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Very 'Eavy...Very 'Umble

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(5 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I love the early Uriah Heep material as much as the next mid-Boomer, but “Salisbury” and “Very ‘eavy, Very ‘umble” would be an extremely redundant combination to purchase. If one is not familiar with U. Heep, better to pair either of these early recordings with a “Best of U. Heep” or one featuring the current U. Heep lineup of musicians.

    The album art for “Very ‘eavy, Very ‘umble” was actually used on the U.S. release of “Salisbury” (or I have my vinyl LPs in the wrong sleeves, but I think not). The cobweb face guy was also projected onto the drum kit’s double bass drum heads for an interesting lighting effect.

    Unless one is an extreme U. Heep fan, either of these early albums would be a great investment; either, but not both together.

    Posted on February 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I bought this for my husband. He loves it. It is a great CD and it works well.

    Posted on February 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve known about Uriah Heep for a long time and probably heard some of their songs while growing up in the 70s, but I never owned any of their albums. Liking bands from the late 60s like Cream, Deep Purple, and Blind Faith, I recently ordered some CDs from several groups including Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Captain Beyond, and King Crimson. I like Very ‘eavy, Very ‘umble. It is a good hard rock album with decent melodies, good singing and playing, and lots of energy. But the album lacks the spice that would have earned it 5 stars. In contrast, I think the debut albums from Wishbone Ash and Captain Beyond are outstanding and exciting albums. (I view “In the Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson as well-played and innovative, but kind of dull.)

    I think the reviewers who trashed it when it came out were quite unfair. One review in the CD’s booklet suggested that fans of heavy music should listen to Jeff Beck, Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Mountain, the Velvet Underground, and Deep Purple instead. I think this points to the problem with the album which is that it just didn’t have its own distinctive sound. I think Uriah Heep’s 5 man format and use of Ken Hensley’s Hammond organ probably made them sound like a Deep Purple imitation. (While Deep Purple had not yet released their famous In Rock, Fireball, or Machine Head albums, they had released their first 3 studio albums with singer Rod Evans by June, 1969.) Aside from this, another weakness is that this album does not have any guitar solos that stand up against the wizardry of Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore. But the critics really were unfair.

    “Gypsy” is a high-powered track that compares well with many Deep Purple tracks. (Ironically, DP had a song called “Gypsy” on their 1974 Stormbringer album.) David Byron’s vocals are excellent here and throughout the album. Ken Hensley gives a powerful organ solo reminiscent of many John Lord solos from Deep Purple. His playing might very well be original, but critics and fans might have viewed it as derivative. Mick Box follows this with a short guitar solo; but neither it nor any of his other solos really light any fires. But, overall, this is a good heavy metal song, one of the strongest on the album.

    The second song, “Walking in Your Shadow”, features some very nice bass playing from Paul Newton who lays down good bass lines on most of the songs. Mick Box does a fine guitar solo, but nothing special.

    One of the gems on the album is the sensitive cover of the anti-war ballad, “Come Away Melinda” by the 50s folk group, The Weavers. I like that the engineers recorded David Byron on different channels for the parts of the girl and her father.

    “Lucy Blues” is a nice blues number, but nothing special.

    “Dreammare”, “Real Turned On”, “I’ll Keep on Trying”, and “Wake Up (Set Your Sights)” are heavier numbers, more in the vein of “Gypsy” and “Walking in Your Shadow”. “Dreammare” is somewhat psychedelic and is one of the strongest tracks on the album. “Real Turned On” has inane lyrics, but nice dual guitars from Box and Hensley. “I’ll Keep on Trying” starts out with more atmosphere than “Real Turned On”, but gets kind of soupy in the middle, almost sounding like the group Bad Finger, before going heavy again with the album’s best guitar solo from Mick Box. The final song from the original British version of the album, “Wake Up(Set Your Sights)”, delivers good energy and atmosphere with a plea for justice; it’s the most thoughtful song on the album.

    The 2003 version of the CD gives a bunch of extra cuts including two new songs and variations of the others. The new ones are the intense “Bird of Prey” and the peculiar “Born in a Trunk” which has strange lyrics but rocks. “Bird of Prey” was put on the American version of the album instead of “Lucy Blues”. British fans had to wait for the Heep’s second album, Salisbury. The liner notes indicate that this version is different from the one on Salisbury.

    Overall, this is a good hard rock album, but it lacks the spice that would have earned it 5 stars.

    Posted on February 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • When I grew up (a long time ago…) I listened to this record of my older brother a lot. I liked the simplicity of the guitar riffs, the beautiful voice of the singer (now in the angel’s choir), and the dramatic organ accompaniment (though I was always drawn to electric guitar which I played since I was 17). I don’t like many keyboard players, probably just Jon Lord, whoever Blackmore had on the live Rainbow double-LP, and above all Ken Hensley of the Heep, a true musical genius, especially when he picks up his slide and plays the most ferocious slide guitar solos in rock history (starting on this LP with “Real Turned On” and bringing to absolute perfection in “Tears in my eyes” on the next LP “Look At Yourself”).

    This CD has all the original LP songs in flawless sound quality and then some extras that I don’t care too much for. The liner notes are pretty interesting. Looks like Uriah Heep was pretty much disliked by the music critics early on, not sure why. I think David Byron and Ken Hensley are the absolute cream of singer/keyboard player ever in rock music. Mick Box on guitar was just solid, very good sound, simple riffs, not too exiting in the solo department. They had very good songs. Not sure what the critics thought.

    Posted on February 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’m 51 when i was at school in 1970 all we ever got exposed to was classical music once the teacher allowed us to bring a record into class i cant remember what record i bought in but another guy bought in Very Eavy Very Umble and he was allowed to play one track which was Gypsy which blew me away at 13 years of age, as soon as i had saved enough money i went and bought it the record hasn’t a bad track and I’ve purchased it three times over the years on cd with the diffrent reissues.

    Posted on February 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now