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Black vinyl only

RB signature start

Blackmore’s Night record company is running a ruffle. Two copies of the black vinyl set of the Shadow Of The Moon 25th anniversary edition will include golden tickets that can be redeemed for Ritchie Blackmore signature Fender Stratocaster signed by the man himself. As attested by the video.

Thanks to BraveWords for the heads-up.

63 Comments to “Black vinyl only”:

  1. 1
    AndreA says:

    on the other hand, he no longer uses electricity…🤔

  2. 2
    Rajaseudulla Rampu says:

    There was a time when Ritchie said it should exciting to be accepted into the record. Without electricity there is nothing exciting in what Richie is doing. Candice is all the excitment the ole man is involved in there days.

  3. 3
    Nino says:

    Oh, Richie feels like Willy Wonka 🙂

  4. 4
    al says:

    Boy I kind of felt weird when I got this record back in 1997 and totally surprised when i listen to it. Its the only record that i call decent but after that it became a snooze festival and albums and a pop crap so called renaissance bore. I’m not going to be buying that’s for sure this or the rest of “Jingle Jingle and XMass carols crap”

  5. 5
    Gregster says:

    @2 Yes, Candice is a lovely lady, & quite exciting no doubt !

    The Guitar itself should be quite a thriller to own imo, & quite a good player too, that will appreciate in value also as time rolls-by, much more than Jon’s E-Type Jag I’d guess lol !

    I can’t tell you where this guitar is made, so some more history about its construction would be good. The Fender Custom Shop US-of-A had a limited quantity made as replica’s of his 1968 Black Stratocaster. And there was also a Mexico made edition of what looks to be the guitar pictured above, & no-doubt there’d be an oriental MIJ version too for that market that we don’t hear about. A scalloped fretboard possibly means a Custom-Shop edition, so likely made in the US-of-A, but I’m guessing here, as it could well be a New Old Stock item.

    Fender change guitar series names like diapers…The Signature Series, The Custom Shop Limited Edition Series etc etc etc…

    I recently visited the Fender website, but left after a few minutes, as it’s turned-to-pooh, since I couldn’t even find replacement tubes & their pricing in their spare-parts section lol ! ( Only to see what tubes they’re placing in their tube amps now-days )…

    But have no-doubt that all the guitars mentioned are top-notch players, regardless of where they originated…( I’ve acquired 3 of them over the years, although without the signatures & scalloping lol )…

    Peace !

  6. 6
    john says:

    @ 4 (and all above), come boys, it’s Blackmore! It’s the final chapter, absolutely different, hard to swallow at first but a lot of jewells there, if you listen to. A lotta acoustic and spanish guitar in Fires at Midnight, Village Lanterne, Ghost of a Rose or Secret Voyage (great album), plus great solos of electric guitar. A LOT, of great solos.
    Darker Shade and Der Letzie Musketier are yet reason enough to buy the last one.

    I thought like you some years ago, but in time I realized how wrong I was indeed and how good, beautiful and conclusive is this final chapter. Perfect.

  7. 7
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    Shadow of the Moon and Ghost of a Rose are my 2 favorites. I find something interesting on all the other releases but usually can’t listen to them all the way through.

  8. 8
    Rick says:

    @5 From the looks of the pic of that guitar, it’s more than likely the current production model of the RB Strat made in Mexico. The current model has the “Seymour Duncan name on the two pick ups, a dead giveaway for the current model.

    I have one of the MIJ models that were made during ‘1997-’98 where only 383 of them were made available as exports to the “west”. Better detailed explanation here:


  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’ve meanwhile received the 25th Anniv. Remix (cöürtesy öf my cöüntrymän Eike Freese)


    of SOTM – maybe it’s time for a reappreciation? And I will not fall into the trap of either moaning “Why is Ritchie doing this to us and not writing another Burn-riff?!” nor fall to my knees and worship him as a deity.

    The new mix is excellent, it’s nothing radical but has brought out the acoustic and vocal elements more and also blended the acoustic and electric elements more elegantly than in the original mix. I believe that with the original mix, Ritchie was hedging his bets a little, “Don’t make this sound too acoustic, Pat (Regan), I have Rainbow and Deep Purple fans to placate!”, and who would blame him? The new mix is directer and more intimate, it has more impact on the listener, so that’s all good.

    You hear more of Candice – her voice is more the focus, she’s closer. “Her voice as it was 25 years ago” that is … which marks an issue. Kudos to her for voicing in the booklet interview that she is in two minds about her past performance, because her voice has no doubt won in depth and expression over the decades. Yet what we hear on this Remix is a girl/young woman singing with talent and naive charm for the first time on a professional recording, when the two bonus tracks of “Ritchie & Candice Anniversary Home Sessions” of just Candice, the now-mother of two children, and her hubby (all acoustic) playing Shadow Of The Moon and Spirit Of The Sea give it away. The difference between ‘Candice the Girl’ and ‘Candice the Mother’ is striking and a bit like listening to Belinda Carlisle and Barbara Streisand in succession.



    Those two performances are profound and make you wish they had redone the whole album that way.

    What’s not to like? You can’t polish turds and poor old Tchaikovsky never deserved what they did with “Writing On The Wall”, that Euro-disco-beat is bad enough to have any sensible flock of swans commit ritual suicide by self-drowning themselves faster than the Imperial German Fleet sank itself at Scapa Flow in 1919 (I was there). Likewise, how Greensleeves was molested by forcing it over a 4/4 beat, Henry VIII would have rightfully seen his wrath upon the Spouses Blackmore for this abominable desecration and exiled them to some place like Australia at the very least. But those two are pretty much the only quality drop-outs, I can even live with Wish You Were Here they loaned from the Rednex.

    The Candice & Ritchie interview in the booklet is extremely instructive btw: Ritchie is mildly irritating/goofy with mentioning Clint Eastwood in pretty much each and every answer, a running joke that overstays its welcome after a while, but we also learn how medieval woodwind instruments cannot really be put side by side with a synthesizer track due to their particular unstable intonation and how much of the album was actually filled with samples, courtesy of original co-producer Pat Regan who apparently is no less than the third vital member of BN after the Spouses Blackmore.

    Unless you hate BN with a passion, it’s worth getting. And if you adore BN and get your front row medieval garb already dry-cleaned in eager anticipation of their next gig, then I guarantee you that your old copy of SOTM will not see too many more spins once you have this Remix in your grubby little peasant hands.

  10. 10
    Gregster says:

    @8…Thanks Rick…I hit the “ctrl & +” buttons to zoom-in some more, & yes indeed, there’s some writing on the p/up black covers. It would have meant nothing if you hadn’t said so.

    I used to simply check-up on the “Classic Series” of guitars on the Fender website, as when a RB model was available, you couldn’t buy a regular Oly-white with Rosewood fret-board from the Classic Series 70’s range. They were always listed as out-of-stock. And now that series of guitars is not available, which is a shame, as they were superb instruments, hence the wondering about this RB signature guitar.

