(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
With over thirty million albums sold world wide since the band's debut album released in 1970, UK's Uriah Heep have remained a permanent fixture of the British heavy prog scene. It is a testament to the band that the year 2010 sees the release of their twenty-second studio album entitled Celebration, coinciding with their 40th anniversary in the music business. How many bands can claim that?
Listening to Celebration I was reminded of what makes Uriah Heep such a great band. Those classic organ fills, melodic guitar riffs and excellent vocal arrangements. The vocals of Bernie Shaw, who has been the band's vocalist for the past twenty odd years does a great job as usual. The same can be said of long standing member Mick Box on guitar.
The album is a collection of re-recorded songs, mostly from the period of 1970 to 1975, a classic era in the band's history for sure. The songs mostly stay true to the original versions but benefit greatly from the use of modern production techniques giving these versions a fresh and lively sound. Also included are two new tracks for our listening pleasure.
The album begins with the catchy "Only Human", a new track containing that classic Heep sound with excellent organ and strong lead vocals. The classic "Bird Of Prey" follows suit, with a great vocal arrangement that has Shaw reaching for the higher registers and doing a nice job. "Sunrise", originally from The Magician's Birthday, is another great choice with its soaring harmonizing vocals and classic organ runs. "Corridors Of Madness" is another new track, and a very good one it is, as it has everything we have come to expect from the band like bluesy organ riffs, layered harmony vocals and one of Box's best solos on the album. Other songs include the heavy prog of "Between Two Worlds" featuring another stellar vocal arrangement and the classic "Easy Livin'" which still sounds as great today as it did all those years ago.
Its nice to see this veteran band still going strong and making excellent music. If you are a fan of the band you will probably want this as these versions sound excellent, and the two new songs show the band are still at the top of their game and not slowing down any time soon. Bravo gentleman on a job well done.