"What can I say? For a while, Uriah Heep were my favorite band in the world. And this was mainly due to this excellent album, which remains the best one they ever made. I'm 19 years old and classic rock IS MY LIFE! I have absolutely no need for today's insipid, pseudo-rock rubbish. Anyway, there's no doubt in my mind that "Gypsy" is one of the top five greatest hard rock songs ever, maybe even THE best. Everything about this song is just so ferocious that it crushes everything in it's path. That opening part is a powerful, hard-hitting display of aggression that few, if any, other bands could match. And what about the breath-taking vocals of Dave Byron? All I can say is WOW! This guy had a pair of vocal cords that could strip the paint from your walls! He was definitely the most overlooked vocalist in the world of rock 'n roll. "Walking In Your Shadow" and "Real Turned On" are simply funk at it's very best, with killer, grooving beats and ripping guitar leads (especially the latter). "Come Away Melinda" is strikingly lovely and shows the softer side of Byron's voice. The song is sung through the eyes of a little girl whose mother has died in the war, giving it even more sentimental value. "Bird Of Prey" and "Dreammare" are both a total trip. This must've been Heep's version of psychedelia. Needless to say that both of them are very eerie and haunting, especially the organ intro to "Dreammare", which gives me the chills every time I hear it. "I'll Keep On Trying" is another heavy rocker, like "Gypsy". Mick Box's frantic wah-wah solo is a real highlight. And the end is simply awesome, with all the instruments pounding away maniacally before...WHAM! the song comes to a devastating finish. Man, you couldn't copy this intensity in a million years. And to close this epic monster, there's "Wake Up (Set Your Sights)", a multi-part epic about the evils of war. The end is one of the most beautiful moments in all of music. Uriah Heep never got the credit they deserved as an incredible rock band. They were every bit as good as most of their contemporaries."
Awesome Early Heavy Metal
Crypt | Arkham | 02/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1970 was a good year for rock music. The boundaries of blues and Psychadelic Rock was being pushed farther and farther evolving into Progressive rock and Heavy Metal. Bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zepplin, Atomic Rooster and Uriah Heep among others all released classic and influential Hard Rock masterpieces. The debut from the latter band stands as a very unique (for it's time) and massively heavy album. Every track is a winner. And the heaviness doesn't let up, save for 2 tracks; Come Away Melinda (a dark balad) and the Jazz-rock of Wake up (Set Your Sights). Heep definitely stood on their own apart from their peers while pioneering a style that would become just as influential as anything by Sabbath or Zeppelin. Awesome riffs with a dark edge blend with a distorted organ for a truly heavy sound. The psuedo-operatic vocals would become almost standard for future Heavy Metal bands. Listen to falsetto "Aaaaah's" on Bird of Prey and you'll recognize Heeps huge influence on Merciful Fate and King Diamond. Shades of Heep can be found in bands like Iron Maiden, Angel Witch and other NWOBHM bands as well."
A must have
Gary Pederson | St. Cloud, Mn | 11/01/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An absolute must have for any true Heep fan. There are 8 songs on the album. The only questionable song is Wake Up (Set Your Sights). All others are excellant tunes. Gypsy is a rock classic. Bird of Prey is not far behind. Alot of good guitar, organ, and vocals."
Refreshingly different 70s hard rock
David Whitman | Wichita, KS USA | 10/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
To be honest, I did not like this when I first heard it 12 years ago. I was 19 and just starting to get into early 70s heavy metal (which I totally love). The sabbath like guitars and organ harmonized together beautifully and perfectly but I thought that Byron's vocals just spoiled everything.
Now, as a 31 year old and having been exposed to thousands of bands since then, listening to this stuff is like a breath of fresh air. I actually like Byron's vocals because I can see how it helped pioneer the marriage of melodic/operatic styles with hard rock and influenced many bands in the process.
My favorite is definitely, 'Walking in Your Shadow' with its majestic Tom Jones meets Sabbath delivery. 'Set Your Sights' and 'I'll Keep Trying' are also works of hard rock beauty; precisionary instrumentation and wide ranged melodic vocals. However, I still can't, with all my might, stomach 'Bird of Prey'. Byron is still a bit fluffy for my tastes on that one. Everything else is top notch. The manic, fuzzed out craziness of the instrumentals in Gypsy is just mind blowing!"
More vital than ever!
miguel faul | Clovis,N.M. | 09/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First,let me admit that I got this lp late in life.The opening cut Gypsy,with an over the top organ solo sets the pace for the essential meisterwork that follows.Special mention must be made of the screaming wah wah guitar solo on Keep on Trying,Mick Box destroys!This is surely one of the top five groundbreaking albums(for heavy metal)of all time.You will not be dissappointed,no matter what age you are."