While it may not always be seen as favourably as some of 1970’s heavyweight hard rock discs, ‘Very ’Eavy Very ’Umble’ marked a more than credible beginning for British rockers Uriah Heep. While the release never troubled the UK album chart, its mix of blues, rock and occasional psychedelic leanings met with a devoted group of music fans. Having found an audience, it would have been easy for Mick Box and his merry band of musicians to knock out a near carbon copy for their second release, but the album that eventually emerged in February 1971 couldn’t have been any more different.
For most people Uriah Heep are a band consigned to the seventies with their some of their earliest albums ‘Very ’Eavy, Very ’Umble’, ‘Demons & Wizards’ and ‘The Magicians Birthday’ their best known. Those same people probably still regard the band as a poor man’s Deep Purple and are blissfully unaware that the band’s twenty third studio release – 2011’s ‘Into The Wild’, their first for Frontiers Records – is among their absolute best. Although the straight forward hard rock on display owed more to the band’s output from the early 80s and beyond than the flowery fantasies and psudo-prog of their 70s heyday, the whole album showcased a class act – a band still more than capable of delivering the goods in the classic rock vein and in some cases really outshining their peers. Since that last album, the world also lost bassist Trevor Bolder. With that in mind, 2014’s ‘Outsider’ had much to live up to and need to work incredibly hard to match the great impression left by its immediate predecessor.