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Uriah Heep-The Classic Rock Years DVD boxset

album by:
Uriah Heep
Version:
dvd
Price:
£48.55

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On July 21, 2016
Last modified:July 21, 2016

Summary:

Most Heep fans will already have these as separate cd’s or the dvd’s, having been originally released back in 2000, 2002 and 2004 respectively, however it is nice to have them all in one box set, and with added sleeve notes, plus the documentary video this is indeed essential Heep

This 6 disc boxed set (3 CD/3 DVD) pulls the band’s annual “party” bashes which are either themed or feature special guests/former band members, which have all been previously released into one complete box set.

The dawn of the new millennium saw the band get stripped down for the appropriately titled “Acoustically Driven”(Recorded live at the Mermaid Theatre London December 12, 2000, so near enough) This is not so much as only an acoustic session, as the band do have on stage with them a string quartet and female backing vocalists. Bernie Shaw takes the lead with his excellent vocals, sounding better on here as the songs are less frantic, with more arrangements and better production thanks to Pip Williams.

Special guest Ian Anderson gets out his flute on ‘Circus’ and ‘Blind Eye’ bringing a whole new dimension to the tracks as he performs them in his own imitative way.

Fast forward to the next special event, filmed at the London Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 7th December 2001 and this time it is called  ”The Magician’s Birthday Party”. This brought together special guests, former Heep vocalist John Lawton and Ken Hensley, together with Thijs van Leer from dutch prog rockers Focus. Having Ken Hensley on guitar is a smart move as he adds more bite to the songs, while current vocalist Bernie Shaw does a great job singing these classic songs. And all the classic Hensley era are here, ‘Tales’, ‘July Morning’ and ‘Paradise/The Spell’, ‘Sympathy’ plus a stunning version of ‘The Magician’s Birthday’ with Mick and Lee trading riffs during the guitar/drum part. The first half of the show has five UH members plus Mr. van Leer, and then on “July Morning” Ken Hensley finally joins the band, bringing some much needed Mellotron and slide guitar to the party . John Lawton joins in for the second half of “Magician’s Birthday”, adding considerably to the vocals already on display. “Sympathy” is the highlight of this show for me, while the last track, the ever popular Easy Livin seems to run out of steam a bit.

The dvd version suffers badly from poor direction, the cameraman is trying to do far too many things at once, and ends up doing them all badly, the constant 4-5 second scene switching soon gets on my nerves, as does the close ups, first their face, then the instrument, and shot from the same angle, and repeat. The camera is never still long enough for the viewer to actually just sit back and watch the show.

Cd Disc 3 features the band’s ‘Between Two Worlds tour’, recorded in 2004 with members of the band Osibisa and is included as a DVD together with ‘Live In The USA’ which comes from a Classic Rock Festival gig in New Jersey in October 2002. Both of these are great to watch, what makes them great also is the lack of repetition between the two concerts.

To round out the package the sixth disc is a DVD, the ‘Sailing The Sea Of Light’ documentary (covering the years 1987-1998) this dvd would be my first choice if just discovering the band for the first time, the narration on this is by the legendary rock dj, the late, great Mr Tommy Vance. There are extensive interviews with the band members themselves, who chat away quite openly about the band, other band members and life in general.

The added bonus live concert is ‘Live In Sofia’ (from 1999) and is essentially another greatest hits set, it is a brave or very stupid band who think they can get away with playing all new material at a festival, and quite rightly they stick to their hits, though they do play two new tracks from the newly released ‘Sonic Origami’ album.