    I remember being offered the black 1968 RB model for 6.5 K when it was available, circa 2015(?) & only a few left, but I already had 3 x 1970’s Classic Series guitars at that stage, that cost me a combined total of 3.5 K…So you pay a lot for a signature…Any other mods can be made from home to RB spec. if desired, just much more cost effectively. I prefer his 1970’s pre-Burn tone, so that meant std p/up’s, treble-boost & boosted Marshall stacks lol ! The 5-K saved on a signature buys a lot of down-the-chain tone hard-ware lol !

    It’s nice to have a personalized Signature guitar I suppose, but most of the players back-in-the-day were using essentially std guitars, so chasing “that tone” was made easier.

    All that said, I like playing my guitars, as I wear them-out ( frets ), & often it was cheaper to grab a new one than to have it re-fretted when the Oz-dollar actually held some value, but I had a friend State-side send me an OEM Fender replacement neck for around $300:00 including postage, so that fixed one guitar lol.

    The Mexican made instruments are superb, & follow the original Stratocaster blue-print with a neck featuring 21-frets only. The regular US-of-A made guitars feature 22-frets, & have done since the 1980’s, post CBS as std. And the Mexico factory is only 20-miles away from the Corona plant, on the same continent, made by the same CNC machinery for the same company…It’s the labor costs that are reduced, allowing for a cheaper price-tag for those concerned about quality control issues.

    Peace !

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    @ 9 – those poor swans ha ha ha. Regarding poor old Henry VIII please advise him to NOT send them over here, that is the last thing we need here in Oz. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Rock Voorne says:

    ” What’s not to like? You can’t polish turds and poor old Tchaikovsky never deserved what they did with “Writing On The Wall”, that Euro-disco-beat is bad enough to have any sensible flock of swans commit ritual suicide by self-drowning themselves faster than the Imperial German Fleet sank itself at Scapa Flow in 1919 (I was there).”

    You were there? Please elaborate….

    Luckily live it became a ferocious version in the electric part at the end of the show.

    Amazing I was there in Germany just in front of him seeing him playing just some notes to get warm.
    That alone was worth the price of the admission.

    Such a long time ago…….
    I wish I……..

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “You were there? Please elaborate …”

    LOL, if I had a time machine I’d probably go back to see a good Mk IV gig in 1975/76 rather than Scapa Flow!

    But yes, I’ve been there, somewhat later than 1919 though: More than 10 years ago we had a vacation in Scotland that also took us there, I saw the wreckage of the battleship HMS Royal Oak (where Günther Prien in 1939 pulled his little U 47 stunt, sneaking into the military harbor against all odds to sink it). The churches in the area all commemorate the death of the many British sailors that went under with her, but – displaying that great sense of Brit fair play – also never fail to mention how daring (and incredibly lucky!) Prien and his U-boat crew had been. Not that they enjoyed their victory for long: U 47 sank in March 1941 either because of an own torpedo malfunction while firing or via depth charges of the Brit destroyer HMS Wolverine.

    There was also a former Italian POW camp close by, where the Italian inmates had gone on strike in WW II demanding that they’d be allowed to cook their own food for themselves rather than be forced to continue to have to mouth down what the Brits served them [which they apparently deemed lacking ; – ); being diplomatic by nature, I will recluse myself from entering judgement on this]. In the end, the British camp administration relented and that, allora my children, led to Italian food culture and especially pasta finding its early introduction on the Orkneys!

    The Italian POWs also built their own Catholic chapel from two Nissen huts




    and decorated it lavishly inside



    It’s still there and can be visited.


  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    @ 13 – “LOL, if I had a time machine I’d probably go back to see a good Mk IV gig in 1975/76 rather than Scapa Flow”! What, there was a ‘good’ one was there? Your poor time machine would be freaking out ala Doctor Who’s Tardis having a meltdown. Trying to find a ‘good’ MK IV gig would stress it to the max Uwe. Don’t put that machine under so much stress, pick another MK era, another time, another place. At least you may be guaranteed a return to your original launch time & place. Cheers.

  15. 15
    Rock Voorne says:

    Ahhhhh, yes, the English food.
    Wonder how they got so powerful
    based on an allegedly lacking diet.

    Dont think Romans already were known for Pizza s and Pasta s and I d love to know what the mentioned Italians cooked.

    We Dutch are also not known for our cuisine, but like the English we managed to go into succesfull territories.

  16. 16
    Gregster says:

    @14…I’m shocked to the very-core of my being Mr.MacGregor…

    There have been some most excellent Mk-IV gigs that are right-up-there with any of the DP live shows imo.

    You need to be humbled my friend, & I recommend you purchase this whilst still available…You’ll be so glad you did…I identify it as “kicks-asses-maximus”…


    Get it while you still can, & celebrate one of the most unique DP line-ups on fire !

    Peace !

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Ahhhhh, yes, the English food.”

    But that’s an oxymoron, RV! Much like Dutch diplomacy, it doesn’t really exist due to being a conceptual paradox. ; – )

    I believe Roman legionaries mostly ate soup on the battlefield. It’s the easy way to have a large number of people eat quickly and nourish them sufficiently with something easily digestible so they are ready for battle again.

    And I was just about to comment on those kangaroo droppings too: Contrary to popular belief, Mk IV had moments of glory in concerts too. Long Beach was a kick-ass gig and I even like the Budokan concert with an ailing Tommy as a historic performance with the band valiantly toiling against all odds.

    Plus I sometimes wonder whether Mk IV would have had perhaps a longer lifespan if they had followed that 1975 Asia & North America tour with a tour of Germany and other Continental European countries in 1976 rather than venturing to the UK first where it was clear that – Tommy or no Tommy – the knives were being sharpened in expectation by a media chasing punk and new wave to which an arena act like Purple epitomized everything that was perceived wrong about established rock music in the mid-70ies. Mk IV were in the wrong place at the wrong time when they met their demise.

    That said, they were of course all tired of each other and Jon and Ian especially where in a financially comfortable position enough to call it quits without undue economic worries. There was no need for them to plough on.

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Re the cuisine of the Orkney Italian POWs: Under the Geneva Convention, they were entitled to the same rations as a fighting British soldier (no WWII participant treated its POWs better than the UK), which meant that their food rationing was better than that of the UK civil populace at the time. It also meant they had access to flour and that in turn meant pasta. And, reportedly, the POW cuisine in Italian hands took such a steep improvement that the Brit military guarding personnel eventually committed unabashed culinary treason. ; – )

    A look at the Italian soldiers standing before the freshly erected chapel in the pic posted @13 tells you that these were neither mistreated (no pun intended!) nor malnourished men, the UK can be rightfully proud of that. My great-uncle Willi became a British POW after D-Day. He always said: “That was my lucky draw if I ever had one.” When he was released early on in 1946 he looked better and healthier than anyone at home.

