“…Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble”, released in 1970, was the debut record for Uriah Heep. This debut record consisted of David Byron on vocals, guitarist, organist & pianist Ken Hensley , lead guitarist Mick Box and bassist Paul Newton. Rounding out the drummer position was Nigel Olsson (4&5), Alex Napier (1-3 and 6-8) and for the US release only Keith Baker “Bird of Prey.”
Side one of the album opens with “Gypsy”, a sneak peak of the future heavy metal sound. It’s hard hitting, aggressive and heavy when it comes to the guitar and organ. The second song is less heavy, but it too gives you a heavy does of blues. “Come Away Melinda” is a very easy listening song with the soft sounds of guitar and light orchestra. Side one ends on a very hard note with “Bird of Prey.”
Side two, starts out heavy and hard with lots of heavy riffs, and cool guitar leads with “Dreammare.” “Real Turned On” opens with a cool riff and lots of heavy slide guitar leads. “I’ll Keep on Trying” is a little drawn out, but the harmony of the vocals is pretty good. Lot’s of good lead scales being used, tons of great bass lines. “Wake Up (Set Your Sights)” is my second least favorite song. It’s a lead up to the disco era which began a few years later. It has plenty of jazzy scales thrown into it as well. This song just goes in so many directions and the style of vocal work almost seems to opera and doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere on this record. But, that’s my opinion.
Musically, this album is far ahead of it’s time. The riffs are heavy and deep. Sometimes the guitar work is so aggressive and complex as it works with the organ. The harmony and melody becomes very intense between the two instruments. Then you add that to the vocal and backing vocal work of the band. There’s some great drumming and bass lines throughout this record.
1. “Gypsy” 6:37
2. “Walking in Your Shadow” 4:31
3. “Come Away Melinda” 3:46
4. “Bird of Prey” 4:05
1. “Dreammare” 4:39
2. “Real Turned On” 3:37
3. “I’ll Keep on Trying” 5:24
4. “Wake Up (Set Your Sights)” 6:22