Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Reissued 1973 album. The Uriah Heep keyboardist's first solo LP, originally released by bronze Records, and now available on CD. Hensley wrote and arranged all of the LP's 10 tracks and played nearly all of the instrum... more »
Reissued 1973 album. The Uriah Heep keyboardist's first solo LP, originally released by bronze Records, and now available on CD. Hensley wrote and arranged all of the LP's 10 tracks and played nearly all of the instruments.
I had to put it on the stereo
Fredrik Bendz | Lund Sweden | 07/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one is so good I had to put it on the stereo the moment I saw it here on Amazon. The only thing that prevents me from calling this one of the top five albums ever is that it would be a blasphemy to one of the other albums I had to remove from that list.It's a pity Ken Hensley did not continue as a solo artist after he left Uriah Heep. Instead he did some garbage with Bigfoot and even played as a studio musician for WASP. He could have done miracles in the 80:s on his own.Hensley has a pretty expressive voice, though not as good as that of David Byron. I don't think he would have had the capacity to replace Byron on vocals as one of the other reviewers suggests. But if you listen carefully, you will find that Hensley sings on some Heep songs, such as Paradise and Lady in Black.Actually, this is not really Hensley's first solo project, but his third. In 1970 he released a record named "Orgasm" under the pseudonym of Ken Leslie -- a heavy progressive concept album, among others containing re-editions of songs he was never credited for in his pre-Heep session with Toe Fat. Officially, the band was called Head Machine, but it is far too obvious that this is a solo project with Ken and some of his friends (such as Lee Poole, a.k.a. Lee Kerslake).Weed, from 1971, is basically Hensley (once again under the pseudonym Ken Leslie) accompanied by members of Witch and Virus, as far as I know local German bands who had some success on their own.You can hear that both Orgasm and Weed have Hensley on vocals, and all the songs have a very strong touch of Ken Henley's songwriting.But that's not what this review is about, but "Proud Words on a dusty shelf". If the previous projects were a bit more heavy and distorted than Heep, the solo albums that bear Ken Hensley's name are very moody and mellow -- especially this one.The opening track WHEN EVENING COMES carries over some of the energy from Orgasm and Weed, but with a little sound of Uriah Heep in the production. Gary Thain does his to add the characteristic bass melody (as in all tracks on this recording), and you can hear a grand piano discretely in the background.FROM TIME TO TIME is a beautiful acoustic ballad about lost love. The sound is very similar to Paradise from "Demons and Wizards". It is a wonder that this song does not appear on the Best of Ken Hensley record, and even stranger that it is not on the record that bears the name "From Time to Time"!A KING WITHOUT A THRONE is very much based on Thain's bass tunes, and the piano is a little bit more in the foreground as compared to "When Evening Comes". The song connects a bit to the English musical tradition -- I think most of the music of Uriah Heep does, but not as much as this song.RAIN, the ballad that also appears on "The Magician's Birthday", sounds very much like the Heep version here, but differently. Compare this version to the one by Heep, and you will see why Ken Hensley did not take up the mike after David Byron left.The sound of PROUD WORDS is very much like that of A King Without a Throne. It's the most uptempo song on the record, but it is definitely not the best. The title makes it very suitable as the title track though.FORTUNE is best remembered for it's epic intro. If I were to decide, this song would have been the first track on the record. The tempo changes a little too often for this tune for my taste, but it is not a bad song at all. It might have been better in the Uriah Heep version, if there existed a such.BLACK HEARTED LADY is very nice. A laid back electric guitar plays over an acoustic ditto. It's a song to cry to.GO DOWN carries on in the same mood, but here it is the acoustic guitar that is most prominent. It's not the strongest song on the album, but it is not bad either. It's just a song that is not easy to remember.COLD WINTER SUNDAY is as far as I'm concerned the best song on this record. It starts with piano/acoustic guitar in the first verse, to continue in a sound that reminds me of Orgasm and Weed. It's one of the heavier tracks, but yet as blue as the others. I'm not sure whether this is a love song to a woman, or to Autumn itself.THE LAST TIME with its steel guitar intro sounds very much like a Country and Western song. If there will ever be a "Ken Hensley Tribute", I'm quite sure Garth Brooks is going to play this one. :-)To sum up: If you like the more laid back and mellow parts of Uriah Heep, such as Paradise, Cirkus and Rain you gonna love this record!"
Top of the Heep!
psychedelephant | Staten Island, NY United States | 11/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Uriah Heep's organist/guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/resident genius sets out to do a solo project (OK, it was more like a Heep album without lead singer David Byron and lead guitarist Mick Box, given that Gary Thain and Lee Kerslake played bass and drums on it) and winds up with a more subdued album than most Heep efforts, but one that rewards the listener more and more with each subsequent hearing. Some of Ken's most moving compositions can be found here; particular standouts are "Black Hearted Lady", "Go Down", "The Last Time", "When Evening Comes", "Cold Autumn Sunday", "From Time To Time", and the title track, not to mention a nice rendition of "Rain" from Heep's "The Magician's Birthday". A must-have for fans of Uriah Heep, or just of good songwriting and impassioned performances.And as far as any other reviewers have commented on the feasibility of Ken filling in for David Byron full-time as Heep lead vocalist, I can only mention that Ken sang lead with Heep extremely well on such classics as "Lady in Black", "High Priestess", most of "Paradise/The Spell", "Firefly", and parts of "The Magician's Birthday"......Oh, and also on what's possibly the best lead vocal, and probably the absolute heaviest track Heep ever did: "Look at Yourself" (sounding so much like Byron that a *lot* of Heepsters don't realize it's Ken, not David!). In any case, buy this album! You'll thank me, you'll thank Ken Hensley, and you'll thank yourself."
Should have made him a star in his own right!
Ken Beaulieu | Syracuse, NY USA | 11/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Had the vinyl of this disk shortly after it's release. Played it so much I wore it out. Finally couldn't stand the pops and other distortion and had to retire it. I was overjoyed to see this disk on cd and gladly paid for this music again! I'm not able to tell you which is my favorite song because there are too many good ones to choose from. Cold Autumn Sunday still blows me away, but so does Black Hearted Lady, and Go Down! I was always a fan of Uriah Heep's mellower stuff like Paradise and it's obvious that Hensley is where the mellow stuff came from. The fact that Hensley played almost all of the instruments on the album impressed me too. The man was a major talent. Whoever mixed the album deserves applause as well. Listening to this album, especially with headphones, and shutting your eyes you can picture the band before you. The drummer is here...and the guitar is over here...and so forth. The music makes you soar and sway. The songs are sad and the music draws you in. I've never had an album that tweaks my emotions like this one. Had this album been more heavily promoted it would have eclipsed everything Uriah Heep did. Well, maybe not, but only because the early to middle seventies was a hard sell for mellower music. Heavy Metal and Hard Rock was the order of the day. Try this! You won't be dissapointed!"