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    @ 16, thanks for the offer Gregster & I always appreciates suggestions, referrals etc, But my ears have been sullied for too long & that lineup plus the Deep Rainbow one performing live do not raise my expectations at all. It is the vocals that are the issue & regarding Bolin, a wonderful guitarist but too much smack ain’t good for anyone. Plus the cocaine & white funk, it ain’t Purple. @ 17 – I would rather eat those kangaroo droppings & while we are talking of turds, what is that saying ‘you cannot polish them’. Purple were spent with the Stormbringer tour in certain ways. The writing was on the wall & no amount of substance enhanced material will lift it to where I like to hear it from. Bolin was from another galaxy & Europe wasn’t anywhere near it. Asia possibly would have put up with it but for how long, I am not sure about the US either. At that time the expectations of rock music fans was high & rightly so. So many quality bands around performing live & recording. It was the funk & soul thing that put the nail in the coffin & poor Tommy with his problems just increased the slide. Georgia was never on my mind & more than likely not on many other peoples. Not to worry the album is a good one though, some nice quality songs on that. It is much more likeable than the JLT DP album. Cheers.

  20. 20
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The second half of the 70ies was a difficult time for a lot of acts who had found fame and fortune in the first half of the decade. I doubt that Mk II – had they continued in 1973 – would have lasted into the early 80ies (much less carry the same commercial clout). So many bands struggled (Status Quo, Foghat, Ted Nugent, Wishbone Ash, BÖC, Kiss, UFO, Bad Company, The Who, Aerosmith, even Queen) in that period or even broke up fully for at least a while (Grand Funk Railroad, Humble Pie, Black Sabbath with Ozzy and then again with Dio, Uriah Heep, Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy and I’m not sure whether Zep would have continued for much longer had Bonzo survived). New heavy bands like Van Halen, Rush, AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest emerged plus a lot of AOR (Foreigner, Journey, Toto and REO Speedwagon), which all undoubtedy owed a debt to the heroes of the first half of the 70ies, but the old(er) guard had a hard time.

    All the Rainbows, Whitesnakes and Gillans of this world could not eclipse Purple’s legacy from the early 70ies (and the former Purple members in them were all augmented by fine musicians). Coverdale came closest with his 1987 opus, but by then the fanged reptile had shed so many purple scales, hair metal Whitesnake had very little to do with his Burn origins. To most Americans, Whitesnake was a new act and David’s Purple pedigree was purposefully downplayed by his PR machine.

  21. 21
    Gregster says:

    @19…Fair enough Sir ! I don’t really like suggesting this-or-that to anyone, especially with music, as the excitement you may have for something, may be quickly dissipated by equally valid replies from the other-side-of-the-coin. Everyone is free to choose what they want imo.

    That said, the “Longbeach 1976” should be at least the one live momento to have in the DP live discography of the Mk-IV line-up, simply because it both renders “Last Concert in Japan” into the rubbish bin, & rocks really hard & steady from start to finish. ( There’s also 3-4 extra tracks from another great show, to fill-out time on Disc 2 from memory. (And a great rendition of Georgia too ))…

    The Mk-IV existence was not an error of judgement, but rather, a very interesting creation of what could have been the direction of popular music in general. Heavy, melodic, funky with solid rock ‘n’ roll at it’s core & pretty-good lyrics to boot !

    I hope the persons who win RB’s Stratocaster’s appreciate what they have acquired, & that the guitar gets played, & doesn’t end-up living its life in its case under a bed or in a cupboard somewhere lol !

    Peace !

  22. 22
    MacGregor says:

    @ 21 -I will probably have a listen to that online, MK-IV playing their own songs from the CTTB album. I do have an issue as many do to listening to Glenn Hughes hyper antics live with DP. One has to be in the mood to put up with a few songs & then hope it doesn’t get out of hand. Made in Europe & The California Jam are as far as I can go, in moderation. Perhaps Tommy Bolin ripping into a Blackmore riff on Burn. That Japan concert is to be avoided at all costs after hearing it a few times back when it was released. Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. @ 20 – indeed the 1970’s burned faster than the 1960’s in regards to acts coming & going & burning themselves out with constant touring & also hedonism for many of them. I often think about MKII & I doubt they would have lasted much longer than they did even if they did take an extended break. Blackmore as we know was becoming restless & looking over his shoulder already. Plenty of decent new acts from the later 70’s onwards although it was changing into more AOR & the hard rock & metal styles for most acts, too much at times. Regarding Zeppelin yes indeed they were spent from the mid to late 70’s, especially Plant having lost his son & everything that went with that. He wasn’t the same after that, life is far more important than any rock band & all the rubbish that can get in the way. Page’s heroin addiction was also a telling factor. I watched some of the extended Knebworth concert online last weekend, it was painful in that Page was all over the shop, again. He as we know was always like that at times but with the dragon chasing he was terrible. That is also a big reason I baulk at Tommy Bolin era DP live in concert. Heroin can do that to people & I loathe it. Cheers.

  23. 23
    Gregster says:

    @22…Go for it mate, you won’t be disappointed, but rather pleasantly surprised with the Longbeach ’76 show…

    @20…Many bands indeed struggled in the later 1/2 of the 1970’s that started earlier on that’s for sure. You mentioned UFO, & surprisingly they gave us some some awesome albums with “Lights Out” & “Obsession”…And though blessed with the guitar prowess of Mr.Schenker, it’s the magical piano work throughout them that lifts these albums into the top-notch bracket imo…

    Queen were definitely moving with the times with mixed but still strong success from a hard rock outfit into more of a pop-band. It was only the handful of Brian May tunes that carried their roots from album to album.*I only yesterday managed to listen through “The Miracle” (& “Innuendo”) without cringing or skipping a tune here & there after all these years lol…”Made in Heaven” was easy to get along with for no known reason, & I’ve always liked it, even if it was created from the little material left after Freddie left us. They always remained an untamed beast live however…Never a dud show, & memorable tunes linked together one-after-the-other-after-the-other.

    RUSH were interesting in that they ( for myself ) delivered their best material with “A Farewell to Kings” & “Hemispheres” in the late 1970’s…But change was definitely happening with “Permanent Waves”, & they’d lost me with “Grace Under Pressure”… And this was their most successful period, through the early1980’s lol. That said, I listen to all the albums & enjoy them fully today, & I’m not hard on myself or the band for not liking the 1981-84 output too much, but can appreciate that change was needed & came, & brought great success. It’s their live material of those times, & the high-energy-magic of song delivery that brings those dry & generally dark & stale sounding early 80’s music the life & atmosphere they desperately needed for me to like & appreciate them. (Thank goodness for the live-album releases they keep giving us, as the “1984 P/G Tour” release brought new appreciation to those albums ). And imo they continued to slowly climb & climb again to the very end in 2015.

    Not many bands mentioned survived, that’s for sure !

    Peace !

  24. 24
    Uwe Hornung says:

    With UFO, I’m the odd man out, Gregster, my favorite album is and has always been No Heavy Petting for what Danny Peyronel brought to the band, both as a songwriter and with his hammering piano style. It’s just been released as a double CD remaster with a live gig from the era and Danny kicketh the proverbial butt.

