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22nd June 2016

uriah heep

BMG have announced an extensive CD and digital reissue programme which is curated by Uriah Heep's founder member Mick Box. The campaign starts on 30th September 2016, and continues through 2017, with the new two disc anthology 'Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive 1970-1990' and an expanded edition of their classic debut 'Very 'Eavy Very 'Umble'.

The reissues come as 2CD expanded packages, with the original LPs on CD1 re-mastered by renowned engineer Andy Pearce of Lou Reed and Black Sabbath fame and complete with liner notes by the bestselling rock author Joel McIver. Box and Heep's sometime member Ken Hensley, composer of many of the band's best-known songs, contribute to each album's notes.

Evoking an era when prog, hard rock and Heavy Metal co-existed in an era of glorious, boundary-breaking music, the songs on this 2CD collection trace the evolution of Heep from inexperienced studio musicians with everything to prove to bona fide, limo inhabiting rock stars. The Anthology cherry picks tracks from some of Heep's most celebrated albums including 'Demons And Wizards', 'Look At Yourself', 'Return To Fantasy', 'Equator', 'Conquest' and 'The Magicians Birthday'.

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Mick Box explains: "We were very green! If the engineer had said, 'Stand in a fire bucket and plug your guitar into that radiator', we probably would have done it. We had no experience of the studio at all. Two years later we were in America, playing to between 10,000 and 20,000 people a night.

"We were in a big bubble, with all the private Learjets and so on: I don't think I went through an airport for 10 years! We were picked up by limos on the tarmac, and all that stuff. We'd take whole floors of hotels, with bodyguards outside each room. It got to those heady, silly heights, but I was personally always up for the fun of it. I never believed it was going to continue, but some did, which was a bit unfortunate..."

Additionally released in August is Heep's 1970 debut album '...'Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble' - a must-buy for many fans. Originally released on the magnificent Vertigo spiral label with original mint condition first pressings now commanding a price of £500+, it is bursting at the seams with creativity and a desire to make a mark in the most fertile era that rock music has ever known, the album was a powerful statement of intent, showcasing the incredible vocals of the late David Byron.

Witness the opening cut 'Gypsy', the musicians stop and start on a dime in a classic opening sequence before Byron's soaring vocals introduce the ever-lovin' subject matter. Hensley's immense organ solo, which not only occupies most of the song's midsection, but also restarts the entire song towards its back end, is a showcase of a young, hot musician with everything to prove.

uriah heep

This new issue of 'Eavy brings together the newly re-mastered original album with a second disc of never before issued alternate mixes. Three tracks on CD2 are from the late period Spice (pre Heep) sessions (just prior to Ken Hensley joining the fold) and the rest are all from the Very 'Eavy sessions, recorded over a period of several months in late 1969 and early 1970.

Mick Box adds: "Creativity in Uriah Heep was at a peak at the time. Nobody was breathing down our necks, so we moved into a more progressive field after 'Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble'. We were getting into a period where we would just write things and let them go where they wanted to go, rather than writing to a format. Not that there had been a format before, but this time we really let our hair down, if you like! We decided that there would be no restrictions whatsoever."

Organist Ken Hensley looks back at this era fondly, saying: "It was beginning to sink in that we were onto something. The management company, the record company, the publishing company and everyone else were all on board, and we had made a bit of an impact with the first album, especially in Europe, so we had some momentum. I took most of the tracks in their rawest forms to the band, and together we turned them into full songs."

'Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990'
Disc 1
1. Gypsy
2. Come Away Melinda
3. Bird Of Prey
4. Lady In Black
5. Look At Yourself
6. July Morning – Japanese single edit
7. Easy Livin'
8. The Wizard
9. Sunrise
10. Sweet Lorraine
11. Stealin'
12. Sweet Freedom
13. The Shadows And The Wind
14. Suicidal Man
15. Return To Fantasy
16. Devil's Daughter

Disc 2
1. Weep In Silence
2. Can't Keep A Good Band Down
3. Sympathy
4. Firefly
5. Free n' Easy
6. Free Me
7. Woman Of The Night
8. Come Back To Me
9. It Ain't Easy
10. No Return
11. Too Scared To Run
12. Chasing Shadows
13. Straight Through The Heart
14. The Other Side Of Midnight
15. Rockarama
16. Poor Little Rich Girl
17. Voice On My TV

See Uriah Heep live in 2016
09.07.16   Dinggfest Open Air – Free Entry Germany
14.07.16   Rosenheim Sommer festival – Germany
23.07.16   Maidstone Kent Ramblin' Man Fair – UK
29.07.16   Valetta Ta' Liesse Grand Harbour – Malta
05.08.16   Gressvik Festival – Norway
06.08.16   Avenches Rock Oz Arenes – Switzerland
11.08.16   Alicante Leyendas del Rock Festival – Spain
19.08.16   Ritterhude Open Air Ritterhude – Germany   
03.09.16   Leeuwarden City Rock Leeuwarden – Netherlands
04.09.16   Haarlem Patronaat – Netherlands   
28.10.16   Belfast SSE Arena – (supporting Status Quo)
29.10.16   Dublin 3Arena – (supporting Status Quo) IRE

Special guests to Status Quo
10.11.16   Hamburg Barclaycard Arena – GER
11.11.16   Leipzig Arena – GER
12.11.16   Passau Dreiländerhalle – GER
14.11.16   Berlin Max-Schmeling-Halle – GER
15.11.16   Erfurt Messehalle – GER
17.11.16   Rostock Stadthalle – GER
18.11.16   Emden Nordseehalle – GER
19.11.16   Köln Lanxess – GER
21.11.16   Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle – GER
22.11.16   Bamberg Brosearena – GER
24.11.16   Oberhausen König-Pilsner-Arena – GER
25.11.16   Hannover Swisslife – GER
26.11.16   Magdeburg Stadthalle – GER
29.11.16   Stuttgart Porsche Arena – GER
30.11.16   Münich Olympiahalle – GER
06.12.16   Bergen op Zoom Gebouw T – Netherlands


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