Outsider – Uriah Heep

 
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Posted 21st March 2017 by

 
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Uriah Heep are an institution in Hard Rock circles and as British as Yorkshire Pudding. Finishing every concert with Land of Hope and Glory blaring out the Speakers as the Audience drag themselves away.

Formed in 1969 , they took their name from a Character in Charles Dickens book David Copperfield. They took this one step further by naming their first album in 1970…..Very ‘Eavy…….. Very ‘Umble. Since then there have been 25 Studio albums, countless Live albums and Compilations. Plus, 25 Full time Members of the Band have passed through the ranks. During this time the Band has sold over 40 Million albums and played in 56 Countries. Sadly only once in Thailand to a sold out B.E.C Tero Hall in Bangkok on Friday 17th February 2006 (Time for another visit Guys).

But from 1986 with the releaseOutsider Uriah Heep of Raging Silence until 2007 the Band Line up remained stable. Only being broken by the retirement of Drummer Lee Kerslake, (By way of explanation, You can only burn the candle at both ends for so long. As well as being Uriah Heep’s Long term Drummer, during a break from Uriah Heep between 1978 and 1981 he formed Blizzard of Oz with Ozzy Osbourne, Bob Daisley and  Randy Rhoads touring constantly and recording the Bands first two albums after which Ozzy Osbourne started going out under his own name dropping the Blizzard moniker and relying upon Sharon for direction. Lee Kerslake was known for liking a drink and some Very ample sized Dinners) who was replaced by Russell (The Animal)  Gilbrook.

Then tragically in 2013 Pancreatic Cancer took away one of the Worlds finest Bass Players and Gentleman Trevor Bolder. Whilst Trevor Bolder was off the road fighting the cancer, he wanted the band to carry on and he approved of Davey Rimmer being his replacement so when the position sadly became permanently open, it seemed only natural for Davey Rimmer to continue.

Outsider is the Seventh Studio album to feature the Trio of Bernie Shaw, Phil Lanzon and founding Member Mick Box. It’s also Davey Rimmer’s first studio outing with Uriah Heep. Whilst nobody could hope to fill the enormous foot prints left by Trevor Bolder, the boy does good.

The album opens in fine style instantly recognizable as Uriah Heep, but then if your buying a Uriah Heep album what do you expect?? The lead off song Speed of Sound, starts off with some heavy Phil Lanzon Keyboards before the rest of the band come crashing in. All the Uriah Heep trade marks are here, Bernie Shaw’s distinctive vocals, Harmony backing vocals, Heavy Hammond organ, a tightly locked rhythm section and some great Wah Wah guitar from Mick Box. At the tail end of the album is the track Say Goodbye and that is exactly Bernie Shaw’s last words on the album so a complete trip. The album contains much variety and there are no filler tracks. But to these old dog ears there are three Stand out tracks. The Law is a great Rocker, every Uriah Heep song has always got a story and this one is about taking the Law into your own hands, featuring some fine riffing between Mick Box and Phil Lanzon.

Outsider Uriah Heep

One Minute is the most immediate song on the album and is the only Rock’n’Roll song that comes to mind written about being patient!!! Something this Dog knows nothing about. Listen to this song once and you will be singing the chorus all day long.

The albums title track is an out and out rock vehicle. If Uriah Heep were the Starship Enterprise they would be breaking the Warp Coil at Warp 15. The track heavily features Mick Box on Guitar, proving he is one of the most underrated guitarists in Rock Music. He should be held up in the same terms as Ritchie Blackmore and co. Age has certainly not slowed him down, even at Seventy One he can rock out with the best of them as he proves with a remarkable solo with fingers a blur in the middle section of  The Outsider.

Jessie is another fine song (Certainly not a soft rock song as the name would perhaps imply , the lyrical content is not innocent either) but the song is a fine vehicle for all the instruments in the Band. Davey Rimmer being given space to shine, whilst Mick Box unleashes another screaming solo superbly underpinned by Phil Lanzon’s Keyboards and Russell Gilbrook’s steady beat.

Rock The Foundation has already been getting a lot of Radio play which in these days of downloading is the same as a hit single.

So 46 years in the Rock’n’Roll World surviving the winds of fashion, Uriah Heep are still at the top of their game and not as so many bands of their era are doing resting on their laurels. Their live set is constantly keeping up with the times. Four of the songs from this album are in their current set list. One Minute (having been played over one hundred times , which goes to prove what a hard gigging band Uriah Heep are) The Law, Can’t Take That Away, and The Outsider (for some reason the Album is called simply Outsider whilst the Song title adds ‘The’). All these songs fitting snugly into the set along side long time classics like July Morning, Easy Livin’ and Lady in Black.

The album has been cleanly produced by Mike Paxman (Who has previously produced successful albums for Status Quo and Asia) keeping the band sound alive and fresh. Whilst the striking cover art is by Igor Morsk.

As Mick Box would say ‘Appy Days.

Outsider Uriah HeepUriah Heep are:
Mick Box – Guitars Electric and when necessary Acoustic, Backing Vocals
Bernie Shaw – Lead Vocals
Phil Lanzon – Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Davey Rimmer – Bass guitar and backing Vocals
Russell Gilbrook – Drums and backing Vocals
 
Songs:
Speed of Sound
One Minute
The Law
The Outsider
Rock the Foundation
Is Anybody Going to Help Me
Looking at You
Can’t Take That Away
Jessie
Kiss The Rainbow

Say Goodbye

Review written by Hells Bells and Mott The Dog

Photos By Harpic – Mistress of the Lens


Mott the Dog

 


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