Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group

Uriah Heep is a well-known British rock band formed in 1969 in London. The name of the group was given by one of the characters in the novels of Charles Dickens.


The most fruitful in the creative plan of the group were 1971-1973. It was at this time that three cult records were recorded, which became a real classic of hard rock and made the group famous all over the world.

This became possible thanks to the creation of the unique style of the Uriah Heep group, which is recognizable to this day.

The beginning of the history of the band Uriah Heep

One of the founding members of Uriah Heep was Mick Box. He chose between rock and football for a long time, but settled on music. Box created the group The Stalkers.

But she did not last very long. When the band was left without a vocalist, drummer Roger Pennington invited his friend David Byron (Garrick) to audition.

At first, the guys rehearsed after work, accumulated experience and material with which they wanted to conquer the planet. When the former drummer left the band, he was replaced by Alex Napier.

The team was named Spice. The core members decided that if they wanted to be successful, they needed to become professional musicians. They quit their jobs and started doing what they love.

The band's first producer was bassist Paul Newton's father. He managed to get the team to perform at the cult club Marquee. This was the first concert of Spice.

After some time, at one of the band's performances, at the Blues Loft club, the band was noticed by the manager of the Hit Record Productions recording studio. He immediately offered the guys a contract.

Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group
Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group

The successful path of the Uray Heep group

In 1969, the Spice name was changed to Uriah Heep and a keyboard player joined the band. The sound began to resemble the branded "Uraykhip" sound more.

It is with the name of keyboardist Ken Hensley that many critics associate the band's popularity. The innovative keyboardist was able to brighten up the thick guitar sound and heavy sounds of percussion instruments.

The debut album Very 'Eavy… Very 'Umble today is put by many critics on a par with such cult works as: In Rock Deep Purple and Paranoid Black Sabbath.

But this is today, and at the time of its release, the disc did not become the “front door” to the world of show business. The guys, to their credit, continued to work on improving their game.

Box, Byron and Hensley created the second Salisbury record in a slightly different vein. And this became possible thanks to Hensley's composing talent. On the first album, he rewrote the keyboard parts of his predecessor, but did not act as a composer.

The main feature of Uriah Heep's second disc was a significant variety in sound. Now the sound was not only heavy, but also melodic. The record has achieved good criticism, and in Germany has become mega-popular.

The era of the popularity of the group Uriah Heep

The band's third album, Look at Yourself, peaked at number 39 on the UK Albums Chart. According to the musicians themselves, they managed to combine things that they could not initially combine, which led to success.

The most popular song was July Morning. Critics noted how the musicians were able to combine heavy metal and progressive rock into a single style. Vocalist David Byron received special praise.

Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group
Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group

The fourth album, Demons and Wizards, entered the top 20 music charts in England and stayed there for 11 weeks. The song Easy Livin helped to reveal the next facets of the band's vocalist.

The Uriah Heep group has become famous all over the world. The double disc Uriah Heep Live helped to increase its popularity.

It was compiled from live recordings created with a mobile studio. This disc is still considered the best live album recorded in the style of hard rock.

Problems with group members

The group reached the top from which it could quickly fall. Moreover, problems within the team began to appear. Uriah Heep bassist Gary Thane had health problems.

In addition, during the concert, he received an electric shock. All this led to the fact that after three months he left the group, and then died from a drug overdose.

The band managed to find a top notch replacement for their bass player. John Wetton joined Uriah Heep. Until that day, he played in another popular band, King Crimson.

Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group
Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group

John strengthened the composition of the team, and his composer's gift helped a lot when recording the next records. The album Return to Fantasy released with his participation became a bestseller and strengthened the success of the group.

The following records were less popular, and the band's star Uriah Heep began to fade. This led to frequent quarrels within the team. After one of them, vocalist David Byron was fired. David increasingly began to drink alcohol.

After this event, John Wetton left the band. The composition began to change regularly. However, this did not affect the quality of the Firefly record. She received good reviews.

Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group
Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep): Biography of the group

The Uriah Heep group was one of the first to be allowed to perform in the USSR. Concerts in Moscow and Leningrad gathered 100-200 thousand "fans" of heavy music each.


Frequent touring led to the fact that the vocalists of the band began to break their voice. Their streak ended in 1986, when Bernie Shaw joined the group, who performs with the team to this day.

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