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Thread: RIP Ken Hensley (75)

  1. #51
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    Maybe there are two versions- very confusing! And the 2003 remasters- which I have- did not include the original single edit/mix of 'Why'.

    Some of these 'extended versions' on Uriah Heep remasters I find extremely suspicious/dubious.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    There's an extended version on the Look At Yourself remaster from the 2000s as well as D&W. Not sure which is which! The LAY one again suffers from a very 80s-sounding drum mix. Is it a drum trigger effect, or what? I hear that same crappy snare sound on those Free remixes and John Lennon's Live At NYC album. I think the first appearance of these Heep outtakes was a 90s collection called The Lansdowne Tapes.

    ISTR 'Why' features Mark Clarke on bass, a friend/collaborator of Hensley's. You also hear him singing the bridge on 'The Wizard'.
    On my Demons and wizards from 2004 Why is 10:34
    On Look at yourselffrom 2004 it is 11:18

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Maybe there are two versions- very confusing! And the 2003 remasters- which I have- did not include the original single edit/mix of 'Why'.

    Some of these 'extended versions' on Uriah Heep remasters I find extremely suspicious/dubious.
    There are at least two recordings of Why. One the extended version was recorded during the Look At Yourself sessions, and has Paul Newton on bass and I believe Ian Clarke on drums.

    The B-side single version was recorded during the Demons & Wizards sessions, and has Lee Kerslake and Mark Clarke on it. That's the one that was originally 6 minutes long, but was faded out early on the 7". The 1996 remaster of D&W has both the single edit and the full 6 minute version. They're actually totally identical, except that one fades out as Clarke goes into his bass solo, and the other goes on for another 2 minutes.

  4. #54
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    I hope the one on the 2003 D&W isn't one of those fake 'extended versions'. But I guess it must be...

    Some of Hensley's solo stuff was pretty good. 'When Evening Comes' I particularly liked. And there were some things he recorded with Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke. One of them was a demo of 'If I Had The Time' which was added to the 2000s remaster of Sweet Freedom.

  5. #55
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    Returning to Demons And Wizards, I think this was a band in total sync. It's deservedly regarded as their peak IMHO. The weak link is 'All My Life', but it's OK. 'Why' is clearly a better song but they'd have had four songs in a row in the key of C if that had been on the album! (The 'extended version' on this remaster is definitely a fake. Ugh.)

    The John Lawton era is somewhat divisive, I've always really liked all three albums (and the fourth, mostly unreleased one called Ten Miles High). I like Hensley's soft-rock songs such as 'Free Me', even if the dyed-in-the-wool heavy rock fans (and some band members) don't. The post-Hensley albums like Abominog/Head First were very poppy/commercial in places as well, especially the cover songs.

  6. #56
    [QUOTE=JJ88;1006984]
    'Why' is clearly a better song but they'd have had four songs in a row in the key of C if that had been on the album! (The 'extended version' on this remaster is definitely a fake. Ugh.)
    What do you mean "fake"? You're saying somebody recorded an extended version sometime later and passed it off as an outtake?
    The John Lawton era is somewhat divisive, I've always really liked all three albums (and the fourth, mostly unreleased one called Ten Miles High). I like Hensley's soft-rock songs such as 'Free Me', even if the dyed-in-the-wool heavy rock fans (and some band members) don't. The post-Hensley albums like Abominog/Head First were very poppy/commercial in places as well, especially the cover songs.
    Free Me is one I can't get with. Either rock hard or get out! Innocent Victim is the only one of the Lawton era albums I've ever heard. For me, it's not particularly good. I get Hensley's disinterest in "remaking Easy Livin'" but there's a lot he could have done that involving going AC on us. I seem to recall a couple of the bonus tracks on the CD I have are actually better than some of what's on the original album (and not for the first, nor last, time either).

    The thing that drove me crazy is, I'm a huge fan of the first Lucifer's Friend album, so when I realized John Lawton had joined Heep, I thought "Oh, I bet that'll be awesome". And it wasn't. At least, not on Innocent Victim it wasn't. I've heard Firefly is supposed to be better, but I've never heard that one.

