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Mick Box - Guitars Peter Goalby - Vocals John Sinclair - Keyboards Bob Daisley - Bass Lee Kerslake - Drums Album releaased: Abominog 1982
Abominog must surely rate as one of the most important albums in Uriah Heep's history. Its significance lay in the way in which it pulled Heep out of the Seventies and thrust them into the Eighties with determination muscle. Released in March 1982 (preceded by 'Abominog Junior', an EP that included 'On The Rebound' - a Russ Ballard song - 'Tin Soldier '- a cover of the Small Faces track - and 'Son Of A Bitch'), it immediately won favour with the critics, with now established rock magazine Kerrang! declaring it "the most mature and perhaps best album of their career". Sounds paid tribute to Heep's rebirth with a five star review, while the cover art itself guaranteed instant attention.
|Bob Daisley /Mick Box /Peter Goalby/Lee Kerslake /John Sinclair|
If there was any comment that could have been interpreted in a negative fashion then that was that perhaps it sounded a little too American. "Ashley Howe, our producer (who had engineered on some of Heep's early albums), had a very American head on his shoulders," says Box.
Goalby found that his production suited him. "I liked what Ashley was doing. He's a good producer and if Abominog had not been the way it was the band couldn't have taken off again. Abominog opened all the doors". Fair comment, though the truth of the matter is that Uriah Heep have been at the forefront of melodic rock since it was born; it was just that the passages of time have associated that flavour of music with the Americans.
It was a success though, both in Europe and America, with the album a hit in the US and 'The Way That It Is' gaining heavy rotation on MTV - "really turning America around", states Box. "It was lovely to see the new band accepted in that way". It was then turn for Uriah Heep to be added to the Castle Donington Monsters Of Rock roll-call, their appearance on the day looked upon very much as a return. "We got a good response", says Mick.
"I remember getting annoyed with my guitar going out of tune and I was rubbing it against the scaffolding and the head snapped off! I didn't mean it but the crowd loved it!" Head First rates as Abo\inog's close partner in crime. Again produced by Ashley Howe. ("He was like the sixth member of the band", says Goalby), it rates closely alongside its predecessor in terms of commerciality and character, with again a couple of outside songs being brought in to augment the group compositions - tracks actually mostly written by Goalby with the help of Box and Sinclair but credited to the whole band. "Mick wanted to avoid the previous problems of having one person make all the money", says Goalby, "so that was part of the deal when I came in". The release of Head First followed Daisley's exit from the band (off to help Ozzy write again).