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Demons and Wizards

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(70 Reviews)

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  • No doubt one of the greatest rock albums of the 70’s.To see them live was one of the great concerts of my life. It was August of ‘72 or ‘73 in Portland, Maine,with a little known band backing them up called Z.Z.Top.
    I remember Circle Of Hands extended to 15 minutes and Gypsy bringing down the house!
    Byron’s vocals were simply amazing, right up there with champion screamers like Ian Gillian, and Robert Plant.
    The Hammond B3 was bellowing and Mick Box’s searing guitar work brought the place to rock and roll nirvana.
    I assume all who appear at this site have the album and I am sure you agree this was a classic effort all the way.

    Posted on March 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Demons and Wizards was the first Uriah Heep album that I heard. I was about 12 or 13 years old and I was staying at a farm in the country for the summer. I will never forget that moment. A very old farmhouse, a very primative audio. What a music. What a mistique. Favorite songs, Paradise/The Spell, Circle of Hands. Ken Hensley’s slide guitar solo on Paradise/The Spell is the best slide guitar solo in rock history! A classic.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • “Demons and Wizards” truely stands the proverbial test of time. I was turned onto the album back in the seventies when it was first was released. My brother and I shared a room and he forbad me to use his stereo. Of course, the admonition , to my great fortune, was transgressed. I perused through his ever-increasing library of rock only to stop at this exciting group called “Uriah Heep.” Intrigued, I carefully placed the record on the old BIC turntable amplified through a now antiquated quadraphonic stereo system. As the needle made contact with vinyl my ears were introduced and taken places that musically I would’ve thought never possible. The album took me to the playground of the wizards and sages of old. The beautiful acoutical guitar work on the title cut still sends shivers through my spine today thirty years later! The depth of the music transcends the shallowness of today’s music. It has the ability to not only place you on the “magic carpet ride,” but guide you along safely. I was so smitten with the album that I had it special ordered when I went to college. Nowdays, with our CD supply becoming oversatuarated, it’s a pleasure and comfort to know we can go back to the days when music was created and played for the sake and in the name of music. By the way, I never got caught using my brother’s stereo. And even if I did, I had plenty of “goods” on him if you know what I mean.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • “Demons and Wizards” is one of the most underrated heavy metal/progressive rock albums to be released in the early 70s. The album solidified their reputation as the progressive rock innovators that they were. From the short, concise pop/rock songs (“The Wizard”, “Easy Livin’”), to the lengthy epic art rockers (“Circle of Hands”, “Paradise/The Spell”), Uriah Heep constructed an album that will carry their reputation as one of the best gothic/metal bands ever. Although they had set the ground work for their signature sound on albums such as “Uriah Heep” (1970) and the underrated “Look at Yourself” (1971), “Demons and Wizards” towers above it’s predecessors.

    “The Wizard” sets the mood and rhythm for the entire album. Starting off with a simple acoustic guitar rhythm, then building up to ear piercing rumblings; “The Wizard” is one of Uriah Heep’s all time anthems. “Traveller in Time” and “Easy Livin’” as exceptional pieces of work too. The latter being their only hit that I know of; which peaked at #39 on the charts (I just heard it on the radio yesterday). “Rainbow Demon” is among my favorites. The album would have been less impressive without “Circle of Hands” and “Paradise/The Spell”. Those epic rockers fill out the space nicely, with a lot of variety. The guitar and keyboard solos are very inventive. The wide range of vocals are exceptionally showcased.

    The bottom line is, “Demons and Wizards” is an underrated classic. If you’re into bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, or even Kansas; you should definitely check this out.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Although this actually goes down in chronological order as Uriah Heep’s fourth album, it could in many respects be put down as their first. It was the first time the nucleus of the band, vocalist David Byron, lead guitarist and cheeriest man on the planet Mick Box, plus the man with the keyboard patent on heavy rock Ken Hensley, had found a compatible duo to fill the roles of bassist and drummer to form a rock like rhythm section. `The Thin Man’ Gary Thain, and behind the bins the hard livin John Candy look-a-like Lee Kerslake, who is still in the band today after only a two year break at the end of the seventies. Something of a clean sheet for a band that have had 6 bassists 6 vocalists, and 4 keyboard players, and, surprisingly, the present lineup of Uriah Heep is probably their best, certainly musically, and their most stable having been together now for sixteen of the bands thirty-two year career.But in the heady days of 1972, although the band had laid down the Template of the Uriah Heep sound with songs from their first three albums, noticeably “Gypsy” from `Very’ Eavy Very’ Umble’ (70), “Bird Of Prey” and “Lady In Black” from `Salisbury’ (71), and the title track plus the epic “July Morning” from `Look At Yourself’ (71). It was only six months later, after three years of Saturation touring and recording, that this classic hard rock album was released to the public with its much imitated Roger Dean artwork. This album broke the band worldwide leading to Uriah Heep selling over 30 million albums globally. “Demons & Wizards” reached number 20 in the British charts, but, more importantly, was the first of five consecutive albums to go top 40 in the massive selling American charts.The music stands up today as well as it did at the time. Opening song “The Wizard”, with its acoustic opening before stepping up with rock guitar and keyboards, is the perfect opening for any album. The humour of the first lyrics leave you knowing that the band have tongue firmly in cheek. “He was the wizard of a thousand things And I chanced to meet him one night wondering He told me tales and he drank my wine Me and my magic man are kinda feelin fine”"The Wizard”, actually co-written with Ken Hensley by Uriah Heep’s previous bassist Marke Clarke, who, though typically only in the band for three months, has left his impression on the band by writing one of their classic songs sung by every vocalist who was ever in the band and is still in the band’s live set today. “Hope the royalties are still pouring in, Marke”. Marke Clarke went on to play with Colosseum, Tempest, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, and Ian Hunter. Next up is the hard rocker “Traveller In Time” featuring all the guitars in the band. “Easy Livin’” is a thundering express train of a song, these days used to bring Heep’s shows to a rousing conclusion, and it was also a surprise hit single in the States. “Poets Justice’ showed off the amazing vocal range of Heep’s vocalist David Byron (one of the finest front men this dog has ever witnessed live on stage), from throaty bass rumble to ear-spilling falsetto – all in full effect.”Circle of Hands” is the first of the albums epics, showing Ken Hensley’s more subtle piano playing until Mick Box’s guitar solo takes us to a rousing conclusion. “Rainbow Demon” is very reminiscent of early Atomic Rooster with its dark and gloomy keyboard led riffs, which beat their way into your brain waves, and perhaps the album’s most memorable track. After the light relief of the short sharp “All My Life”, the album closes with two Hensley penned epics in “Paradise” and “The Spell”, both using all of Uriah Heep’s many assets. “Paradise” the softer side before “The Spell” comes rushing in.Uriah Heep have never been the critic’s darlings. Listen to the music yourself before you make up your own mind.Mott the Dog.

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now