    Fallen Angel passed through my hands once, at a record store, but for some stupid reason, I didn't pull the trigger. I should have gotten it just for that great cover art.

    As for the post Ken albums, I've heard any of the ones with Peter Goalby on vocals, apart from Abominog, which I happen to love. Yeah, it's a bit poppy, but it beats that Innocent Victim dren. Yeah, I coulda lived without that John Cougar song they did, and they made a serious mistake by leaving Son Of A Bitch of the album (making my That's The Way That It Is single a prized possession of mine for many years, until I got the remastered CD). From what I gather, Peter Goalby's name was put forth as a possible replacement for Lawton, and in fact, apparently, Hensley actually favored him over John Sloman. I believe I read once that he felt he probably wouldn't have left the band if they had gone with Goalby instead of Sloman.

    I've got a couple of the Bernie Shaw era records, and I don't really dig 'em.
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:30 PM.

  7. #57
    I have a soft spot for the song "Illusion" on Innocent Victim. John Lawton sings it beautifully.
    But on the whole, yes, I think the UH / John Lawton association was disappointing, given the talent of the people involved.
    At least Firefly is a fine album.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post

    What do you mean "fake"? You're saying somebody recorded an extended version sometime later and passed it off as an outtake?
    No, fake as in artificially extended. The 'extended version' on this 2003 D&W remaster is an obvious cut-and-paste job of the 8 minute one. These remasters all have so-called 'extended versions' of album tracks as well.

    At least the other bonus tracks on them are good. For instance there is 'Illusion/Masquerade'. 'Masquerade' (originally released as a B side) picks up where the album version of 'Illusion' faded out, this joins them back together again. 'The River' is a good bonus track from this period as well.

    I agree Firefly was the best of the Lawton albums, though. In the 2000s they had an on-stage reunion of that line-up for that Magician's Birthday Party thing. 'Free N Easy' and 'Sympathy' were the songs they played from this period.
    Last edited by JJ88; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:49 AM.

  9. #59
    Firefly is a great album and Innocent Victim has some very well crafted moments (Illusion / The Dance / Choices / Free n' Easy) and it mostly works for me. However, Hensley's switch on a more easy listening material with High 'n' Mighty did not let them to exploit Lawton's potential to the fullest and make something as memorable as the early Byron years.

    I can live without Fallen Angel and Conquest has been a disaster for Heep (though John Sloman was very proficient in Lone Star).

    During the post-Hensley years they gradually hit rock bottom. They resurfaced with Wake The Sleeper which was a return to form and their best since 1977. Last one Living The Dream is a pleasant listen as well.
    Last edited by spacefreak; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:41 AM.
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  10. #60
    Conquest is obviously a flawed Uriah Heep album, for many reasons, among which their disagreement on the new singer, Hensley's sugary pop tendencies, the stylistic inconsistency, etc. However I like some of the songs on it, and Hensley's "Out On The Streets" is one of them. A quiet melancholic song with a rocking interlude.

    Regarding the post-Hensley years, to my ears the return to form happened in 1995 with Sea Of Light. At that time, they managed to reconnect with the classic Heep spirit IMHO (to an extent of course). Wake The Sleeper is good but has many similarities with the two previous albums, Sea Of Light and Sonic Origami.

  11. #61
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    Conquest is a good album. I don't like 'Won't Have To Wait Too Long', and the Lawton version of 'Feelings' was far better. Otherwise I enjoy it. 'Fools' (also recorded with Lawton) and 'It Ain't Easy' are the best songs Trevor Bolder ever wrote for the band. His songs seem to particularly suit Sloman, I think (see their co-write 'Think It Over', which didn't make the album). And yes 'Out On The Street' is great...quite a progressive feel to that one.

    Hensley didn't care for Sloman's style but I think it was only a matter of time before he left, whoever joined. Things hadn't been great between Hensley and Lawton after all (although they later reconciled).

    I play Abominog and Head First now and again but they seldom sound much like the old Heep either. More like Foreigner, really. I think the amount of covers is telling- Hensley was a major loss. Sea Of Light has some good things. I've not heard anything they've put out in the last decade.
    Last edited by JJ88; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:21 PM.

