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Thread: RIP Ken Hensley (75)

  1. #1

    Ken Hensley RIP

    Not so long after Lee Kerslake, Ken Hensley has left.

    https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/fo...ey-dead-at-75/

    RIP to the man who contributed many songs to classic Uriah Heep.

  2. #2

    RIP Ken Hensley (75)

    What a brilliant songwriter and player he was. Thank you Ken, for all the beautiful music you gave us.

  3. #3
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    My -fave Heep member

    RIP
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  4. #4
    Member dgtlman's Avatar
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    An interview he gave just recently

    https://www.eonmusic.co.uk/ken-hensl...XcF3983zpIw7o#

  5. #5
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    Yes I always loved what he brought to Uriah Heep- in addition to his organ/guitar playing, he was definitely the best songwriter in the band for me.

    The Gods' Genesis is well worth checking out. It's more 'psych' but 'Towards The Skies', 'Misleading Colours', 'Looking Glass'...any Heep fan would get something out of those IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgtlman View Post
    Thanks for that. They got into the question over the writing credits on the debut album. TBH 'Dreammare' credited to Newton, now I think about it, does sound like The Gods tracks I mentioned above!

  6. #6
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    R.I.P.

    NP: The Magician's Birthday - Echoes In The Dark
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk

  7. #7
    I haven't played Heep in the longest time, but they were a favourite back in this distant 1970's, and this is sad news indeed. RIP to a multi-talented soul.

  8. #8
    He was a big part what made classic Heep special.
    He was often compared with Jon Lord because of the "Hammond player in a hard rock band " tag, but he wasn't keen on soloing and his strength was more in his songwriting IMHO. He said he admired Jon Lord and had tried to somehow imitate him when he had the idea of "Salisbury" (the track), although the result was quite different from Lord's orchestral pieces. I quite like "Salisbury" by the way.

    (BTW, I started a similar thread at the exact same time as Zappathustra, and I don't know how to delete it. I probably can't.)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Interstellar View Post

    (BTW, I started a similar thread at the exact same time as Zappathustra, and I don't know how to delete it. I probably can't.)
    I've sent a message to the mods to fix this.

    I am listening to Rain, and I feel very moved - all these hours I spent in my teens listening to Heep. Yes, multi-talented is the right word. He excelled on keyboards, but he also had a beautiful voice, and he was hot on the slide guitar. He had a Wagnerian, powerful tendency towards epic melodies, but also a delicate sensitivity and leaning towards black or soul music.

    To me he is a key figure in heavy rock music, he set the standards for countless bands. Which unfortunately were no match to Uriah Heep.

  10. #10
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Another major guy gone. Damn. RIP.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interstellar View Post
    He said he admired Jon Lord and had tried to somehow imitate him when he had the idea of "Salisbury" (the track), although the result was quite different from Lord's orchestral pieces. I quite like "Salisbury" by the way.
    I prefer it to the Deep Purple Concerto.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I prefer it to the Deep Purple Concerto.
    So do I. The DP Concerto is certainly more ambitious, and it is an interesting experiment with lots of enjoyable parts, but it is a bit disjointed IMHO and for the most part it doesn't fully mix the orchestral elements and the rock elements, whereas "Salisbury" has a kind of natural flow.

  13. #13
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    'The Park' is another track I always liked on Salisbury...a slight jazz influence on that one.

    Look At Yourself and Demons And Wizards have always been my favourite Heep albums. A lot of their best songs are on these two albums. I also have a soft spot for the later Firefly with John Lawton.

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    The W.A.S.P. album on which Ken played, The Headless Children, was the only W.A.S.P. album I ever found worth listening to.

    Every great musician passing, who was my parents' age, is a constant reminder it won't be long until I have to bury my folks.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  16. #16
    When I was little, one of the records my oldest brother had was Uriah Heep Live. When I was 6 years old, he joined the Navy and left his records, the ones he wasn't able to sell, in my hands. Uriah Heep Live was one that I wsa drawn to because it was recorded in January 1973, and I was born just a couple weeks later, in February. Then a few years later, I found a copy of Demons & Wizards at a flea market, and between those two records, I became a lifelong Heep fan. Eventually, I'd get all the rest of the early albums, I even tracked down an LP copy of Look At Yourself with the mylar insert (though admittedly, it's not in the best of shape).

