Demons and Wizards (Uriah Heep album)

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Demons and Wizards
Demons and Wizards.jpg
Cover art by Roger Dean
Studio album by
Released19 May 1972 (1972-05-19)
RecordedMarch–April 1972
StudioLansdowne Studios, London
Genre
Length39:40
Label
ProducerGerry Bron
Uriah Heep chronology
Look at Yourself
(1971)
Demons and Wizards
(1972)
The Magician's Birthday
(1972)
Singles from Demons and Wizards
  1. "The Wizard"
    Released: March 1972
  2. "Easy Livin'"
    Released: August 1972

Demons and Wizards is the fourth studio album by British rock band Uriah Heep, released May 19, 1972 by Bronze Records in the UK and Mercury Records in the US. The album was a success and has sold 3 million copies worldwide.[citation needed]

Composition and recording[edit]

New Zealander Gary Thain, at the time a member of Keef Hartley Band, joined Uriah Heep as a permanent member halfway through another American tour. "Gary just had a style about him, it was incredible because every bass player in the world that I've ever known has always loved his style, with those melodic bass lines," Box commented later.[1] Another addition, of drummer Lee Kerslake (a former bandmate of Hensley's in the Gods and Toe Fat), solidified the rhythm section. Thus the "classic" Uriah Heep lineup was formed and, according to biographer Kirk Blows, "everything just clicked into place".[1] While the album title and Roger Dean's cover art both suggested medieval fantasy, Hensley's notes declared the album to be "just a collection of our songs that we had a good time recording".[2]

Hensley recalled: "The band was really focused at that time. We all wanted the same thing, were all willing to make the same sacrifices to achieve it and we were all very committed. It was the first album to feature that lineup and there was a magic in that combination of people that created so much energy and enthusiasm".[1]

Cover art[edit]

The original vinyl release was a gatefold sleeve, the front of which was designed by Roger Dean. The inner sleeve had pictures of the band and notes by Ken Hensley, while the liner featured printed lyrics.

Release[edit]

The result of Heep's newfound chemistry was the Demons and Wizards album, which in June 1972, reached No. 20 in the UK[3] and No. 23 in the US.[4] In Finland, the album hit No. 1 in May and remained on top of the charts for 14 weeks.[5]

The songs "The Wizard" and "Easy Livin'" were released as singles in the UK and North America as well as many other markets. The latter, a defiant rocker, according to Blows, was "tailor-made for Byron's extrovert showmanship"[1] and entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart reaching No. 39, making it Heep's first and only American Top 40 hit.[6] "Easy Livin'" was also a mega-hit in the Netherlands and Germany, countries which were becoming strong markets for the band. It reached a disappointing No. 75 in Australia.[citation needed]

Demons and Wizards was remastered and reissued by Castle Communications in 1996 with three bonus tracks, and again in 2003 in an expanded deluxe edition. In 2017, Sanctuary Records released a two-disc deluxe edition.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[7]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal10/10[8]

Rolling Stone, which printed an infamously negative review of the band's debut album,[9] ran a positive assessment of Demons and Wizards. Mike Saunders wrote: "These guys are good. The first side of Demons and Wizards is simply odds-on the finest high energy workout of the year, tying nose and nose with the Blue Öyster Cult...they may have started out as a thoroughly dispensable neo-Cream & Blooze outfit, but at this point Uriah Heep are shaping up into one hell of a first-rate modern rock band".[10] According to AllMusic, the album "solidified Uriah Heep's reputation as a master of gothic-inflected heavy metal".[7] Martin Popoff in his Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal described the album as "a sullen, solitary, contemplative sort of record, existing in a hazy flux on the more mystical side of early heavy metal" and praised the new rhythm section and espcially Byron's performance, which demonstrated his "capable helmsmanship of both the most subtle of contemplative bits and the loudest of rock roars."[8]

The album also served as partial inspiration for Hansi Kürsch and Jon Schaffer's side project Demons and Wizards.[citation needed]

Track listings[edit]

All tracks written by Ken Hensley except where indicated.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Wizard"Mark Clarke, Ken Hensley2:59
2."Traveller in Time"Mick Box, David Byron, Lee Kerslake3:25
3."Easy Livin'" 2:37
4."Poet's Justice"Box, Hensley, Kerslake4:15
5."Circle of Hands" 6:25
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Rainbow Demon" 4:25
7."All My Life"Box, Byron, Kerslake2:44
8."Paradise" 5:10
9."The Spell" (on some CD editions, "Paradise" and "The Spell" were combined into one track) 7:32

Personnel[edit]

Uriah Heep
Production
  • Gerry Bron – producer
  • Peter Gallen – engineer
  • Ashley Howe – assistant engineer

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Year Sales
U.S. RIAA 1972 Gold (500,000)[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Blows, Kirk. "Uriah Heep The Story: February 1972 - February 1975". Uriah Heep Official Website. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  2. ^ Hensley, Ken (1972). Demons and Wizards (LP Cover). Uriah Heep. London, UK: Bronze Records. ILPS 9193.
  3. ^ a b "Uriah Heep Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Uriah Heep Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Sisältää hitin: Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1961: U > Uriah Heep". Sisältää hitin / Timo Pennanen. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Uriah Heep Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  7. ^ a b Guarisco, Donald A. "Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  8. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (October 2003). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 1: The Seventies. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. pp. 301–302. ISBN 978-1894959025.
  9. ^ Mills, Melissa (1 October 1970). "Uriah Heep: Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2006.
  10. ^ Saunders, Mike (23 November 1972). "Album Reviews: Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 10 February 2008. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  11. ^ "Album – Uriah Heep, Demons and Wizards". Charts.de (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards (Album)". Norwegiancharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Demons and Wizards - Uriah Heep". Danske Hitlister.dk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 2 December 1972". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 17, No. 26, August 12, 1972". Library and Archives Canada. 12 August 1972. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  16. ^ AA.VV. (25 April 2006). Album Chart-Book Complete Edition 1970~2005. Tokyo, Japan: Oricon. ISBN 978-487-1-31077-2.
  17. ^ "Uriah Heep – The Wizard". Hitparade.ch (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Single - Uriah Heep, The Wizard". Charts.de (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 17, No. 7, April 01, 1972". Library and Archives Canada. 1 April 1972. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Easy Livin' - Uriah Heep". Danske Hitlister.dk. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Single - Uriah Heep, Easy Livin'". Charts.de (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 18, No. 6, September 23, 1972". Library and Archives Canada. 23 September 1972. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  23. ^ "infodisc.fr Note : You must select Uriah Heep". infodisc.fr. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Uriah Heep – Easy Livin'". Dutch Charts.nl (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  25. ^ "RIAA Database: Search for Uriah Heep". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 November 2018.

External links[edit]