3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Rediscovering Uriah Heep: the master s' best produced album with bassist Gary Thain !!,
This review is from: Sweet Freedom (Audio CD)
Released in 1973 at the height of their popularity SWEET FREEDOM is without doubt the best written, played, produced and their most solid album of them all maybe even topping the albums generally considered by the fans as their very best: "DEMONS AND WIZARDS" or "WONDERWORLD". The classic and best Uriah Heep line up developed a unique musical languaje between them. The late Gary Thain s' solid and melodical bass lines clearly original but at the same time derivative of John Entwistle s' are so rare today.... and along with Mick Box, unique use of the Wah Wah, with Ken Hensley s' organ trying to be over the top plus Lee Kerslake solid drummin and the late underrated David Byron on vocals, created a band synergy so unique, that today s'version of the band can not match. It is clear to me that URIAH HEEP had a very special and at the same time solid and fragile chemistry between band members based on competition (similar to THE WHO s').
The album opens with a Thain, Box, Kerslake song 'Dreamer' - a heavy loud (and complex), song full of Heep s' fantasic intercharge between the players, specially Mick Box excelentt use of the Wah Wah. A great solid start.
Followed by the classic hit single 'Stealin' which is still part of their live set today. Wonderful stuff.
Next up is 'One Day' a short song that is maybe the least interesting in the album.
The title track comes next which is about as good as it ever got.. great songwriting and power and I can never resist singing along with the chorus line. Byron on top form here right enough!
Followed by Ken Hensley s''If I had the time' is another great showcase for the Moog and organ (courtesy of Mr. Hensley), and the extraordinary melodic Gary Thain bass lines and those magical multi tracked harmonies and slide guitar so unique to Heep.
'Seven Stars' really rocks and is a extraordinary exposure of the band at their highest of their musical power. This song along with "Circus", "If I had the Time" and "Pilgrim" are the hard core of this great album.
The slower tempo number 'Circus', a Gary Thain,Mick Box and David Byron composition could have been a smash hit single if released as a such. Beautiful guitar execution, "Circus" is a winner, beautifully sung with some nice harmonics from Mick Box.
The Sledgehammer Hammond intro of the fantasic 'Pilgrim' - loud, heavy and brilliantly sung and performed by everyone, closed the original album. "Pilgrim" is a complex song that portraits all the best Uriah Heep original sound and elements.
This new edition includes several bonus tracks, that reafirms the album and leaves us wanting for more, specially the "Seven Stars" longer (but slower?) version. The liner notes inform us that there are many lefovers in the can, recorded during the sessions. Hope one day we will be able to hear them.