    Ken's "Mood Symplifier" solo (it took me ages to realize that was a joke, on David Byron's part) on the Live version of Gypsy was one of my encounters with that thing called the synthesizer.

    Ken was one of the key elements in the early Heep sound. Besides his Hammond organ playing, he also played a lot of the guitar work on the 70's era records (the really obviously melodic guitar solos and slide guitar is Ken, and apparently, that's him playing acoustic guitar on The Wizard), his singing and songwriting was a big part of what made those records so solid. Apart from being a strong harmony vocalist, Ken also sometimes sang lead, like on Lady In Black, and on the third section of The Magician's Birthday itself, he and David Byron are trading off on vocals.

    Ken was also in the bands The Gods, Head Machine, Toe Fat, and Blackfoot, as well as releasing several solo albums. The Gods, incidentally included the not-yet-famous Greg Lake and Mick Taylor, as well as Lee Kerslake (who drummed on their first album), future Jethro Tull bassist John Glascock, John's brother Brian Glascock (who later moved to LA and drummed with The Motels), and future Heep bassist Paul Newton. Kerslake would also turn on the first Toe Fat album, and eventually would join be Heep's longest serving drummer.




  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    'The Park' is another track I always liked on Salisbury...a slight jazz influence on that one.

    Look At Yourself and Demons And Wizards have always been my favourite Heep albums. A lot of their best songs are on these two albums. I also have a soft spot for the later Firefly with John Lawton.
    Yes, I love that jazzy interlude in "The Park", and yes, Firefly has its share of magic. I also have a soft spot for Sweet Freedom, which seems generally underrated IMHO.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    'The Park' is another track I always liked on Salisbury...a slight jazz influence on that one.
    I always loved that song.

  19. #19
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    Sweet Freedom was the start of that line-up going off the boil a bit IMHO (and Wonderworld, even more so). But whilst not up to the standard of previous albums, it still had the radio hit 'Stealin', the title track and 'If I Had The Time'.

    TBH I find something to like on all the albums with Hensley, even the last one with John Sloman- Conquest. (There's also the fourth album they did with John Lawton, still largely unreleased. Not very 'heavy' but I quite like it.)

  20. #20
    From Mick Box on the UH site.

    5th November 2020: I received devastating news this morning from Ken’s manager Steve Weltman that Ken Hensley has passed away.
    I had just finished watching his video of the unboxing of the 50th Anniversary Box Set last night, where he seemed absolutely fine and justifiably proud of his time in Uriah Heep, which has just added to the shock.

    We may not have always been the best of friends, but there were some wonderful times we shared too, which are the ones I will always remember.

    Ken wrote some amazing songs in his tenure with the band, and they will remain a musical legacy that will be in people’s hearts forever.

    His communication through lyrics and melody have stood the test of time, and with the power and chemistry of the band bringing those songs to life, we achieved success we could only have dreamed of.

    My sincere condolences go to his family and wife Monica and may he rest in peace.

    Mick
    URIAH HEEP

  21. #21
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    WOW! Just WOW! Thatís about all I have other than I lived his playing and music. RIP Ken. Thanks for the music and memories.

  22. #22

  23. #23
    RIP. I was just playing my only UH-album, Return To Fantasy, and believe from this line-up (Byron, Box, Hensley, Keslake and Wetton) only Box is with us now.
    "We may all be dead in a year or a day
    When the devil is put to the test"
    (A Year Or A Day)

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post
    RIP. I was just playing my only UH-album, Return To Fantasy, and believe from this line-up (Byron, Box, Hensley, Keslake and Wetton) only Box is with us now.
    "We may all be dead in a year or a day
    When the devil is put to the test"
    (A Year Or A Day)
    You are correct. Also gone are Gary Thain (Wetton's immediate predecessor) and Trevor Boulder (Wetton's immediate successor, who rejoined the band in the mid 80's and stayed until his passing).

  25. #25
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    Rest in peace, Ken. Always loved your keyboard playing.

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