Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

URIAH HEEP - Firefly


Released 1977 on Warner Bros
Reviewed by horazio, 11/06/2008ce

This is the first platter with new lead singer John Lawton.
Even though it's completely underrated the most Hensley
songwriting is blilliant & Lawton sings at full force
reaching octaves only Gillan & Plant could dream of. The
opener "The Hanging Tree" begins with a distinctive Hensley
synth solo entering into a duelling guitar vs synth mould.
"Been Away Too Long" exposes remarkable changes in the mood
which could be a reflection of Byron's departure "Who Needs
Me" (Kerslake) & "Do You Know" are fierce R'n'R pieces
similar to "Easy Livin". Sympathy" is a track deserving
number 1 on the charts. "Wise Man" & "Rollin' On" reveal the
band have aquirred wisdom in the range of Hawkwind! The video
of the former that's surfaced, with Heep performing on a Sat
3, German TV show surrounded by pretties, is a stunner. The
title song's a suite emphasizing the superb guitar blend of
Mick Box. It continues to explore the polyphonic soundscape
featuring a symbiose of Hard & Prog Rock already established
by Heep.

An absolute surprise is the bonus track (on 1997 cd
edition) - "Uriah Heep/Crime of Passion" (off a hard to find
B-side) saying more about the band's name than any other
tune. It's unclear who's written the lyrics, that don't make
much sense: 'running scared like a swan in flight, On and on,
looking for delight'!?, suggesting the poet (Hensley?)
could've been high...

Reviews Index