    I know, his successor Paul Raymond (RIP) also offered rhythm guitar playing (and notably as a southpaw playing a lefty guitar, but strung righty, i.e., with the lower E-String strung at the bottom, necessitating a lot of upstroke idiosyncratic playing which Schenker liked for its individual sound and because it complemented his playing nicely), but Paul was essentially a talented sideman (which is what Michael wanted) while Danny was real competition for Rudolf’s AWOL baby brother. I wish UFO had developed that further over a few more albums with that particular line-up.

    I also like Leo Lyons’ more beefy production to the airplay gloss Ron Nevison supplied (and was asked to supply, he did his job) on Lights Out and Obsession.

    Schenker is no doubt gifted. Even the Stones showed an interest in him when they were looking for someone to take Mick Taylor’s place. And much like Eddie van Halen was, he’s not just a great soloist, but also one hell of a rhythm guitarist. He has a very un-Teutonic, smooth groove and never sounds heavy-handed.

  25. 25
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Queen’s magic recipe was making pop albums but delivering essentially a hard rock show live. It worked.

    John Deacon was the unsung hero of that band, he’s one hell of a bass player. Really melodic, inventive, tasteful and deft. Plus a Deep Purple fan.

  26. 26
    Gregster says:

    @24…I just finished listening to UFO’s “No Heavy Petting”, & yes indeed, it’s a great album too, especially lyric wise, very unnerving here & there for some no doubt ! And it’s certainly that “interesting” change-in-sound / direction album akin to say Queen’s “Sheer Heart Attack”. Martian Landscape & a few others are quite memorable tunes, especially when hints at helping others out because they need-a-hand, & other real-world social issues are presented. The earlier “Phenomenon” & “Force It” albums I enjoy too.

    The Scorpions would have missed Mr.Shenker indeed !

    +1 with your Queen remark too. No doubt Deac’s learned a little about thunder & how to control & roll-with-it from Roger !

    And how lucky were we to have a Mk-!! reunion ???

    Peace !

  27. 27
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I actually see Deacon more in the Gary Thain school of bass playing than Roger’s. Roger was continuously melodic, but never overstepped the traditional role of a bassist + he’s also more mathematically-structured in his approach to creating a bass line (which worked well within DP). Deacon OTOH had that ability and taste for fast fluid, technically quite demanding, melodic lines that approached “lead bass” playing, but were always tasteful. He was a former lead guitarist after all.

    Thain was like that too, he’d cruise on the root note and maybe the 5th (but with lots of rhythmic intricacies, Roger is rhythmically more meat and potatoes), then out of nowhere played some brilliant counter melody that had you scratching your head: Now how did he come up with that?! Much like Neil Murray in the early days of Whitesnake (before Cozy’s entrance relegated him to root note thumping).

    Mind you, Gary Thain had a musical environment that also allowed him to shine more. The virtuoso roles were all taken within DP already, the Blackmore-Lord-Paice triumvirate. Within Uriah Heep (and I’m not knocking them, they had other qualities, the ability to write a catchy chorus for instance), no one had similar chops. [Also the reason why Heep didn’t improvise much – unlike Purple who someone in Steve Hoffman’s forum once aptly described as a “hard rock jam band” – and when they did it tended to be a bit naff. That endless, but totally mundane guitar solo spot on Magican’s Birthday? Spare me!).

    Thain was actually the most skilled instrumentalist in a band of guys that were no virtuosos, but played well as a collective. Ken Hensley, normally not a man to undersell himself, once said: “Gary was the most consummate musician we ever had in our ranks.”

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    I remember UFO from the late 1970’s into the early 80’s. A friend owned Lights Out, No Heavy Petting, Phenomenon & a live album from memory. A good band although I didn’t end up buying any albums myself, the same with Thin Lizzy. I use to hear them often enough. I did travel down memory lane yesterday with Doctor Doctor & a few others, & it probably has been 40 years or so since I heard those songs. A good blast it was. As for Queen a stunning ‘new’ band they were in the mid 70’s, however I didn’t follow them any further than A Day At The Races & even that album wasn’t really my thing. I did buy Innuendo & Made in Heaven (bargain bin). Innuendo has some really good material on it. Cheers.

  29. 29
    Uwe Hornung says:

    A Day At The Races was definitely too much of more of A Night At The Opera – only less. It’s possibly the Queen album where they tried to play safest based on the intimidating previous success of ANATO – and suffered accordingly.

    1982’s dance floor excursion Hot Space is generally viewed as the most divisive Queen offering, but whatever you think of that album, it certainly wasn’t resting on laurels, but a brave artistic move.


  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    Gary Thain indeed, a wonderful player who would have had to have been influenced by Jack Bruce me thinks. I have always thought that anyway, but he has his won way also, I really like his playing. Poor old Mick Box, yes not the most gifted for improvising etc. He did the job well when needed with some nice shorter guitar solo’s in many songs, however Ken Hensley always played the slide guitar solo’s on many other songs, a gifted musician he was.. I always thought Box was the ‘weak’ link in Heep. That guitar & drum solo section in the song Magician’s Birthday I read once was an attempt of sorts musically, at some sort of battle between good & evil, which is what the song is about lyrically. Right up Uwe’s street those sort of lyrics.
    A battle between the drums & guitar if you like, sort of. It always left me wondering as to why they did that. Ken Hensley has stated that he was short of Uriah Heep song material at that point & he had to bring in a few of his solo album songs to make up an albums length of material The song Magicians Birthday would not have been a solo album song though by the sound of it. They had to meet the record company demands of “we want a new album, even though we had one only six months ago’. Who would have ever thought a record company would say that eh? Cheers.

  31. 31
    Jose says:

    At least two lucky listeners can’i complain the lack of a guitar on the record.

  32. 32
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Yeah, after Demons & Wizards, Magician’s Birthday was a rush job and they didn’t have enough songs. Sweet Freedom, which followed, had them finding their feet again before they declined with Wonderworld once more. Heep’s recording history is pretty much one of ups & downs.

    I’d never call Mick Box Heep’s weak link – his sound and the way he plays are too idiosyncratic for that, the way his heavily distorted and wah-wah-laden Les Paul blended with Hensley’s likewise über-snarly organ was reminiscent of the Blackmore-Lord ‘gorgan’-tandem, except that if Blackmore/Lord were erotic charcoal art then Box/Hensley were a porn Polaroid, they sounded altogether dirtier and from the street.

    Mick Box is essentially a rhythm guitarist, but like Rick Parfitt, Keith Richards, Malcolm Young or Johnny Ramone determinative for his band’s classic sound.

  33. 33
    janbl says:

    I would like to thank Uwe, MacGregor and Gregster for some always entertaining and informative posts which I do read with great pleasure. I look forward to the next post.

    Deep Purple fan since 1972 (ish).


