Classic URIAH HEEP – Related & Solo Albums [Part 2]

Fun thing about collecting Uriah Heep is there is never an end to the albums worth checking out. I did a Part One of Heep Related albums a couple of years ago, fun list to put together. Working on Part 3, but need to pick up a few omissions that I’d like to check out. Any big Rare Heep-related albums that I should be checking out?

Toe Fat – Toe Fat [1969]
The last band Ken Hensley was in before joining Spice. Lee Kerslake was also in this band, and both were on the debut TF album – which was based around legendary British singer Cliff Bennett. Much of the album [I believe] was written by Ken, and he sang lead on the song “The Wherefors And The Whys”. It also included a cover of Elton John [Reg Dwight]’ “Bad Side Of The Moon”. A cool album of fairly heavy blues rock, with Ken playing guitar throughout.

[https://www.psychedelicbabymag.com/2012/10/ken-hensley-interview.html]

Head Machine – Orgasm [1970]
A side project Ken recorded under a pseudonym for producer David Paramor [who also produced The Gods]. Songs written by Ken, but credited to Paramor. Quite a solid heavy album, somewherez between Toe Fat 1 and Weed. Lee Kerslake involved as well. “Climax – You Tried To Take It All” also appeared on the TF album.

Cressida – Cressida [1970]
British psych/progressive band that included drummer Iain Clark. The band is often cited as an important act in the early days of progressive rock. This 5-piece band’s debut album, while not overly heavy, featured plenty of different styles, instrumentation, and a great voice in Angus Cullen. Good luck finding one, as original pressings from 1970 go for upwards of $400 on Discogs. Both albums reissued on CD [Repertoire] years ago.

Tempest – Tempest [1973]
When Mark Clarke left Uriah Heep he had the support of Gerry Bron who would sign Mark’s next band, which would also include Jon Hiseman, Allan Holdsworth and singer Paul Williams. This debut is fairly heavy and progressive. Some great tracks like “Gorgon” and “Dark House”. The band released one more album minus Holdsworth and Hiseman, but with Ollie Hallsal, this 2nd album featured “Stargazer”, which was also recorded for Ken Hensley’s “Eager To Please” album – which Clarke featured on.

David Bowie – Aladdin Sane [1973]
Despite Trevor Bolder’s many years and songwriting contributions to Heep, many remember him more so as one of the Spiders who played on the essential David Bowie albums. These are the only Bowie albums I own. “Aladdin Sane” being his best IMO, featuring “Watch That Man”, “Panic In Detroit”, “The Jean Genie”. ..

David Byron – Baby Faced Killer [1978]
David’s first [and only] real post-Heep solo album; a collaboration with longtime friend Daniel Boone [aka Peter Lee Stirling]. Much more of a pop album, trying to keep up with the late 70s scene; a mixed bag of different styles from pop-rock, a bit of disco/dance, ballads… I actually like a lot of this. “Only You Can Do It”, the title track, “Don’t Let Me Down” – fun stuff. Mick Box was the anonymous special guest on the closing ballad “I Remember”.

Lion – Running All Night [1980]
Not to be confused with the LA band of the 80s that featured guitarist Doug Aldrich, This band featured John Sinclair, as well as British blues singer Gary Farr [ex T-Bones], and guitarists Steve Webb [ex Jess Roden Band] and Robin Le Mesurier [who’d played with Air Supply, and went on to record with Rod Stewart]. A decent pop rock album that featured a number of styles, with Sinclair co-writing almost every track. Notably, it includes the original version of “Running All Night With The Lion” – which Heep re-did on Abominog, as well as the intro/hook to “Sell Your Soul” on the standout track “Sweet Fire”.

Asia – Asia [1982]
Years after leaving Heep John Wetton would front this ‘super group’, that also included Carl Palmer, Steve Howe, and Geoff Downes. Their debut album was one of the biggest albums of ’82, featured a number of hit singles and radio hits, most notably “Heat Of The Moment”. The band would have trouble trying to recapture that impact on the 2nd album. But Asia would make Wetton a huge star, perhaps the most successful ex Heep member.