Most Heep fans will already have these as separate cd’s or the dvd’s, having been originally released back in 2000, 2002 and 2004 respectively, however it is nice to have them all in one box set, and with added sleeve notes, plus the documentary video this is indeed essential Heep

 

Disc 1 (CD) – Acoustically Driven (2000)

Disc 2 (CD) – The Magician’s Birthday Party (2002)

Disc 3 (CD) – Between Two Worlds (2004)

Disc 4 (DVD) – The Magician’s Birthday Party (2002)

Disc 5 (DVD) – 2 Live Concerts Live In The USA (2002) / Between Two Worlds (2004)

Disc 6 (DVD) – Documentary plus Bonus Concert “Sailing The Sea Of Light” – 2001 Documentary – Live In Sofia 1

Tracklist – The classic rock years

Disc 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Why did you go?
  3. The easy road
  4. Echoes in the dark
  5. Come back to me
  6. Cross the line
  7. The golden palace
  8. The shadows and the wind
  9. Wonderworld
  10. Different world
  11. Circus
  12. Blind eye
  13. Traveller in time
  14. More fool you
  15. Lady in black
  16. The wizard / Paradise / Circle of hands

Disc 2

  1. Return to fantasy
  2. Tales
  3. Sweet pretender
  4. I’ll keep on trying
  5. July morning
  6. Paradise / The spell
  7. Circle of hands
  8. The magician’s birthday
  9. Sympathy
  10. Free ‘n’ easy
  11. Sunrise
  12. Easy livin’

Disc 3

  1. Blood red roses
  2. Cry freedom
  3. Rainbow demon
  4. So tired
  5. Words in the distance
  6. If I had time
  7. A year or a day
  8. Between two worlds
  9. When the war is over
  10. Only the young
  11. Gypsy
  12. Look at yourself
  13. July morning

 

Disc 4

  1. Stealin’
  2. Return to fantasy
  3. Tales
  4. Sweet pretender
  5. Between two worlds
  6. Mistress of all time
  7. I’ll keep on trying
  8. July morning
  9. Sunrise
  10. Paradise / The spell
  11. Circle of hands
  12. Easy livin’
  13. The magician’s birthday
  14. Sympathy
  15. Free ‘n’ easy

Disc 5

  1. Easy livin’ (Live in the USA)
  2. Stealin’ (Live in the USA)
  3. Rainbow demon (Live in the USA)
  4. I’ll keep on trying (Live in the USA)
  5. Heartless land (Live in the USA)
  6. The other side of midnight (Live in the USA)
  7. Return to fantasy (Live in the USA)
  8. Rain (Live in the USA)
  9. The wizard (Live in the USA)
  10. Blind eye (Live in the USA)
  11. That’s the way it is (Live in the USA)
  12. The magician’s birthday (Live in the USA)
  13. Look at yourself (Live in the USA)
  14. Lady in black (Live in the USA)
  15. Blood red roses
  16. Cry freedom
  17. Rainbow demon
  18. So tired
  19. Words in the distance
  20. If I had time
  21. A year or a day
  22. Between two worlds
  23. When the war is over
  24. Only the young
  25. Gypsy
  26. Look at yourself
  27. July morning

Disc 6

  1. Between two worlds (Live in Sofia)
  2. Only the young (Live in Sofia)
  3. Sunrise (Live in Sofia)
  4. The wizard (Live in Sofia)
  5. July morning (Live in Sofia)
  6. Gypsy (Live in Sofia)
  7. Easy livin’ (Live in Sofia)
  8. Bird of prey (Live in Sofia)
  9. Look at yourself (Live in Sofia)
  10. Lady in black (Live in Sofia)
  11. Introduction
  12. Live in Moscow
  13. Raging silence
  14. Different world
  15. Sea of light
  16. Spellbinder
  17. Sonic origami
  18. Future echoes
  19. Acoustically
Most Heep fans will already have these as separate cd’s or the dvd’s, having been originally released back in 2000, 2002 and 2004 respectively, however it is nice to have them all in one box set, and with added sleeve notes, plus the documentary video this is indeed essential Heep

About David Farrell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at planetmosh.com. Manager of The Goddanm Electric www.thegde.co.uk, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Hammerfest.co.uk. Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.