  34. 34
    MacGregor says:

    Mick Box had some great riffs also. Me saying he was the ‘weak’ link is probably not the way to say it. He was as you said a more rhythm player as Heep with Hensley’s mighty Hammond didn’t leave him room for much else at times. I wish he had stayed with that Les Paul back then, it was mighty. He then went to a Stratocaster I think, a no no if ever there was a dud move. No balls & as we know they are more for lead playing & the wah wah sound was too thin. He did go back to the Les Paul later on. Wonderworld found the band burnt out & spent in many ways, a poor album except for a few wonderful songs. I tried to continue with Heep after that but never really could get into them after Thain’s demise. That electrocution on stage in 74′ was a precursor to his eventual heroin decline sadly. Another waste of a talented human being. In 1985 we had the pleasure of witnessing UH touring the Abominog album I think it was. Exchanging drinks with Mick Box whilst he was playing was a enjoying interaction. I cannot imagine that happening these days with many artists. Trevor Bolder was wonderful on bass, Lee Kerslake on the drums. Pete Goalby the vocalist, did a good job all things considered. I cannot remember who the keyboard player was, he did play very well & had all the right sounds etc. It was good to see a different version of the band & surprisingly all the way out in the sticks in rural NSW Australia, we couldn’t believe it. Cheers.

  35. 35
    Gregster says:

    @28…”A Day at the Races” was always part-2 of “A Night at the Opera”, & I always thought it the stronger, & more cohesive album of the two…Just like “Queen” & “Queen II” are like a double album also, which sadly leaves “Sheer heart Attack” somewhere in the middle, that could easily slip either way to make a triple-album-set lol. “Innuendo” is an awesome album, really strong & experimental, perhaps even progressive, but it has one, really bad dud in there that doesn’t belong, that really spoils what is perhaps their best effort since…

    @29…What I really like about “The Miracle”, is that it lifts “Hot Space” into a credible album…

    As for “Uriah Heep”, there wasn’t a whole lot of love from radio, or airplay, which meant that they mostly went under-the-radar for myself. And what I did hear didn’t interest me enough to pursue them. It’s like you can hear that a band like “UFO” was going to get there eventually, but the material wasn’t top-tier just yet, & “Uriah Heep” were well below that threshold imo, from the little I heard.

    Once again however, Mk-II reformed, & there were many happy people for nearly 10-years ! The reformed Mk-II showed that R&R was alive & well, put to waste most of the “hair bands”, & the quality of heavy-going rock music lifted further for all concerned imo. ( It also saved my sanity until RUSH started releasing some live material from the 80’s lol )

    Peace !

  36. 36
    MacGregor says:

    Regarding Queen ‘selling out’ in the 1980’s. Sure they moved with the times & perhaps ahead of the times in some ways. Sheer Heart Attack is the one for me, maybe because it was the first I heard, however it is a quality hard rock album. Queen 2 is a decent album & ANATO has all the elements of the 2 & 3rd albums & a little more. They along with so many surviving 70’s rock bands then moved into MTV territory, it is a repeated rave from me. At least bands diversified, mixed it up a little & there are some really good songs here & there. Look at ‘Cinema’ or AOR 80’s Yes, a cracking debut forgetting the hit single, but then turned into a sad AOR glam metal attempt by Trevor Rabin & Chris Squire. Rush went digital & MTV -ish also, but had strong songs still, thankfully. Tull at least won a Grammy ha ha ha, good comedy that one. A classic that was but Tull mellowed out to a softer rock band, at least on record. Deep Purple & Black Sabbath in it’s different guises still recorded & played live hard rock.
    I can understand people not liking Uriah Heep, they are a hit & miss sort of band. Do they have any decent live material available from the classic era? That double album ‘Live’ was big at the time for some including me. Although as the years turned I wondered as to the ‘studio’ quality vocals on that. Very suss on that album being touched up in many ways. They didn’t really have a live reputation of sorts the Heep. Too out of it no doubt, playing too fast, etc etc & messy in it’s delivery from what I have heard. Am I being too harsh, probably however live performance is what it is all about isn’t it? Cheers.

  37. 37
    MacGregor says:

    When I always mention Purple & Sabbath for corrupting my innocent 12 year old mind back in 1972, Uriah Heep were there also in that same record collection of my older cousins. Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble & that album cover, the song Gypsy & that riff & those lyrics. The drama of it all, the darkness & the mystery. There are also other good tracks, a epic indeed & it is a shame the drums sound so lame at times.. Then the Look at Yourself, Demon’s & Wizards & The Magicians Birthday albums. DP In Rock, Heep’s debut & Sabbaths first, it was all down hill from there, the altered perceptions of my mind that is. If you can’t beat them you join them. Cheers.

  38. 38
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “I cannot remember who the keyboard player was, he did play very well & had all the right sounds etc. ”

    With Goalby still singing, it was either John Sinclair (ex-Heavy Metal Kids, subsequently – after his stint with Heep – paying the rent as off-stage or largely-hidden-from-sight-in-a-small-cave-like-compartment-sub-stage keyboarder with Ozzy) or possibly Phil Lanzon, who is still with the band today. Phil is incredibly tall, the other guys in the band look like midgets compared to him.


    He’s also one hell of a forceful Hammond player, even more gutsy than Hensley if that is possibly (and certainly more so than Don or Jon who both still have/had some intellectual refinement in their playing).

    John Sinclair (Danny Peyronel’s replacement in the Heavy Metal Kids btw, it’s all incestuous) was more flourishy ornamental in his playing [I’m severely understating things here, just listen to his intro to the Heavy Metal Kids album ‘Kitsch’ below ; – )], he was/is a Rick Wakeman devotee, i.e. that school of keyboard thinking of “why use one note when you have time for ten?”




  39. 39
    MacGregor says:

    Thanks for the Heavy Metal Kids clips. It was John Sinclair & he was with Heep for 3 albums during the early to mid 1980’s. I didn’t have any time for the 80’s or the 90’s Heep at all, a friend owned Abominog & Equator. I remember buying the bargain bin priced 1980 Conquest album, a curiosity purchase with John Sloman on lead vocals. The start of the really commercial sounding Heep with poor songs & Hensley turning out anything it seemed & about to jump ship & the other guys trying their hand at writing. I do like some later Heep, a few newer songs (2000’s era) I have on that Magicians Birthday Party live concert dvd. Phil Lanzon has been a good replacement for Hensley in more ways than one. Someone needs to be a songwriter because no one else is it seems, Mick Box isn’t really known for that. I also own the dvd concert from the same era, the ‘unplugged’ concert with Ian Anderson guesting. That is where I first heard Lanzon & Bernie Shaw the vocalist. Shaw initially was not too bad a vocalist, however these days his voice is shot. Cheers.