  12. #62
    In the Goalby years I longed for the old Heep sound, but those were not the days for it to really come back. I don't know how Heep would have sounded had Goalby been first recruited instead of Sloman and had Hensley stayed, but it probably would have gone to the same kind of AOR territory as Abominog, Head First and Equator if one listens to Hensley's contribution to Blackfoot at the time. The Hammond-based sound was obviously not fashonable at the time. Both Heep and Hensley happily came back to those roots later.

    I too like Trevor Bolder's songs on Conquest. I also think he contributed really good songs in the Shaw era : "Sails The Rivers" (from the Sea Of Light sessions), "Shelter From The Rain" (from Sonic Origami - it features one of the best Mick Box solos ever), and "Angels Walk with You" (on Wake The Sleeper) for instance.
    Last edited by Interstellar; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:42 PM.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    No, fake as in artificially extended. The 'extended version' on this 2003 D&W remaster is an obvious cut-and-paste job of the 8 minute one. These remasters all have so-called 'extended versions' of album tracks as well.
    OK, I don't know that one. As I said, I have the 1996 remaster, which has the 6 and a half minute version (I assume that's what you're talking about when you say "8 minute version").

    At least the other bonus tracks on them are good. For instance there is 'Illusion/Masquerade'. 'Masquerade' (originally released as a B side) picks up where the album version of 'Illusion' faded out, this joins them back together again. 'The River' is a good bonus track from this period as well.
    Yeah, I remember that about Illusion/Masquerade. I'd have to get that CD out again and listen to it.
    I agree Firefly was the best of the Lawton albums, though. In the 2000s they had an on-stage reunion of that line-up for that Magician's Birthday Party thing. 'Free N Easy' and 'Sympathy' were the songs they played from this period.
    I never did get to see that DVD. As I recall, I actually got a DVD from Netflix back in like 2005 or whenever it was, that was produced by the same production company, that turned out to be a compilation of tracks from all the different Heep DVD's they had put out (something like four or five, I think), ending with a then recent version of Lady In Black with Ken on acoustic guitar and vocals.

  14. #64
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    Hensley was on a fair bit of The Magician's Birthday Party DVD, prior to Lawton coming on stage during 'The Magician's Birthday' itself. The big surprise was probably 'Paradise/The Spell'...that might even have been the first ever live performance of that track.

    'Lady In Black' isn't on it, though. I haven't ever seen that- must have been 'held back' for another release, typical label tactics. Here's what was played, only a few new-ish songs were left off the DVD otherwise.

    https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/uriah...-3bd05424.html

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Hensley was on a fair bit of The Magician's Birthday Party DVD, prior to Lawton coming on stage during 'The Magician's Birthday' itself. The big surprise was probably 'Paradise/The Spell'...that might even have been the first ever live performance of that track.

    'Lady In Black' isn't on it, though. I haven't ever seen that- must have been 'held back' for another release, typical label tactics. Here's what was played, only a few new-ish songs were left off the DVD otherwise.

    https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/uriah...-3bd05424.html
    Huh, then I wonder where the video clip of Lady In Black came from. Or maybe I'm misremembering and there was some other song that ended the compilation DVD.

    I'm glad that Ken was able to eventually patch things up with Mick and Lee, at least to the extent that the three of them could perform again, even if it was just the one time.

  16. #66
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    Continuing my exploration of the catalogue I've reached Wonderworld. 'So Tired' says it all- the last album this line-up would make, and easily the weakest. Hensley's three ballads- the title track, 'The Easy Road', 'The Shadows And The Wind'- and the heavier 'Suicidal Man' are the only things worth talking about here IMHO. The second side of the album is mostly very poor. The production is flat IMHO.

    There is the Shepperton videotape from this period, but that never struck me as a particularly strong performance, especially on Byron's part.

  17. #67
    ^^

    Wonderworld, Dreams and So Tired are also solid tracks.
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  18. #68
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    ^I only like the title track of those. 'Dreams' has a decent intro but doesn't go anywhere, and the ending with flashbacks from the Sweet Freedom album is a bit lame.

