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December 1969 - February 1970

Mick Box - Guitars
David Byron - Vocals
Ken Hensley - Keyboards
Paul Newton - Bass
Alex Napier - Drums
(Dec. 1969 - Jan. 1970)

Nigel 'Ollie' Olsson - Drums
(Jan.-Feb. 1970)
Colin Wood - Additional Keyboards
(January 1970)

Spice was founded by David Garrick (David Byron) (Vocals) (born 29 January 1947, Essex, North-East of Greater London – death 28 February 1985) and Mick Box (Guitars) (born 6 June 1947, Walthamstow, London) in 1967 after their previous band Stalkers had disbanded. Line ups included Nigel Pegrum (Drums) and Barry Green (Bass) and Alf (Bass) before Paul Newton (joined in 1968).
They recorded 7" single 'What About The Music / In Love'.
In 1969 Alex Napier replaced Pegrum on Drums and Gerry Bron became their manager, so they went to studio to record their first album.
During the recording they added keyboards to the line-up.
Colin Wood was brought in as a session player and they decided to have a permanent organist - and Ken Hensley joined the band.
And the band has changed its name into 'Uriah Heep', a character from Charles Dickens' novel 'David Copperfield' - in 1969 beeing centenary anniversary from Dickens' death.
Other songs they recorded at that time are 'Funny Man At The Fair', 'Masquerade' & 'Leila' were recorded in 1968 but they have never been released.
Some Spice recordings from 1969 ended on the first Uriah Heep album either as original or re-worked versions. Songs from these sessions like Born In A Trunk, Astranaza, Celebrate, I Want You Babe, Magic Lantern & Schoolgirl remained unreleased until they were included on The Lansdowne Tapes compilation in 1993.

Spice a fost înfiintată de David Garrick (David Byron) (voce) si Mick Box (chitară) în 1967 după ce trupa lor Stalkers s-a desfiintat. Componenta trupei s-a schimbat deseori, avându-l pe Nigel Pegrum la tobe si Barry Green si Alf pe bas, înainte de venirea lui Paul Newton (care s-a alaturat în 1968).
Au înregistrat single-ul 'What About The Music / în Love'.
În 1969 Alex Napier îl înlocuieste pe Nigel Pegrum la tobe, iar Gerry Bron devine managerul lor, dupa care încep inregistrările pentru primul album.
În timpul acestor înregistrari au atasat trupei un organist, Colin Wood, care a participat la câteva înregistrări. Au decis sa completeze trupa cu un organist permanent si astfel a fost contactat Ken Hensley, care s-a alăturat formatiei, care si-a schimbat numele în Uriah Heep.
Numele a fost sugerat de Gerry Bron pentru că în decembrie 1969 era aniversarea centenara de la moartea lui Charles Dickens, al carui personaj din romanul David Copperfield - Uriah Heep - a dat numele formatiei.
Alte cântece înregistrate atunci au fost 'Funny Man At The Fair', 'Masquerade' & 'Leila', dar n-au fost editate niciodată.
Câteva înregistrari Spice din 1969 au ajuns pe primul album Uriah Heep, eventual re-lucrate.
Cântece ca Born în A Trunk, Astranaza, Celebrate, I Want You Babe, Magic Lantern & Schoolgirl au rămas needitate până când au fost incluse în compilatia 'The Lansdowne Tapes' editată în 1993.
Cam asta e povestea ... începutului ...

Ken Hensley  
Ken Hensley

Ken Hensley had played key-boards with Paul Newton in The Gods and he was currently playing guitar in Toe Fat.
Hensley had a huge contribution on keyboards and mellotron to the first album - "Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble..." and til 1980 as well.
Mick Box and David Byron were generating most of the material, the first track beeing 'Gypsy', with the band's vocal harmonies. That heavy sound seems to be Uriah Heep trademark. as I usualy say - "Uriah Heep 100%"
Mick Box recall "the funny thing was we wrote it at the Hamwell Community Centre, Shepherds Bush and Deep Purple were rehearsing in the room next door to us. You can imagine the kind of racket we were both making between us!" (RAW Magazine - 1989).

