Even though this was Uriah Heep in their embryonic stage they were
light years ahead of their peers. "…Very 'Eavy…Very 'Umble" was their
very first album released back in 1970, when metal giants such as
Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were pounding their way into our consciousness,
or making us unconscious, as many adults would be complaining about
on a regular basis. This is one group that wasn't the critic's darlings.
They had as much to do with the formation of metal and progressive
rock as any of the groups that were on more favorable terms with the press.
In 2001 Sanctuary Records, with the cooperation of Castle Music UK,
remastered and released several of the albums from the UH catalog.
For a freshman release this album stands firm as an original rock
classic to this day. It was a strong showing for the group. The rocker
"Gypsy" kick starts the proceedings as Ken Hensley's swirling and
driving organ sets the pace. Hensley was originally a guitar player
and he plays some slide on this cut. He also provides the insightful
liner notes (that are written so small one needs a magnifying glass to read them).
David Bryon (vocals) and Mick Box (guitar), Paul Newton (bass), and
Ollie Olsson (drums) are the rest of the impressive performers in
a lineup that was destined to change. Box's guitar was always right
out front wailing away to compliment Hensley's powerful and sweeping
organ playing. Box was no doubt one of the premier lead guitar players
of the day, and he would carry the torch for many years to come. "Dreammare"
is an extraordinary prog-rocker that serves as a wake up call that
this band meant business. The fans new how great they were, although
the critics foolishly gave them the brush off.
Three bonus tracks are added to this import. "Come Away Melinda,"
which was recently released again as a single by the present day UH.
I heard it for the first time on "Two Sides Of Uriah Heep: Electrically
and Acoustically Driven." I thought it was a bit too fluffy, but this
version I enjoyed much more, there are no strings added and it has
more depth and feeling. "Gypsy" the single version and a rarity called
"Born In A Trunk" rounds out the added bonus tracks. The original
artwork is intact, with the album inner sleeve replicated as well;
hence the two sides of the LP are listed without the bonus tracks.
The sound is fantastic on this CD; it doesn't get much better than this.
Its time to get 'umble and check out this critical piece of progressive-metal
history. Yes, this is very very 'eavy.
1. Gypsy (Box/Byron) - 6:38
2. Walking in Your Shadow (Byron/Newton) - 4:30
3. Come Away Melinda (Hellerman/Minkoff) - 3:48
4. Lucy Blues (Box/Byron) - 5:08
5. Dreammare (Newton) - 4:37
6. Real Turned On (Box/Byron/Newton) - 3:39
7. I'll Keep on Trying (Box/Byron) - 5:27
8. Wake Up (Sets Your Sights) (Box/Bryon/Byron) - 6:20
* Bonus Tracks
9. Gypsy [Single Version] (Box/Byron) - 2:57
10. Come Away Melinda (Hellerman/Minkoff) - 3:42
11. Born in a Trunk (Box/Byron) - 3:45
David Byron - Vocals
Ken Hensley - Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, Mellotron, Slide Guitar, Liner Notes
Mick Box - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Vocals
Al Napier - Drums
Paul Newton - Bass, Guitar (Bass), Vocals
Nigel Olsson - Drums
Colin Wood - Keyboards
Ollie Olsson - Percussion, Drums
Alex Napier - Drums