    Hensley talked about people wanting 'Easy Livin' again and again- 'Something Or Nothing' is a classic example of that formula writing. The outtake 'Stones Throw' is somewhat atypical, and is better than half of the album.

    I think I'll play Sweet Freedom next...I tend to play Wonderworld less so I went for that first.

  19. #69
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    Just listened to the track "Why" (the 10m+ version). It's really not that bad, although it doesn't fit with the rest of D&W. There's some serious, over-the-top bass playing going on. It's not Gary Thain, but it's damn good! After the Magician's Birthday, they really seemed to lose their melodic ability. D&W was the peak for that, IMHO. Really great songs and arrangements.

  20. #70
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    ^I'm inclined to agree. The Magician's Birthday had the weak 'Spider Woman' and I've always found the title track silly. But it was their second album of 1972 and most of it is still up to the standard of Demons And Wizards, really. More reflective, perhaps, but songs like 'Sunrise', 'Echoes In The Dark', 'Blind Eye', 'Rain' and 'Tales' are great.

    There is undeniably a bit of a dip on Sweet Freedom- I think Hensley felt the same. Nothing terrible on here (well, apart from that alphabet nonsense on 'Seven Stars') but songs like 'Dreamer' and 'One Day' are just okay at best. 'Stealin', 'Sweet Freedom' and 'If I Had The Time' are the highlights by miles, and guess who wrote all three. Though 'Circus' isn't a bad song- I liked the live version they did with Ian Anderson some decades later.

    I never took to 'Pilgrim', really. That, 'The Magician's Birthday' and 'Dreams' all feel like attempts at recapturing the epic magic of 'Paradise/The Spell' and every one of them fails.

  21. #71
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    Dreams is based on so called "Titanic" theme - the waltz of Archibald Joyce - Songe D'Automne, written in 1908, - they speed up the melody to marching tempo. The Magician's Birthday is as good as The Spell, maybe a bit less exhibitional, but more 'prog', if you like. Always loved One Day and Circus, plus Sweet Freedom itself. Pilgrim is nice, though a bit corny. Stealin and Dreamer I used to skip, when spun SF

  22. #72
    Another vote for "One Day" and "Circus" here. I just love the melodies. Yes, "Pilgrim" sounds a bit corny, but there is some powerful organ and guitar that make it work for me.
    Combined with "If I Had the Time" and "Sweet Freedom", two of my all-time favourite Heep songs, to me that makes SF much better than Wonderworld.
    I like the idea they had with "Dreams", with that haunting atmosphere in the quiet passages, but it doesn't quite fulfill its promises.

  23. #73
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    Did anyone ever get the DVD of live footage with David Byron? Mine is only the first disc, I think the second was limited edition and online-only at the time, maybe.

    https://www.discogs.com/Uriah-Heep-C.../master/719139

    The 1973 Japan footage has had the Live 1973 album overdubbed on top, but it works reasonably well. The 1975 footage (Don Kirschner's Rock Concert) was with John Wetton. He and Byron became good friends. I'll be turning to the two albums with that line-up next. Both are- again- patchy but have some really good tracks still.

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Did anyone ever get the DVD of live footage with David Byron? Mine is only the first disc, I think the second was limited edition and online-only at the time, maybe.

    https://www.discogs.com/Uriah-Heep-C.../master/719139

    The 1973 Japan footage has had the Live 1973 album overdubbed on top, but it works reasonably well. The 1975 footage (Don Kirschner's Rock Concert) was with John Wetton. He and Byron became good friends. I'll be turning to the two albums with that line-up next. Both are- again- patchy but have some really good tracks still.
    That discogs entry lists a version of Sweet Lorraine from 76 on the bonus disc. Could that be that horrendous, apparently coked up version that I saw in the early days of Youtube? Someone is very severely rushing the tempo, and they just completely ruin the song by playing it way too fast.

  25. #75
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    ^I believe it is.

    The 1975 Rock Concert footage is good, promoting Return To Fantasy. Byron is vocally very shaky by this point, but you do get a sense of his showmanship. And the band are tight.

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