake – drums
1986–2007
  • Bernie Shaw – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Phil Lanzon – keyboards
  • Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
  • Lee Kerslake – drums
2007 - Present
  • Bernie Shaw – vocals
  • Mick Box – guitar
  • Phil Lanzon – keyboards
  • Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
  • Russell Gilbrook – drums

Discography

Studio albums

  • Very 'eavy... Very 'umble (1970) – titled Uriah Heep in the U.S.A.
  • Salisbury (1971)
  • Look at Yourself (1971)
  • Demons & Wizards (1972)
  • The Magician's Birthday (1972)
  • Sweet Freedom (1973)
  • Wonderworld (1974)
  • Return to Fantasy (1975)
  • High and Mighty (1976)
  • Firefly (1977)
  • Innocent Victim (1977)
  • Fallen Angel (1978)
  • Conquest (1980)
  • Abominog (1982)
  • Head First (1983)
  • Equator (1985)
  • Raging Silence (1989)
  • Different World (1991)
  • Sea of Light (1995)
  • Sonic Origami (1998)
  • Wake The Sleeper (2008)

Live albums

  • Uriah Heep Live (1973) - often referred to as "Live '73" by Heepsters
  • Live at Shepperton '74 (1986) – recorded 1974
  • Live in Europe 1979 (1986) – recorded 1979
  • Live in Moscow (1988)
  • Spellbinder Live (1996)
  • King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents In Concert (1997) – recorded 1974
  • Future Echoes Of The Past (2000)
  • Acoustically Driven (2001)
  • Electrically Driven (2001)
  • The Magician's Birthday Party (2002)
  • Live in the USA (2003)
  • Magic Night (2004)
  • Between Two Worlds (2005)

Compilations

  • Anthology (1986)
  • Lady In Black (1994)
  • The Lansdowne Tapes (1994) – recordings by Spice and outtakes from the first three Uriah Heep albums, recorded 1968–1971
  • A Time of Revelation (1994) – four-disc anthology including much previously unreleased material, recorded 1968–1995
  • Uriah Heep: The Collection – sixteen songs spanning 1970–1983(2000)
  • Remasters: The Official Anthology (2001)
  • 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Uriah Heep (2001)
  • Rainbow Demon: Live & In the Studio 1994-1998 (2004)
  • Chapter & Verse (2005) – six-disc anthology including much previously unreleased material, recorded 1968–1998, plus book and bonus poster
  • Very Best of Uriah Heep (2006)
  • Easy Livin': Singles A's & B's (2006) – anthology including almost all the band's singles, which includes several songs not available in the original albums
  • Loud, Proud & Heavy: The Very Best of Uriah Heep (2007) - 3CD compilation featuring songs from almost all of Heep's studio albums from 1970-1991 except Wonderworld, which interestingly isn't included on this compilation.