Return to Fantasy
|Return to Fantasy|
|Studio album by Uriah Heep|
|Recorded||Spring 1975 at Lansdowne Studios and Morgan Studios, London|
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal, progressive rock|
Warner Bros. (USA)
|Uriah Heep chronology|
Uriah Heep Return To Fantasy 2004 Expanded De-Luxe Edition
Return to Fantasy is the eighth studio album released by British rock band Uriah Heep. With the experienced John Wetton as the new bassist, the band finally made the UK Top 10, reaching #7. Return to Fantasy remains one of Uriah Heep's best selling works. The singles were "Return to Fantasy" and "Prima Donna". The original vinyl release was as a gatefold-sleeve, with the lyrics reproduced on the inner-liner.
Released in June 1975, Return to Fantasy was the first of two albums to include bassist John Wetton in the band. John had previously played in Family, King Crimson & Roxy Music. He was later to gain mega star fame & fortune in one of the '80s biggest grossing acts, Asia. With Gary Thain's replacement, JW, in place, UH rapidly commenced work on their next album. Entitled 'Return To Fantasy', the record was released in June 1975 & went on to become their biggest selling album to date, reaching No.7 in the charts. Rehearsals & demo recording was commenced in early 1975 even before the ejection of Thain from the band. In fact, several tracks were recorded in Jan-March 1975 (see notes on bonus tracks).
Full recording commenced in mid-1975 resulting in an album containing nine songs. The band themselves now look at it with mixed feelings, but the public at the time loved it. Sales for the album were so rapid they catapulted it to no.7 in the UK charts. In general, 'Return To Fantasy' was looked upon by the press & public as a vast improvement on the previous vinyl offering. An extensive tour was organized for the promotion of 'Return To Fantasy' with dates scheduled all over the world. NME called the upcoming tour 'Year Long World Tour' as a headline & Gerry Bron, the band's manager, predicted that by the end of the year UH would have played to one million people & traveled 300,000 miles.
1975 was indeed a busy & lucrative year for the band, not only was 'Return To Fantasy' climbing the charts but both Ken Hensley & David Byron released solo albums.
'This album introduced John Wetton on bass & vocals &, although the chemistry was not the same as with Gary Thain, we still produced a typical 'Heep' album. I think 'Return To Fantasy', the title track, is a classic 'Heep' song. 'Devil's Daughter' made it into our 1994 live set & proved to be a very powerful stage number. This album reached No.7 in the UK charts & we embarked on a year long tour packed with incidents like me falling off the stage on the very first show in the USA (Lousville, Kentucky) breaking the radial bone in my right hand which needed two casts a day. We didn't miss any dates, although I was in a lot of pain & the cast was eventually taken off at the end of the tour in Jamaica where I went for a rest with Lee. We played to over one million people & travelled over 300,000 air miles this was once again a very exciting time. The re-mastered CD of this album is great & I hope you enjoy the bonus tracks too.
'I must admit, I don't listen to this record any more. It's actually not a bad record, there are a couple good tunes & solid performances throughout, but we rushed into it & it doesn't have any cohesiveness to it. Nor does it contain a hit single! In those days, we were really strugglng internally, & we needed to slow down & re-group a bit. We never did, of course, & a lot of tragedy followed. But so did a couple of really good albums, at least in my humble opinion. Definitely not Heep at its best.'
- "Return to Fantasy" (Byron, Hensley) - 5:52
- "Shady Lady" - 4:46
- "Devil's Daughter" - 4:48
- "Beautiful Dream" - 4:52
- "Prima Donna"- 3:11
- "Your Turn to Remember" (Hensley) - 4:22
- "Showdown" - 4:17
- "Why Did You Go" - 3:53
- "A Year Or a Day" (Hensley) - 4:22
Bonus disc on expanded de-luxe edition from 2004
- "Shout It Out" (Ken Hensley) - 3:35
- "The Time Will Come" - 4:08
- "Prima Donna" (Demo) - 4:06
- "Why Did You Go" (Demo) - 5:19
- "Showdown" (Demo) - 4:18
- "Beautiful Dream" (Demo) - 5:49
- "Return To Fantasy" (Byron, Hensley) (Extended Version) - 7:14
- David Byron – vocals
- Mick Box – guitars
- Ken Hensley – keyboard, guitars, synthesizer, vocals
- Lee Kerslake – drums, percussion, vocals
- John Wetton – bass guitar, mellotron, vocals
- The 2004 Remastered version by Castle (UK) as SMRCD100, team
- Australia #22
- Austria #3
- New Zealand #29
- Norway #2
- UK #7
- US #85