Ken Hensley a cântat în trupa The Gods împreunã cu Paul Newton si în trupa Toe Fat, chitarã si voce.
Hensley a avut o uriasã contributie la clape la primul album - "Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble..." cum a fãcut în continuare pânã 1980.
Cea mai mare parte a albumului poartã marca Box si Byron, prima piesã fiind 'Gypsy', cu riff-uri de chitarã, acompaniatã de orgã si corul de voci. Inr-un fel se poate spune cã stilul acesta muzical este 'marca' Uriah Heep, cum as spune eu - "Uriah Heep 100%".
Mick Box isi aminteste "era nostim ca am compus (Gypsy) la Hamwell Community Centre, Shepherds Bush, iar Deep Purple exersa intr-o încãpere vecinã cu noi. Iti poti imagina ce vacarm faceam!" (RAW Magazine - 1989).

Nigel 'Ollie' Olsson Mick Box /Paul Newton /David Byron /Alex Napier
Nigel "Ollie" Olsson
Mick Box /Paul Newton /David Byron /Alex Napier

It was almost ready the recording of the album when Alex Napier was replaced by Nigel 'Ollie' Olsson, well known for working with Elton John. Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble... (US Version simply titled Uriah Heep) was released on June 19, 1970. Produced by Gerry Bron and featuring a morbidly gothic cover (David Byron face). 'Gypsy' and 'I'll Keep On Trying', Box/Byron composition, were both typical Heep, featuring heavy, earthy guitar riffs, prominent keyboards and strong vocal harmonies, while 'Wake Up (Set Your Sights)' had a progressive, King Crimson-like feel. Overall, it was happening at the time while seeking to create their own, unique sound.
But it was the heaviness that the critics whose opinions ranged from "interesting", "skillful but not particularly original", "a veritable pain to listen to", to the "If this group makes it, I'll have to commit suicide. From the first note you know you don't want to hear any more. Uriah is watered down, tenth-rate Jethro Tull, only even more boring and inane. UH is composed of five members: vocals, organ, guitar, bass, and Drums. They fail to create a distinctive sound tonally; the other factor in their uninteresting style is that everything they play is based on repetitive chord riffs. According to the enclosed promo information, Uriah Heep spent the past year in the studio, rehearsing and writing songs. No doubt their lack of performing experience contributed to the quality of the record; if they had played live in clubs they would have been thrown off the stage and we'd have been saved the waste of time, money, and vinyl". Melissa Mills (Rolling Stones 67 - 1970-10-01).
Mick Box's reply to that is that nobody in Heep has ever played flute and that none of the band is capable of standing on one leg !
Anyway, Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble... certainly had impact! Musically, it was still a very experimental time for the band but the writing relationship between Box, Byron and Hensley was beginning to develop. "It was very quick," recalls Box, "because we were all into the same things. It was like it was meant to be, there was that kind of chemistry." That chemistry is reflected more with Salisbury, the second album.

Inregistrãrile la album erau aproape terminate, când Alex Napier a fost înlocuit de Nigel 'Ollie' Olsson la tobe, venit de la Elton John pentru o scurtã perioadã.
Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble... (varianta US denumitã simplu Uriah Heep) a fost editat pe 19 iunie 1970. Produs de Gerry Bron si cu coperta morbidã cu un chip cadaveric (al lui David Byron).'Gypsy' si 'I'll Keep On Trying', compuse Box/Byron, amândouã tipic Uriah Heep, cu riff-urile chitarei, orgã proeminentã si corul caracteristic deja, pe când 'Wake Up (Set Your Sights)' este compusã în alt stil, amintind de King Crimson. Una peste alta, a fost un timp de cãutare a unui stil propriu, unic.
Partea grea era cã specialistii în critica muzicalã au fost de la început ostili, cu opinii de la "interesant", "talentati dar ne-originali", "un adevãrat chin sã-i asculti", pânã la ciudatul articol scris de Melissa Mills în Rolling Stones 67 - 10 octombrie 1970, în care afirma cã "Dacã aceastã trupã reuseste, mã sinucid. De la prima notã iti dai seama cã nu mai vrei sã-i asculti niciodatã. Uriah este a 10-a dupã Jethro Tull, plictisitori si stupizi ... Ar trebui aruncati de pe scenã si astfel am scuti timp, bani si vinyl".
Mick Box spune cã nimeni din Uriah Heep n-a cântat la flaut si mai ales nici unul nu e în stare sã stea într-un picior !.
Oricum, Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble... sigur a avut impaact!
Au fost vremurile experimentale pentru trupă, dar relatiile dintre Box, Byron si Hensley începuserã sã se dezvolte.
"Totul se petrecea foarte repede", si-aminteste Box, "pentru cã totul se fãcea în acelasi timp. Era ca si cum asa trebuia sã fie, un fel de chimie".
Aceastã chimie este reflectatã mai mult odatã cu Salisbury, al doilea album.

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