Uriah Heep Biography

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Uriah HeepUriah Heep is an English rock band that was formed by record producer Gerry Bron in December of 1969. The members were composed of musicians from the band Spice that was formed by guitarist Mick Box and vocalist David Byron along with bassist Paul Newton and drummer Alex Napier.

Keyboardist Ken Hensley was later added on to complete the band renamed as Uriah Heep, a character from a popular Charles Dickens novel titled "David Copperfield".

The debut album of the band, Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble (self-titled when released in the US) was released on June of 1970 and introduced the band with a heavy organ and guitar driven sound. This sound was complemented by Byron’s theatrical and dynamic vocals.

The Uriah Heep sound also featured the addition of some acoustic and jazz elements, showing their musical versatility as a band. Upon its release, it was harshly received by most critics and the album never gained acceptance in the mainstream. But since then, it has been acknowledged as one of the early examples of the heavy metal genre.

The band’s second album, Salisbury, was more considered as one of the early examples of music that belonged in the progressive rock genre. The album contained a title track that ran for 16 minutes accompanied by a 24 piece orchestra.

Their third album, Look at Yourself, saw its release on 1971. Subsequent releases of their albums saw the band go through several line up changes. The band continued to explore making fantasy oriented songs and lengthy multi-part compositions which were largely the work of Hensley.

By 1976, their original vocalist was replaced due to problems with alcoholism after which the band veered away from their usual fantasy-oriented music and went back to creating a more straightforward rock sound that became popular in the latter part of the 70’s. The 80’s saw the departure of Hensley, their key songwriter and the band suddenly was left on the verge of a virtual collapse with a key band member left.

The responsibility of keeping the band together fell into the hands of guitarist Mick Box. Box went on to get a new singer for the band and kept the band busy by releasing two albums, Abominog and Head First. It generated a new found interest in the band among the younger glam metal fans.

Uriah Heep has been noted as one of the first bands to combine progressive rock with the heavy metal sound and was considered as one of the pioneers of the progressive rock genre. Uriah Heep continues to tour and release albums. There are one of a few remaining bands that has their music spanning for an incredible five decades.

The currently are active touring around Europe as well as Japan. The band has recently reported that they are on the process of recording a new album that may be released any time soon.

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