A technically brilliant heavy rock band, British outfit Uriah Heep has sold over 30 million records and enjoyed five Top 40 albums in the U.S. What the band deserves the most credit for, however, is continuing despite almost 30 personnel changes over the course of its lifespan. David Byron first formed the group with Mick Box - the pair had teamed up in the Stalkers during the mid-'60s, and after the group broke up they assembled Spice with Paul Newton and Alex Napier. Spice evolved into Uriah Heep (the name taken from the Dickens novel David Copperfield) when Ken Hensley joined the band. Before long, the outfit was bonded under the experienced management of Gerry Bron.
Uriah Heep's 1970 debut, ... Very 'eavy ... Very 'umble, was a simplistic, bass-driven passage from electric folk to a direct, harder sound. Salisbury (1971) was a drastic development from the debut, with many lengthy, meandering solos and a 16-minute title track embellished by a 26-piece orchestra. The band was near the forefront of a richly embossed, fastidious style of music later dubbed progressive rock. The group's next release, Look At Yourself (1971), found its way onto the U.K. charts. As the lineup stabilized in the first half of the '70s, the band entered the most successful period of its career, when the fantastical, eccentric nature of its lyrics was supported by a grandiose musical approach. The quintet recorded five albums during this period, beginning with Demons and Wizards (1972), the first to enter the U.S. charts, and ending with Wonderworld (1974), the band's last Top 40 entry in the U.S.
Over the next 30 years, Uriah Heep pressed on through the tumult of lineup changes and the shifting tides of popular music taste. In June 2008, the band released its first studio album in almost 10 years. Titled Wake the Sleeper, the album heralded an exciting new phase for the band. With Mick Box at the helm, the band just released its latest album Into the Wild (2011), featuring the single "Nail on the Head." The album finds the band relentlessly taking the very best of its classic sound right into the future, much to the delight of progressive rock fans worldwide.
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