I don't feel I can add much to what has been written by the previous reviewers about the album itself except to say this is probably the best starting point for those looking to buy their first Uriah Heep album.
However I can't believe none of them have mentioned the bonus material, more specifically the track 'Why'.
Now normally I'm not a huge fan of the duff demos, lame out-takes and single-versions(often inferior, clumsily edited versions of the original) that make up the majority of bonus material found on 'expanded and remastered' editions, but there are exceptions and boy is this one of them. Apparently this track was unearthed while compiling this version of the album and such is its obscurity no one even knows who played bass on it.
The track itself is amazing; 10 minutes of stunning interaction between guitar, organ and bass all overlayed with the Uriah Heep's trade mark multi-part harmony backing vocals. The amazing thing is it doesn't sound like any thing else on the album and yet is so definitively 'Heep'. The Bass in particular stands out, powerful and ,at times, almost funky; it drives the piece along thrillingly.
If you don't own the album but have an interest in the music of this era (Deep Purple and Wishbone Ash come to mind) then it is an essential purchase.If you already own a copy of this album without the bonus material then I suggest(and I would never normally do so) it is worth getting this version if only for 'Why'.
on 30 June 2005
Not knowing what to expect I bought this album on the acquaintance of 'Easy Living'. But the album has more good solid hard rock songs, although mosthave a lesser tempo than 'Easy Living'. What struck me most is the warm, catching sound of the album, without much editing, overlaying, overproducing. Here's a band that 'got it together'. Nothing outrageously rocking, screaming or bonking, no whimsical balladry; but great songs, never over the top.
The lyrics however are strictly "Fantasy" and concern demons, knights, wizzards and lots of 'wisdom'. They don't entice me, but they're no album killer either.
Bonus tracks add little; one or two good tracks in line with the album.
A jewel of seventies hard rock, never dull and great playing.
One of the great lost albums of the 70's,two fantastic singles .the wizard and easy livin should have made this band mega stars,everthing about this album evokes the 70's,the sleeve,the fantasy lyrics and the playing,real musicians who can play,the line up now including thain and kerslake dovetailed perfectly with byron/box and hensley,not a duff track in sight,and like a prev reviewer said the bonus track 'why' is stunning.
on 19 October 2010
As a teenage Uriah Heep fan in the early 70's, I liked all their albums when they were issued, but it has to be said some have stood the test of time better than others! For me, the one that stands out from this period is "Demons & Wizzards" which saw the band at the top of their game with what was IMO the definitive lineup. Particularly worthy of mention I feel are the late David Byron's great vocals, Ken Hensley's accomplished songwriting and the ever impressive Mick Box on guitar.
If you missed this album the first time round, give it a listen... you won't believe it's now 38 years old!
on 16 October 2006
This is simply the best cd ever produced by Uriah Heep and the one disc that got me into their music. This is not to say, that there are other cds produced by this band, that could match this one, such as "Wonderworld" (an album produced with a lot of pressure and only 6 months in betwen their last cd and tour). I dont understand how this guys got so much music and energy to create and record a new cd every 6 or 8 months: they did it (a similar case is Elton John). This disc opens with a great song: "The Wizard", a song about a better world that captures the magic of this band and gave them a musical concept for the next cds. It is a very powerful and produced song, its got a great structure and the vocal armonies along with the acustic guitar and sinthesizer played in just one note all over the song....extraordinarie!!!
"Traverler in time" is one of two songs not credited to Ken Hensley, who by then, was the main creative force in the band, and gives you the "harder edge" of the band. By the third song, UH produced a big smash hit with "Easy Living", today a rock classic. The rest of the album, combines a piano ballads like "Rain" and the superb "Circle of Hands", with slow rock like "Rainbow Demon" and the original closers. All of their time as a group, this line up, created the best of the band but with a very sad ending for two of their band members: Extraordinarie bassist Gary Thain died electrocuted and singer David Byron also died some years after he exited from the band. Other great cds from this band are: Magicians Birthday (the follow up to Demons and Wizards), "Wonderworld" (superb cd recorded under heavy pressure), and "Return to Fantasy" (with John Wetton replacing the already dead Gary Thain). This is not to say that their other cds recorded around this time are not excelent: all of them are.
Uriah Heep was (and still are) a very hard workin band, that paid the price for their music. Give them a try!!!!!!!
on 23 June 2009
i'd like to agree with a previous reviewer who commented on the bonus material, i think 'why' is in UH top ten songs, up there with july morning, gypsy etc, it is truly great rock & roll, almost R & B!, the bass is stunning, it should have been put onto the sweet freedom LP where it would have turned that LP into a five star LP (from a four star in my opinion!) I've enjoyed the outtakes in general on all the early Heep LPS, it shows how the same band can refine a good song and make it better, ie WHY,& THINK IT OVER, the latter being much better done by pete goalby that its co-creator, john sloman!
on 10 December 2010
I only bought this a week ago, and haven't stopped listening. I'd not knowingly heard a track from here until then, though knew "Gypsy" from an earlier album. It doesn't sag in the middle like so many albums do, which usually puts me off listening whole albums at a time, due to lack of patience waiting for the stronger tracks. This isn't the case here. I can't throw enough superlatives at it. It's simple- great sound and great songs. Before a party on Saturday, as I started listening to "Why", the 10 minute bonus track. I was late as Gary Thain's bass just erupts into something that makes me very happy indeed, I couldn't switch it off! He deserves to be better remembered. Nice to see people here recognise the playing on that track. "Easy Livin'" - one of the best shuffle-rockers of the '70s. I can't believe it's taken me so long to find this. It was recorded around the time of my birth. In a way, I wish I was about 18 at the time!
on 9 August 2008
Every Uriah Heep fan will tell you that this is the groups best at the time of release album. everything slotted together perfectly. a stable line up, great writing plenty of rehearsal before recording and a sense of well being.. the remaster has a fantastic selection of out-takes that other top groups would have begged stole bought rather than gathering dust in some vault..
on 24 March 2013
This is a masterpiece of early seventies british rock. It's a visual and aural journey from the cover to the opening D chord of the first track. This bedrock rock; clever, thoughtful, deft, sensitive and yet a musical juggernaut. It's the complete package. Perhaps Uriah Heep's finest moment. If not, then no one could argue that this LP did not cement Heep internationally. Do, do, do give it a listen. Before long you will be beguiled by the Wizard, intrigued by the Circle of Hands, troubled by the Rainbow Demon and yearing to learn more about Paradise and the Spell. They really don't make them like this anymore.
on 11 January 2011
An absolutely exceptional album, by one of the classic UH lineups.
Okay they produced a number of 5 star albums, but this is simply one of the best. It is so cheap now that every household in the country should have a copy.
Check out the musicianship on this: Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Bass, Drums - It would be difficult to do better.
Ken Hensley knows how to write a song or two.
If you like soft rock, metal, prog rock, country or middle of the road stuff this could still be the album for you.
All I can say is go for it.
One of my top 20 albums of all time.