URIAH HEEP - King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents (King Biscuit)

Through the years, Uriah Heep has been one of the critics' most hated bands. One reviewer went as far as to say "if this band makes it, I'll commit suicide." Well, they made it, and now King Biscuit has just released a vintage show from the band's 1974 Sweet Freedom tour. It has most of the hits, plus several rarely played album tracks. The Heep sound great on the show, although the performance definitely has its warts. There were numerous technical problems that night. The cool thing is that the band wasn't fazed by it. They were clearly having a great time onstage.

The show starts with one of the band's early singles, "Easy Livin'," and doesn't let up till the CD ends. Right after that you get the triple play-"Sweet Lorraine," "Stealin'" and an excellent version of "July Morning" all in a row. "Seven Stars" was one of the more complicated songs on the Sweet Freedom album, and unfortunately doesn't come across as well live. "Sweet Freedom" sounds much better, though. Hearing Byron sing these songs makes you realize what a great singer he really was. When he was on, there weren't many singers that could outdo him. Check out the killer version of "Look at Yourself" and you'll see what I mean.

The only bad thing about this disc is the tape hiss. Aside from that, it's a truly entertaining show. This CD is a great addition to any Heep collection, as well as an excellent starting point for someone just discovering the band.

1997 Steve Marshall