Your Turn To Remember:
The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990
For the uninitiated, Uriah Heep is a classic 70s British hard rock band that falls somewhere between Deep Purple and Queen. They carry on to this day with guitarist Mick Box, the band’s sole original member, leading the way. Back in the 70s, however, they were serious contenders, along with Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin in the British hard rock sweepstakes, pumping out records and touring the world. With the deaths of bassist Gary Thain in 1975 and singer David Byron in 1985, and departure of keyboardist and songwriter Ken Hensley, the band’s revolving-door lineup and instability started to take its toll in the 80s. Nevertheless, they carried on, making records and earning a cult status in Europe. Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990 covers two pivotal decades — the 70st defined their rise, the 80s, despite a few stumbles, defined their sustainability
Fans and novices alike will probably favor the first disc of this two-pack set. This is where the classic Heep asserts its might. Tracks like “Gypsy,” “Lady In Black,” “July Morning,” ‘Easy Livin’,” “The Wizard” and “Stealin’” all showcase Byron’s operatic vocals, Hensley’s heavy-handed keyboards, and Box’s glistening guitar work. This was most certainly the band’s heyday, with albums like Demons And Wizards, The Magician’s Birthday, and Sweet Freedom denting the album charts and pushing the group to the forefront. The second disc is, for the most part, underwhelming. Some speculate things started to unravel when John Lawton replaced Byron in 1977. Frankly, light and airy songs like “Free Me,” “Come Back To Me” and “It Ain’t Easy” were feeble attempts to become more listener-friendly. For longtime Heepsters, it pretty much fell on deaf ears. Singers like John Sloman, Peter Goalby and the band's current vocalist Bernie Shaw did little to move the group forward, but, as Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990 shows, hidden nuggets like “Too Scared To Run” and “The Other Side Of Midnight” retained the Heep’s edge and kept them going. Whichever way you go, there’s no question this set offers a complete picture of Uriah Heep in all their glory and gumption.
~ Shawn Perry