Ozzy – Bark At The Moon [1984]
The first Ozzy Osbourne studio album after firing Lee Kerslake & Bob Daisley, and the passing of Randy Rhoads. Kerslake & Daisley had rejoined Heep, but after the 2nd album Bob was lured back to write and play on this album [it would not be the last album Bob wrote plenty on]. One of the last classic Ozzy albums IMO. Included the hit title track and hit ballad “So Tired”.

Joshua – The Hand Is Quicker Than The Eye [1983]
Stephen “Stef” Fontaine fronted Heep for one North American tour in the fall of 1986, after Peter Goalby [as well as John Sinclair] had left. Not much was known about him at the time, nor had he sang on many albums, but he did sing on this classic HR/AOR album by the band Joshua [lead by guitarist Joshua Perahia]. It would be the only album he did with them. They did have a huge hit with the track “November Is Going Away”, in Japan.

Stratus – Throwing Shapes [1984]
Following Praying Mantis, Bernie Shaw, along with the Troy brothers joined Clive Burr [ex Iron Maiden], added keyboard player Alan Nelson, and were briefly Clive Burr’s Escape, then eventually changed name to Stratus and recorded this lone album, many of these titles being previously demo’d as PM tunes [a few appear on the Japan CD release of PM “Demorabilia”, 1999]. Still a decent album, with the band going for a more American AOR feel. The band eventually split, with Shaw joining Heep a few months later, and the Troy brothers reforming Praying Mantis [with a number of cool albums since then; notably 2003’s “The Journey Goes On” which featured John Sloman on a number of tracks]

Ozzy Osbourne – No Rest For The Wicked [1989]
I started out a huge Ozzy fan on the first few albums, but I eventually lost interest. This is the last one I got upon release [and on vinyl] , and liked at the time. It is also the last to feature Bob as a co-writer, and the first to feature John Sinclair on keyboards [post-Heep]. Besides the hit “Miracle Man”, it also included “Fire In The Sky” – which had been demo’d during Heep’s Abominog sessions at Ridge Farm as “Valley Of Kings”.

The Sweet – Live At The Marquee [1989]
The lone Sweet album to feature Phil Lanzon on keyboards. Recorded in early ’86, but not released til 1989. This features 3 sides of live Sweet, and 1 side of studio tracks – one being a cover, and the other 3 being good catchy HR/AOR co-written by Phil Lanzon. This was Phil’s last stop before joining Heep a few months after this was recorded. Also features Paul Mario Day on vocals [original Iron Maiden singer].

John Sloman – Disappearances Can Be Deceptive [1989]
The first solo album from John, who had a short stint fronting Heep in 1980-81. This album apparently took years, change in producers, and probably a lot of stress to finally get out in 1989. A shame it didn’t do more, as there’s plenty of memorable pop rock, catchy songs on here like “Foolin’ Myself”, “Now You Say Goodbye”, and “Hooked On A Dream”. features help from a strong cast, including former bandmates Gregg Dechert, Pino Palladino, Alan Murphy [of Level 42, RIP], and Richard Cottle [see Phil Lanzon’s solo albums].

*(I intitially intended Not to include any posthumous or compilation albums, but I felt there was a few essential Heep related releases worth recommending.)

Ken Hensley – From Time To Time [1994]
Years prior to Ken making his comeback to recording and touring he helped put together and release this ‘from the vaults’ release. FTTT comprised of demos, B-sides, and outtakes he made during his time in Heep and in the immediate years after he left. Tons of gems on here, and plenty of big name guests on various tracks. Love the early demos with Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke, as well as the later tracks recorded and left off of the “Free Spirit” album. Such a great release, with loads of liner notes and photos. Essential Heep related stuff.

