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Celebration [CD]

Uriah Heep Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 7.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Oct 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Absolute Marketing
  • ASIN: B002HHH3SQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,658 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Only Human (New Track)
2. Bird Of Prey (New Version)
3. Sunrise (New Version)
4. Stealin` (New Version)
5. Corridors Of Madness (New Track)
6. Between Two Worlds (New Version)
7. The Wizard (New Version)
8. Free Me (New Version)
9. Free And Easy (New Version)
10. Gypsy (New Version)
11. Look At Yourself (New Version)
12. July Morning (New Version)
13. Easy Living (New Version)
14. Lady In Black (New Version)

Product Description

BBC Review

To mark an amazing four decades of rock and the imminent arrival of their bus passes, Uriah Heep have re-worked a dozen of their best loved songs alongside a pair of brand new numbers. Despite the fact that the band had no less than 21 albums to choose from, all but two of the re-recorded tracks are drawn from the period 1970-75, during which they enjoyed their greatest success.

Kicking off with catchy three-minute newie Only Human, the band ram home the fact that although this album is an exercise in pure nostalgia, the material they’ve written in the last couple of years has been of a very high standard indeed. Last year’s Wake the Sleeper – their first studio album in 10 years – was a resounding hit with fans and critics alike. The second new song here, Corridors of Madness, is a stately procession of Heep trademarks; heavy Hammond organ chords and multi-layered vocals weaving themselves around the tasteful lead work of guitarist Mick Box.

New studio versions of vintage material rarely improve on the originals, but if fans can live with later line-ups performing early songs on stage, they should find albums such as this tolerable at least. Bernie Shaw, Uriah Heep’s vocalist for the last 20 years, is a superb singer in his own right so it’s no disrespect to him that his take on songs first recorded by the band’s original frontman – the late David Byron – lack a certain something. In particular, Byron’s rendering of July Morning from their 1971 album Look at Yourself possesses an inimitable magic.

What Celebration certainly does achieve, however, is a slick ironing-out of sound quality and production values. Gone are the sometimes creaky eccentricities of 1970s studio techniques, replaced by a thoroughly modern sheen which demonstrates just how consistent and well-constructed the band’s first six albums are. That’s more than can be said for either Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple in whose shadow Uriah Heep have somewhat unjustly languished.

They never scored their Stairway to Heaven or Smoke on the Water, but the classy likes of Bird of Prey, Sunrise and Lady in Black suggest that fans of melodic, progressive hard rock would be richly rewarded by a trawl through Heep’s back catalogue. --Greg Moffitt

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Treat 21 Oct 2009
Format:Audio CD
What a real treat this cd is. An album full of Heep classics re-recorded with the legendary Bernie Shaw on vocals. He breathes new life and energy into these old standards, not that they actually needed it but it's just so good to hear studio versions with his voice on them. It's great to hear him perform them live but this is really refreshing; both for the songs and the listener. Gypsy sounds like it could have been written for him. The two new tracks are also superb, wouldn't have been out of place on Wake The Sleeper and blend in nicely with the classics on this album. I agree with the previous reviewer that some of Heep's mid period stuff could have been covered but that's just a suggestion and not a complaint. This album is well worth buying, not just for long time Heepsters but for any fan of classic rock music. 5 Stars!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leave the Classics Alone 15 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD
Don't get me wrong , Uriah Heep are one of my Favorite Hard Rock Bands and Bernie Shaw is a Fantastic Brilliant Vocalist for the New Era Uriah Heep.
The Big Problem is Bernie Shaw is not David Byron or Ken Hensley when it comes to the Classic Stuff,
I think Bernie Shaw is Fantastic on WAKE THE SLEEPER and the new latest album INTO THE WILD which are both BRILLIANT!!!! but this is a different Uriah Heep to the Classic Uriah Heep of the 1970's.
What was the Band thinking trying to Rework the Classics such as GYPSY , THE WIZARD and EASY LIVIN with Bernie Shaw who is not the same as David Byron or Ken Hensley. Mick Box should have known a bit better that to release this Album was a Mistake.
It reminds me of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY being sung by Paul Rogers and ALRIGHT NOW being sung by Freddie Mercury or SMOKE ON THE WATER being Sung by David Coverdale and Ian Gillan trying to sing BURN, it just ain't the same.
Other than that the new Uriah Heep are Exciting and can look forward to some great years ahead and i would love to see them in Concert again and Bernie Shaw has Fantastic Stage presence is is loads better than John Lawton and Pete Goalby.
Doing the Classic Stuff Live is OK but they are not that Uriah Heep apart from Mick Box.
Concentrate on the New Exciting Stuff which is just as Excellent as that is the Uriah Heep of Today and is going places,
Keep on Rocking!!!!!!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It was back in December 1969 when keyboard player Ken Hensley was asked to join a band called Spice. Shortly thereafter the band changed its name to Uriah Heep, and a rock legend was born. However, if you'd been running a sweep five decades ago as to which of the many rock bands on the go would ultimately celebrate a fortieth anniversary, I doubt anyone would have been cheering as they drew the name Uriah Heep out of the bag.

But despite enduring fifteen lineups, seven drummers, six vocalists, six bass players, five keyboard players as well as deaths, drugs, enough mayhem to fill a quadrilogy of Spinal Taps and a solitary guitarist -- sole founding member Mick Box -- the band is still here. When many a more critically acclaimed band has fallen by the wayside, Uriah Heep has toured their backsides off across the rock-starved former Soviet Republics and beyond.

In 2008, they released their 21st studio album, Wake The Sleeper, their first studio album in 10 years, which saw them getting the kind of praise that eluded them in the seventies. So it's strange to relate that their fortieth anniversary album, Celebration, is largely a set of re-recordings from their early years.

There are two new tracks in amongst the fourteen songs, and both "Only Human" and "Corridors Of Madness" would have sat happily on the Wake The Sleeper release. Both solid rockers with the Uriah Heep trademark sound, they're a hybrid of progressive rock and classic rock set well in place.

I suppose that fans may be interested to hear how "new" vocalist Bernie Shaw (twenty-two years a member, and counting!) gets on with the old material, but then he's sung them thousands of times in concert and on an array of live releases.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars strange choice to celebrate 40 years. 15 Mar 2013
By Mr Blackwell TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I never quite got the decision to re-record classics rather than have a 40th anniversary live disc,was always asking for trouble.Having had 2 excellent but overlooked discs in SEA OF LIGHT & SONIC ORIGAMI,it was great that Heep has had major critical approval of their most recent disc the excellent WAKE THE SLEEPER,so taking two steps back with this release never made sense.

The 2 previously unreleased tracks 'Only Human' and the fantastic 'Corridors of Madness' ,outakes from 'SLEEPER',are wasted here,its a pity they didnt make the final cut of the aforementioned album,as for the rest ,well,in a live scenario you can generally get away with comparions to previous singers as live recordings are usually rough and ready.However when you commit your 'new' versions to tape in the studio,then comparisons are much easier,so while this is a decent collection of reworked classics,its pretty pointless and unfortunately Bernie Shaws limitations are brought to the fore,none of these tracks tops the original,always second best. It might have seemed like a good idea at the time,in hindsight maybe not so much,for completists only.

This version,came with a bonus 7' single,featuring 2 tracks from the 'Live from Sweden' disc and is autographed by Mick Box,a collectors item for sure,but wont see much action in the CD player.
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