Saturday, November 15, 2008

Today Is Only Yesterday's Tomorrow

Dude, sit down, shut up. You're about to go on a journey that would make the corpse of Gary Gygax harder than the finest girdle of Mithril. Uriah Heep's 1972 opus Demons And Wizards is about as close to a perfect album as any of us will ever get and I'm going to tell you why. First off, it starts with a wizard, a wizard who comes along and tells you tales and drinks your wine. Over the course of the album you travel through time, encounter a rainbow demon, and reunite with the wizard in paradise.

Uriah Heep always sort of existed in the shadow cast by their bros Deep Purple, but strange, considering what an achievement this album is. The song writing and the playing on Demons And Wizards are absolute genius, and the regal vocals of David Byron are at their peak, he even sounds a bit like Bowie at times. Really, this album could only have been made in 1972, bands just don't sink this much heart and soul into their art anymore. Fortunately we have Demons And Wizards. I still see the vinyl around as well, so there is no reason not to have this in your collection. Oh, and dig that crazy Roger Dean cover.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

dunno, will give it another shot on your say so, but I have already listened to this one a few times, and I don't remember more than about three stand-out songs. Salisbury is probably the one I like best.

also, from an RYM review, : "With a great cover...hmmm...look the left side closer...the upper rock in the waterfall and the fountain cave...do you see, what I see?"

Aesop said...

Whoa.

Mr. Sean said...

Yeah man, crank this one up & Deep Purple's Machine Head & the first Rainbow album & it's the fantasy biker shit that is just perfect. Especially when smoked. Great blog by the way, i've been reading it for a while.

vugelnox said...

this and BOC's Tyranny & Mutation. Maybe my two favorite rock albums from the early 70s. I think this may edge out T&M though by just a pinch. So damn good

tanakabaka said...

You know, one of the bands I was playing in opened for Uriah Heep for a month and a half. After I got over how old and pot-bellied they are, it took a whole show, (on some people it looks cool but I had to get over it with them) they are an incredible band. All the playing is amazing. The drummer is Lee whats-his-name who played with Ozzie, so fucking good The bass player - oh!!! - is Trevor Bolton who was on the Spiders from Mars...album...tour... sorry, I'm a wealth of info. But he's one of the tastiest bass players I've ever witnessed, just lovely slides and bendy notes and can put a complicated line on a song and make it seem simple and can also just lay back. excellent. Mic Box, Mic? Nic? is great. I miss the original singer's voice, but Bernie Shaw is good and he's super nice and a hilarious story teller. Crazy stories about touring through Siberia on a Russian Mafia tour, near fatal Lear Jet stories (multiple) complete with hand gestures for the clenching asshole indicating how intense one's fear was, etc. But really excellent live, I didn't miss a night to watch and listen to them.

Aesop said...

Gary Thain played bass on this one, you might be thinking of Trevor Bolder who joined in '76 and did indeed play in The Spiders from Mars, but is not the total bass badass you hear on "The Man Who Sold The World" That is Anthony Visconti who is best known for producing T Rex's "Electric Warrior" album as well as doing some production work for such luminaries as Luscious Jackson and The Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Jeez, Tanaka, I wish you'd comment on everything I post here.

Anonymous said...

does the current metal band "demons and wizards" pay tribute to this album? I am a fan of blind gardian and iced earth, but I have not explored their side project to much (obviously demons and wizards).

Any insight?

Aesop said...

The name obviously is inspired by the album but I don't think they ever covered any thing from the album.

Tim said...

I love me some 70s rock, but can't get into Uriah Heep after buying several of their albums. While bands like Deep Purple and Lucifer's Friend kept it busy and ballsy, I feel like Heep never got the concept of "restraint" and just go the over-the-top and overplayed Broadway/Opera route. Kudos to the Roger Dean art though.

Thiago Behrndt said...

hi, take a look at this. a local talent in rio de janeiro, bruneta, paying tribute to uriah.

http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3id6oTYV3c

Aesop said...

Viva, Thiago, Bruneta, and Brasil!!!!

Von Umlaut said...

Great record... Heard Uriah Heap for the first time in the early eighties when they had that stupid ass "way that it is" song on EmptyV where they were dressed like Priest/Road Warrior dudes and lip-synching HORRIBLY!

Couple years later, after a couple bong hits this older cat I knew put something on and was like "Hey this is good man! Heavy. Who the fuck is this?" and there you have it. HAD to have it. Still play it to this day.


............................
(P.S. Aesop, how about some Witchcraft Coven w/ Jinx Dawson? Or Witchfinder General-though I think they're from early 80's... What do you know about either of these bands?)

Aesop said...

Coven was never as cool as their record covers and image would have you believe. I am a huge Witchfinder General fan and will eventually post their two classic LPs from the '80s. Their new album is terrible however. Better than Coven is Comus if you don't already know them, way creepy witchy folk from the early '70s. The album "First Utterance" is essential. Thanks for all the comments.

Daniel said...

I was watching Always Sunny in Philadelphia and they did a skit called Dayman-fighter of the nightman-champion of karate and frienship for everyone. It's very homo erotic and I believe inspired by Uriah Heeps'-The Wizard!!!!