  40. 40
    Gregster says:

    @37…LOL ! All I meant re-Queen in the 1980’s is that every album had new fans joining in, whilst dividing old ones. Every studio album seemed to do this. The soundtrack to “Flash Gordon” is an under appreciated gem imo, as apart from providing the theme music for a couple of popular video games at the time lol, it also delivered a couple of good heavy going tunes too. I personally loved “The Works” ( regardless of the video thang, the music was choice ), & “A Kind of Magic” is better than people give it credit for. And the edited “live” album is great, except for the fact that it’s edited lol ! Most of the band had solo albums happening as side-projects by this time, & though this may have kept them performing together as Queen ( especially since most of these solo albums flopped lol ), perhaps this caused confusion-in-the-ranks regarding quality control & focus with the tunes…And throw in the fact that they were all having marital issues, possibly softened quality control protocols for sake of participation ?…The albums aren’t as bad as I’m suggesting either, just confusing for the listener imo…eg When you were expecting steak & chips for dinner, & get alphabet soup, you get concerned with what you thought you were having for dinner lol !

    Mr.Iommi deserves a number of awards for keeping everything together with Black Sabbath, as regardless of the issues that prevailed, he always served you steak & chips !

    Once again, thank goodness for Deep Purple Mk-II reforming !

    Peace !

  41. 41
    MacGregor says:

    @ 40 – I forgot all about Flash Gordon & I have never heard that but have thought about it all those years ago. I will have a listen online & thanks for the reminder. I don’t mind rockers delving into a soundtrack or two, Jimmy Page & his Death Wish 2 soundtrack is rather good. Not forgetting Pink Floyd with More & Obscured by Clouds. Mark Knopfler with Local Hero is another. Cheers.

  42. 42
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “All I meant re-Queen in the 1980’s is that every album had new fans joining in, whilst dividing old ones. Every studio album seemed to do this.”

    That’s a blindingly perceptive analysis, Herr Gregster, and really sums 80ies Queen up! I think it had to do with them branching out as songwriters, come the 80ies, Brian was the only guy with them who still wrote in a hard rock vein (when he was not doing a ballad or something folkie), Freddie, Roger and John had sometimes done so in the 70ies too, but in the 80ies they would no longer clad their own songs in a hard & heavy style.

    Not sure whether Queen did themselves any favors with this (it provided contemporary hits, but divided the rock fan base like you said, their last US tour was the one for Hot Space where Billy Squier’s AOR hits slammed them against the wall when he opened for them), but I always kinda admired them for the guts to say “We’re Queen, no matter what style we play!” And Queen albums are never less than interesting because they mirror all four band members’ styles.

    I’ve seen Heep with Lawton once (Firefly Tour) and numerous times with Bernie Shaw since then (Germany is their happy hunting ground) – say about them what you will, but in the last 40 years they have been reliably consistent as a live act. Trevor Bolder and Phil Lanzon (when Don Airey deputized for him a few years ago, Lanzon’s organ roar was really missing though Don played well) were/are of course ace in how they dug/dig into their respective instruments and Shaw is possibly as close as they could get to Byron’s operatic tenor. The “new” bassist, ex-Zodiac Mindwarpster Davey Rimmer, is fine, but he’s not a “lead” bassist in the tradition of Gary Thain, Trevor Bolder or Bob Daisley,

    Speaking of Byron: I actually prefer the voices of Lawton and Goalby myself [let’s just pretend like the Conquest album never came out and John Sloman never joined them, ok?], but the Heep congregation lives and dies of course by David Byron. His (and Freddie Mercury’s) operatic delivery was never really quite my taste, I generally prefer singers like Ian Gillan, Ronnie Dio, Paul Rodgers or David Coverdale (in his younger years) who are less flamboyant, but have a ‘cool’ presence and authority.

    That said, Queen doesn’t really work without gay flamboyance as their truly awful phase with Paul Rodgers amply proved. Adam Lambert has at least resumed that part of the tradition even if he apparently can’t write songs (and I probably liked Freddie the songwriter better than Freddie the showman).

    And I really dug Byron with Rough Diamond, the lamentably short-lived band he founded with Dave Clempson after the latter didn’t get the job with Purple. Wisely, it saw Byron ditch gold lamé suits for denim. But the music was great too (and sometimes makes you wonder whether Clempson wouldn’t have been such a bad fit for Purple after all), very assertive, yet not at all Ken Hensley’ish, but more Lord’esque keyboards too.


  43. 43
    MacGregor says:

    That was Gregster commenting re Queen “All I meant re-Queen in the 1980’s is that every album had new fans joining in, whilst dividing old ones. Every studio album seemed to do this.” however I will take the compliment Uwe, they don’t come often here at THS, such a ruthless site it is, he he he! Regarding Rough Diamond, yes I have watched a few live clips over the years of that rather good band. Clem Clempson is a wonderful guitarist & he is the original ‘Loner’ guitarist playing that superb instrumental back then. The trouble with the late 70’s as you stated here recently is that a ‘new’ band with classic rock style intentions was out of fashion by then. So poor old David Byron didn’t have any luck there & disappeared into a haze of hedonism etc. I have never heard his first solo album Take No Prisoners from 1975, I should check that one out. I did buy a second hand copy of his Baby Face Killers album in the early 80’s, a collaboration with Daniel Boone, an English musician & songwriter of some repute. It all seemed out of time or something for Byron by then & he would have given up after that failure of sorts. A sad ending it was for him. John Lawton joining Heep was similar to Coverdale joining DP. A blues rock singer of that Pul Rogers style, too different for those sort of songs but history tells a story of diversity & moving away from what was before. It doesn’t last long though, Dio in Sabbath etc. The classic successful era of many artists is defined by what was before. Trevor Bolder was an ideal bassist for Heep after Gary Thain, this new guy I don’t know musically as I don’t follow them. He is a leftie of course. When Lee Kerslake left Heep around the 2007 era any slight interest I had in the band at that time went with him. Not a fan of the newer drummer’s style at all. Cheers.

  44. 44
    sidroman says:

    Speaking of Heep, they played Tink’s in Scranton PA circa 1999-2000, a small venue. Lee Kerslake was still in the band and I got to shake his hand after the show. His hand was sandpaper rough and his grip was like a vise! Great drummer and backing vocalist. RIP Lee Kerslake.

  45. 45
    MacGregor says:

    The ‘Bear’ Lee Kerslake, bless him. I have one of his drum sticks that he used at that 1985 gig of UH that I went to. It has his name & the bands also on it although that has faded mostly over time. It probably didn’t help that I used it whilst drumming in a sad attempt at trying to get the magic Kerslake ‘shuffle’ to rub off onto me. The only thing that rubbed off was the writing on the stick. Not to worry. Cheers.

  46. 46
    Gregster says:

    LOL ! Thanks everyone, & for understanding ! I’ll stop with the 1980’s Queen venting, as no doubt everyone can understand the deflation that happens when you’re suggesting to your friends “New album coming out, should be a good one, & hopefully there’s more tunes like One Vision on there, as it seems that they’re finding form again”, & then they deliver “The Miracle”…

    Lucky we had Deep Purple MK-II reform, & THoBL to savor !

    Peace !

  47. 47
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And there the ‘roo jumps to conclusions in its own furry vanity and now has to bag some ridicule: Since when does “Herr Gregster” mean you, Herr MacGregor?! : – )


    The ‘Take No Prisoners’ album is unfortunately nothing to write home about, I have it, it really is Uriah Heep by numbers, only much less so. All rather limp.

