Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

URIAH HEEP - Innocent Victim

Innocent Victim

Released 1977 on BMG
Reviewed by horazio, 08/09/2008ce

Yet another memorable record featuring John Lawton /formerly of Lucifer's Friend/ on Lead Vocals, with Hensley providing brilliant back-ups. It's the Heep album with most soul influences. Lawton swims freely in his own waters as evident on the opener 'Keep On Riding' & 'Flyin' High'. 'Roller' begins with an outstanding solo courtesy of Mick Box which reappears later. Drummer Lee Kerslake adds some heavy hitting up all over. The party goes from 'Free n' Easy', through 'Illusion' & 'Cheat 'n' Lie', into 'The Dancer'. The original release ends with 2 masterpiece ballads - 'Choices' & 'Illusion & Masquerade'. 'The choice I've made is simple - passion over pain!', this line from the former sums the 70's feel up. While the latter finds Ken's charming acoustic guitar as a counterpoint to John's vocal complexity reshaped with laconic solos by Box & Hensley. It's the most dynamic Heep track. New generations of musicians will continue to cut their teeth off on them.

From the 5 bonus tracks, 'A Right to Live' (B-side), had been a successful addition to the single, beginning with an organ intro, then going into traditional for the band dynamics - 'I have the right to live, but I'm left to die!'. Previously unreleased 'Been Hurt' had deservedly been left out of the original.

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