Uriah Heep
Salisbury


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
April 11th, 2020 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A band coming into its own.

Experimentation is just one of the reasons that made ‘60s and ‘70s (and ‘90s for that matter) music so special. Releasing the same album twice was considered a sign of stagnation, and from the more well-known bands to the lesser-known ones, everyone was trying to move forward and experiment with their sound. Uriah Heep’s debut was a powerful release, but it contained more or less everything that these guys were doing until then, which relied heavily on their influences. So on Salisbury, what we hear is a band trying to find their niche by developing the Vanilla Fudge-inspired heavy rock of its debut. Salisbury, also marks Ken Hensley’s increased role to the songwriting department; compared to ...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble where his name doesn’t appear at all in the writing credits, half of this LP’s songs are attributed solely to him, while the rest of them feature contributions from the multi-talented keyboard player.

Going back to the “experimentation” element, no song on here fits the bill more than the grandiose and pompous title track. A 16-minute epic with various sequences, it’s Uriah Heep’s attempt to produce something different but influenced by what Deep Purple did on Concerto for Group and Orchestra. Featuring a 24-piece orchestra, brass and woodwind instruments, it sometimes meanders but, overall, is quite driven and has a cinematic feeling. However, Salisbury’s adventurous nature is also the reason that as a whole, it is a bit across the board. For example, album opener “Bird of Prey” is one the heaviest tracks on here – quite natural as it can also be found on the US version of ...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble, as well – and nods to the band’s past. One of the highlights, it also features some multi-step vocal harmonies which are somewhat of a Heep trademark, as well as guitar and keyboard interplay. Time to Live and High Priestess are your conventional heavy rock tracks, while on the other side, “The Park” and “Lady in Black” represent the mellower side of the album. “Lady in Black”, a Ken Hensley composition which features vocals by the great keyboard player because David Byron refused to sing it, was dismissed by the rest of the band as being too folky, but after pressure by the producer, it was included in the album and has become a signature Heep song.

Overall, Salisbury is a step forward, and the album that helped the Londoners create an identity which they further developed on their next two releases. It was as if the spirit of the time found its place on the recording, and at the time, it was new and exciting. Perennially forgotten in discussions regarding the greatest ‘70s acts, it is also nice to finally see them get some recognition and hear elements of their music in modern bands like Hallas, Avatarium and Witchwood, among others.



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user ratings (168)
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2020


12012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This one needed a review desperately. We need to talk more often about how great this band is.

Digging: Winter?s Verge - The Ballad of James Tig

MrSirLordGentleman
April 11th 2020


13571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I forgot this one had lost its review



Essential album and my favorite by Heep



Excellent work as always bro. Always nice to see you reviewing the classics

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2020


15104 Comments


Enjoyable, fluid review, as usual.

I know Demons and Wizards and a couple more songs, but that's about it. I have to change that.

Digging: Nightbringer - Terra Damnata

wham49
April 11th 2020


5413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album, the vocals on this take some time to get used too imo, but still fantastic

MrSirLordGentleman
April 11th 2020


13571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

anyone who enjoys Gillan should enjoy Byron

Friday13th
April 11th 2020


7141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

English version tracklist puts this one over the top as my favorite Heep. Surprisingly proggy.

Pikazilla
April 11th 2020


12761 Comments


Been to Salisbury, great town

MrSirLordGentleman
April 11th 2020


13571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

SHE CAME TO ME ONE MORNING

ONE LONELY SUNDAY MORNING

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2020


12012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Appreciate the kind words guys.



As far as my favorite Heep goes, it's Look at Yourself. Probably a combination of it being the first album of theirs I got and that it combines perfectly their heavy with their prog side but leans towards heavy. Demons and Wizards is also up there, especially its second half.

e210013
April 11th 2020


3043 Comments


I can't believe this album hasn't a review already. This is a landmark, even to prog. Nice review as usually. My only complaint is about the rating. I think it maybe will deserves a bit more. Still, this is a very decent rating.

el_newg
April 12th 2020


941 Comments


nice review! used to jam Heep a ton years ago, but I haven't listened to them in ages

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2020


12012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys, appreciate it.



Cheers, e21. I think that on a significant degree, it depends on the gigantic title track how high you rate this one. Even though I really like the title track, I don't exactly love it. But I definitely agree that this is a landmark.

MrSirLordGentleman
April 12th 2020


13571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

t/t is easily my second favorite Heep song, after Why

Source
July 7th 2020


18491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

their best album even though t/t goes on too long

MrSirLordGentleman
July 7th 2020


13571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

nonononoooo

rockandmetaljunkie
July 7th 2020


9330 Comments


Still need to check this band

MrSirLordGentleman
July 7th 2020


13571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think they'd really be your cup of tea m8

rockandmetaljunkie
July 7th 2020


9330 Comments


I agree!



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