    I’m with you on the “new” drummer with Heep; if Lee Kerslake had one thing then it was loads of groove. The new guy can probably play circles around him, but he’s more a technical basher. In one of his more enlightened moments, Ozzy admitted to Bob Daisley many years after ditching him that Lee Kerslake’s drumming had a lot to do with why the first two Ozzy albuns were so special: “You know, you were right about Lee.”

  48. 48
    Georgivs says:

    Meanwhile, ‘Shadow of the Moon’ went to #16 on German album charts.

  49. 49
    MacGregor says:

    Yes indeed a roo can jump to it’s own demise at times, not sure what I was seeing there. I noticed with the Take No Prisoners album it is a sort of Uriah Heep affair, no doubt the guys were trying to help Byron out. Not really a good move to include band mates in a ‘solo’ outing although many do, especially the first solo album. Ian Anderson found that out in 1980 with what became Tull’s ‘A’ album. ‘A’ being for Anderson in the filing cabinet at the record company. Martin Barre was the guitarist on the album & in their infinite wisdom the record company suggested, ‘it is a new Tull album though isn’t it, it sure sounds like one’ which it does & so it became one. Steve Hackett did that also with Phil Collin’s & Mike Rutherford working on the Voyage of the Acolyte, his first solo album. That album had a mid 70’s Genesis sound & feel to it. David Byron did seem to have very good musicians surrounding him at times, however a good songwriter as we know helps garner much more attention. Maybe that is why he eventually partnered with Daniel Boone in an attempt at a hit song or two. Byron seemed to try a few different things during his post Heep days & didn’t have much luck with it all. Cheers.

  50. 50
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Meanwhile, ‘Shadow of the Moon’ went to #16 on German album charts.”

    I hate it how whether it is world wars, innovative + innocent Diesel engine programming or Blackmore’s Night chart placings, we somehow always end up with ALL the blame!

    Herr MacGregor, all is of course immediately forgiven. FYI: The basketball chucking marsupial I linked in my answer is the star of a German book series and movie sit com called ‘Die Känguru-Chroniken’. Komrade Kangaroo is therein a kommitted kommunist in a Berlin flat share with a penchant for mooching “because yours and mine are all archaic concepts that will soon be swept away”. His humanoid flat share buddy says things like “But I’m NOT a communist, I’m an anarchist …” to which the kangaroo offers nonplussed: “Oh great, we can do the world revolution together then!”, only to subsequently turn darkly to the camera and mutter under its breath: “Of course, things are gonna turn real difficult AFTER the revolution.” : – )

    Now where were we, Herr Byron, ah yes … We all have his Uriah Heep voice in our ears, but that was to a great deal patterned after Ken Hensley’s voice, David sang like Ken Hensley would have liked to sing had his range allowed.

    But there’s another David Byron too:



  51. 51
    MacGregor says:

    Talking of Uriah Heep & changing direction to a more commercial style. I wonder if Blackmore noticed that at the time, being an admirer of Ken Hensley’s songwriting as such. That Heep single Free Me from 1978 which I actually like as a top 40 pop song. I cannot believe I have just admitted that here at a heavy rock bands website. I didn’t like the albums & that era of Heep in general though. The chasing a commercial hit single thing Blackmore eventually achieved not long after Uriah Heep. A bit of a change from the earlier years when the record companies were always pushing for a top 40 hit & being told to sod off. Cheers.

  52. 52
    Gregster says:

    @ 49…It’s a cruel industry the music business…The trick is having a solid core fan-base that not only buys your records, but stays with you through the lean-times too, whilst not letting the influence of the filthy-press sway your preferences…

    Lot’s of people will say radio-air-play is important too, especially in the beginning of the career, but I don’t think it matters too much today, as imo more than ever, it’s who-you-know, not what-you-know or what-you-can-do, though YouTube & SoundCloud offer fair opportunity/exposure too. Plus there’s so much competition today, & lots of it is quite good too, it has to be. Even if there’s no-where to play for lots of people, you can still make your own music & video, get it out there, & make your own exposure.

    *People will jump on SoundCloud for instance, hit random-play, & then distribute / share a track they like to all there followers etc etc, & exposure potentially dominoes from there.

    @48…No.16 on the charts for a re-release is amazing, especially a Blackmore’s Night recording…I guess there’s plenty of people that want those golden-tickets for those Stratocasters !!!

    Peace !

  53. 53
    sidroman says:

    The last Heep album that I really liked all the way through was Return to Fantasy, up until they came out with Sonic Origami a couple decades later.

  54. 54
    MacGregor says:

    @ 50 – Uwe, thanks for the ‘Die Känguru-Chroniken’ information. I have bookmarked a few links to that & will have a look tomorrow sometime. Regarding Byron at least he was a little involved in some songwriting with UH. He & Box wrote Gypsy after all at the beginning & Byron did write with Hensley on a few & the other guys occasionally. I guess it would be frustrating not having a knack for what counts in that extra quality of writing many good songs. He had a go collaborating with others throughout his career & I have also heard some of those covers he has done, some are quite good. Some lead vocalist don’t do any songwriting at all & working with a quality writer may diminish any thought or attempt at having a go at it. Art Garfunkel & Roger Daltrey are two lead vocalists who partnered quality songwriters, but didn’t contribute anything at all it seems. I read a few years ago that Bernie Shaw does not write at all with UH & doesn’t seem interested. I cannot imagine being a singer, that they wouldn’t have a go collaborating at certain times. Maybe it is a confidence thing that they lack or it is easier to leave it to the guys who can do it a lot easier & much better. David Byron singing Ken Hensley’s songs whilst initially an exciting thing to do no doubt, then became a chip on his shoulder by the sound of it. He & Hensley had major issues with each other & the hedonism antics of both musicians certainly didn’t help. Royalties from songwriting also was a factor allegedly. Hensley wanting more being the main writer & the others not happy about that. Management taking 50% apparently. Band politics eh, all that success leads to trouble for some. @ 52 – well said, fans & market forces can be rather fickle at times. Cheers.

  55. 55
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I have investigated this burning issue ‘Is Herr MacGregor really Gregster and why are they both doing this to us?’ further and my research reveals:

    As early as post #16 in this thread’s history, the man we all believed to know as ‘Gregster’ writes – and I quote:

    “@14…I’m shocked to the very-core of my being Mr. MacGregor …”

    This vile attempt of identity theft then bears its evil fruit by post #43 where the (potentially) real Herr MacGregor is already in the process of transforming and über-identifying with his impostor – hence all the confusion.

    Which just confirms what Ian Hunter has always said: You’re never alone with a schizophrenic.



    Moving on … You’re in a safe space @the_really_real_MacGregor (in his various guises), I’v always liked ‘Free Me’ too, very catchy and nice chord sequences.