John Lawton Band – Sting In The Tale [2003]
Although John never really went away, and always kept busy after his time with Heep, he really made a ‘comeback’ to the Heep fans in the early-mid 90s through his band Gunhill [and their news being relayed to the Heep faithful through the UH Appreciation Society magazines]. He was a busy guy from then for a number of years with guest appearances at Heep gigs, a short tour [standing in for Bernie Shaw], and a string of releases. “Sting In The Tale” was my favorite from this period; a solid rock album, and a great band – including Canadian guitarist Erol Sora and bassist/songwriter Steve Dunning [more on in next list!]. An album full of energy, and some classics like “Written On The Wall”, “Take You High”, and the drinking anthem “Slamming It Down”. A shame there wasn’t a follow-up! CDs came signed. Erol Sora went on to release a few solo albums, and [drummer] Benjy Reid went on to record with Praying Mantis.

David Byron Band – One Minute More / Lost & Found [2004]
A fantastic collection of David’s last band project ‘The Byron Band’. Featuring demos from David’s collaboration with guitarist Robin George from 1980 – 82. There’s also a live recording of the band from 1980, which includes 2 Heep favorites in the 8 song set. Demos that would’ve made a great 2nd Byron Band album are well worth hearing, like “Safety In Numbers”, “Fool For A Pretty Face”, “Gets A Little Crazy”, and the ballad “One Minute More” – would’ve helped make a great follow up to his last album ‘On The Rocks’.

New Nadir / The Secrets [feat Gary Thain] – Uncovered [2009]
For fans of Gary Thain, these are 2 of the bands Gary recorded with in the late 60s. There are single releases that can probably be heard on Youtube from such bands as The Strangers and The Secrets [feat Gary], but this LP comprises of 1 side of the band New Nadir and the other side of Me & The Others – both sessions taking place in 1967. Cool 60s pop stuff. I kinda prefer the New Nadir side where Gary’s playing stands out more, but… A great release – not just for the chance to finally have these recordings, but also for the extensive liner notes contributed by a number of his former bandmates.

Living Loud – Living Loud [2004]
Short lived supergroup featuring Bob Daisley & Lee Kerslake [both Heep and Ozzy], along with Steve Morse & Don Airey [Deep Purple], along with Scottish born singer Jimmy Barnes [Cold Chisel] – who is huge in Australia [where he’s from]. Their lone album features re-workings of 6 songs from the 2 albums Lee & Bob played and wrote on with Ozzy & Randy Rhoads, plus 5 originals. Good recordings, tho I prefer Barnes on the original stuff more. Great to hear Bob & Lee together again.

John Sloman – El Dorado [2018]
Since 2003 John Sloman returned to recording solo albums. This is his 4th in 15 years, a tribute to his late brother Robert. A very unique album lyrically and musically, as John has quite a style of his own. John writes, sings and plays everything. This album is a journey, to be listened to start to finish. Check it out!

Lucifer’s Friend – Black Moon [2019]
Lucifers Friend reunited a few years previously with 3 original members a compilation [w/ 4 new tracks added], a live album [at Sweden Rock Fest], and a new studio album soon after. But this – their 2nd studio album is much more in tune with what old LF fans will appreciate on songs like “Passenger”, “Rolling The Stone”, and the title track. Love the album artwork too – wish it came out on vinyl.

Phil Lanzon – 48 Seconds [2019]
Let than 2 years after his first solo masterpiece, Phil released this 2nd great album. More pop and prog, with a similar cast of characters. Some real stand-out songs with “Rock N Roll Children”, “Road To London”, “You Can Make A Living”, and the epic title track based on the tragic San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Highly recommended!

Bernie Shaw/ Dale Collins – Too Much Information [2019]
After many years of hoping to finish a full album [Heep singer Shaw and Canadian musician/producer Dale Collins had released a 3 song EP in 1999], an 8 track album was finally completed. Collins wrote a number of good songs that suit Shaw’s vocals. Tracks like “Alone”, “Here We Go” and the ballad “Sad Song” are excellent, and this album was well worth the wait.

KJJ, 03/20

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