    When it came out in 1977, the German naysayers to John Lawton following David Byron as Heep’s lead singer of course had a field day and spat their venom: “Ah, so John Lawton has now turned the once very ‘eavy, very ‘umble Uriah Heep into a Les Humphries Singers type travesty!” alluding to where John had earned money before (never mind how Ken Hensley wrote the danceable pop tune).


    But a good song is a good song and Free Me has stood the test of time. And I’ve seen Heep play it as openers of both Purple and Status Quo to rapturous reception.

  56. 56
    Georgivs says:

    @50 It’s the kudos you end up with, not the blame.) Germany is very kind to the Purple folks. I think their numerous acts are more popular in Germany in relative terms than in any other country.

    @52 It is amazing, but on the other nowadays ‘Shadow of the Moon’ can be considered a classic of sorts, a Ritchie’s solo ‘In Rock’ so to speak. It’s been 25 years and Ritchie has repeated the evolution of the Purple universe, just on a smaller orbit. I mean, ‘Shadow of the Moon’ to Blackmore’s night later releases is what DP Mk II stuff is to the later ex-Purple or even Purple stuff. So you can expect a high-ish chart position.

  57. 57
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    Speaking of Uriah Heep, I remember when Demonds And Wizards was released and it was a huge success in my country. It had some great songs, but the thing which stood up at that time was the mediocracy of the guitar player. Hensley was a great song writer and he had a ashtonishing organ sound, but neither he was a virtuoso. David Byron had great vocals all over, but the best musician in the band seemed to be Gary Thain. Along with Hensley’s song writing, his bass lines and playing were the best the band had to offer. He could have been in the best of the bands at that time. He was a gem. On the other side, most of the Mick Box’s guitar solos on the first 5-6 albums are rubbish (I haven’t really checked the ones released since). Compared to Blackmore, Iommi, Page, etc. Mick Box lacks ideas, ability and musicality. His solos are too long with nothing sensible to say, some of them are downright horrible. He’s was on the opposite end of what Blackmore was doing. — I yield back.

  58. 58
    huntertyler says:

    I remember well 1995 and the 25th anniversary of Deep Purple In Rock. Those 25 years between 1970 and 1995 seemed to me very long.

    I feel like Ritchie started Blackmore’s Night only a few years ago. I cannot imagine it’s been so long. But yes we are in 2023 and Shadow Of The Moon was released in 1997 so…well, it was a different millennium !

    I don’t feel it’s the same 25 years !

  59. 59
    MacGregor says:

    @ 55 – The MacGregor clan, you just never know where one cold be lurking. It may have spread even further than one could imagine, haven’t they all over time. Gregster may be using his ‘christian’ name for his ‘pseudonym’ I am not sure. I am using the traditional clan name, being ever so patriotic in the process however that is only from my fathers side. It could get messy indeed if we look at my mothers Irish side. And the joy of it all Uwe is we all could be related anyway, imagine that! Regarding the song Free Me from UH, it is hard to recognise the band musically, that is how different it is & how desperate Hensley & management no doubt were to find another hit & direction. I like John Lawton as a vocalist as long as he doesn’t go falsetto, that horrible scream he attempts on some songs is terrible. A excruciating example is on the Butterfly Ball album & that lovely song Little Chalk Blue. Sung beautifully by Lawton but he cannot resist one scream near the end & why oh why oh why. They should have faded that out at the mixing desk. It doesn’t suit those blues rock singers. At least Byron, Gillan & a few others could get away with it at times, singing in a higher ‘tenor’ register, sort of.
    @ 57- I know what you mean regarding Mick Box as a guitarist, hence my ‘weak link’ comment earlier. He is more a rhythm guitarist & his good lead solos are few & far between, he did get a few down pat, however with that wah wah pedal he wasn’t a good melodic lead player. Cheers.

  60. 60
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Poor Mick Box, if he reads this, he’ll turn all grey!

    I don’t think anybody ever seriously bought an Uriah Heep album for the guitar improvisation (or any other improvisation for that matter). In the age of Jimi, Ritchie, Pagey, Jeff, Eric, Rory, Johnny (Winter), Alvin (Lee) and Robin (Trower), you could fill your need for that elsewhere.

    Heep offered tuneful songwriting (sometimes verging on the banal), unusually elaborate (and well executed) harmony vocals for a heavy rock group, mythological escapism with the cover art to go with it and a powerful, concise band sound (owing a nod or two to Deep Purple, yes) to the public. In Germany at least, between 1971 and 1973 (from ‘Salisbury’ to ‘Live’ and ‘Sweet Freedom’) they were more popular than either Led Zep or Black Sabbath with that (to a great part because they were also more of a singles band than the other two) though they never eclipsed Deep Purple which ruled Deutschland at the time. But at a school disco, you were likely to hear more Heep than Purple. And chicks seemed to prefer them too, they were never really into that extensive solo wanking Purple excelled in. The Made in Japan versions of Strange Kind Of Woman and Space Trucking did not make it on a lot of girls’ mix tapes in my memory, but Gypsy, Lady in Black, July Morning, Easy Livin’, The Wizard and Stealin’ sure did. Heep were hummable and not too demanding a listen. And that harmony vocals-drenched sound with all the oohs and aahs over a heavy background left a mark on bands as varied as Sweet, Queen and Van Halen.

  61. 61
    Gregster says:

    @ 59…You’re quite correct Mr.MacGregor, & Gregster was required since all the Greg’s were taken-up when making an easy-to-remember e-mail address name. We were always advised to never use a surname for privacy reasons, & Gregster was a nick-name I was called once. And it wasn’t too “unprofessional” in appearance when compared to say Rastus, which is my main handle usually on the net & SoundCloud lol !

    @58…Time does pass much more quickly as you get older, & I completely agree with your comment too. Amazing to realize that Steve was in the band for over 25-years…And it only seems like recent news to my mind that he joined the band lol !

    I wonder if anyone’s won a Stratocaster as of this time ??? It would seem that some-one in Germany has the odds in their favor, at least if the charts are anything to gauge-by !

    Peace !

  62. 62
    MacGregor says:

    Thanks Uwe for the Die Känguru-Chroniken information. Wonderful comedy & right up my street. A bit of ‘Orwellian’ in there to boot & all the other absurdities in life. Have to get into it & I have found a few book sites here in Roo land that I can get hold of a few copies. I am also really interested in his QualityLand books, nice to see some out there thinking of life’s ridiculous situations both past, present & also into the future. The recent movie I might leave until I have read a few books, although it isn’t streaming anywhere here, that is probably a good thing at present. That Roo is a deceptive, cunning & manipulative character indeed. Cheers.

  63. 63
    GAVIN MOFFAT says:

    This is the only Blackmore’s Night album I still listen to. I think it’s a shame that Ritchie didn’t make an electric instrumental album decades ago. I suspect that he thought his efforts might be compared to the stellar albums by Jeff Beck whom he revered.
    We have the Purple and Rainbow instrumentals however, which I feel demonstrate how great such an album would have been. Weiss Heim and Maybe next time … not forgetting The Snowman (Walking in the air) … oh … and Son of Alrik … A200 ✔️ 😀

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