Demons and Wizards (Uriah Heep album)
|Demons and Wizards|
|Studio album by Uriah Heep|
|Released||19 May 1972|
|Recorded||March–April 1972 at Lansdowne Studios, London|
|Genre||Progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal|
|Uriah Heep chronology|
|Singles from Demons and Wizards|
The original vinyl release was a gatefold sleeve, the front of which was designed by Roger Dean. It contained a hidden erotic image of male and female genitalia. The inner sleeve had pictures of the band and notes by Ken Hensley, while the liner featured printed lyrics.
The songs "The Wizard" and "Easy Livin'" were released as singles in the United Kingdom and North America as well as many other markets. "Easy Livin'" entered the US Top 40 at No. 39, making it Heep's first and only American hit. "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.
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. Thus the "classic" Uriah Heep lineup was formed and, according to biographer K. Blows, "Everything just clicked into place".
Also, the addition of Lee Kerslake (a former bandmate of Hensley's in The Gods and Toe Fat) on drums solidified the rhythm section.
The result of this newly found chemistry was the Demons and Wizards, album which in June 1972 reached No. 20 in the UK and No. 23 in the USA. In Finland the album hit No. 1 in May and remained on top of the charts for 14 weeks. While the album title and 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".
Ken 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".
Two singles were released from the album: "The Wizard" and "Easy Livin'". The latter, a defiant rocker, according to Blows, was "tailor-made for Byron's extrovert showmanship" and peaked at No. 39 in the Billboard Hot 100.
The album is regarded by many fans and critics alike as Uriah Heep's best album, often ranked against the preceding Look at Yourself. Even Rolling Stone, which printed an infamously negative review of the band's debut album, ran a positive assessment of Demons and Wizards. Mike Saunders said: "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." According to Allmusic, the album "solidified Uriah Heep's reputation as a master of gothic-inflected heavy metal".
- The album also served as partial inspiration for Hansi Kürsch and Jon Schaffer's side project Demons and Wizards.
All songs written and composed by Ken Hensley except where noted.
|1.||"The Wizard"||Mark Clarke, Ken Hensley||2:59|
|2.||"Traveller in Time"||Mick Box, David Byron, Lee Kerslake||3:25|
|4.||"Poet's Justice"||Box, Hensley, Kerslake||4:15|
|5.||"Circle of Hands"||6:25|
|2.||"All My Life"||Box, Byron, Kerslake||2:44|
On some CD editions, "Paradise" and "The Spell" were combined into one track.
Demons and Wizards was remastered and reissued in 1996 with four bonus tracks:
|1996 Remastered CD|
|10.||"Why" (Original B-side single version.)||4:53|
|11.||"Why" (Long version recorded during the Demons and Wizards sessions in early 1972.)||7:39|
|12.||"Home Again to You" (A demo recorded during the Demons and Wizards sessions.)||5:28|
|2003 Expanded Deluxe CD|
|10.||"Why" (Extended Version)||10:34|
|11.||"Rainbow Demon" (Single Edit)||3:36|
|12.||"Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf"||2:52|
|13.||"Home Again to You" (Demo version)||5:36|
|14.||"Green Eye" (Demo version)||3:46|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- David Byron – Lead vocals, co-lead vocals on "The Wizard," "Paradise" and "The Spell"
- Mick Box – Lead guitar
- Ken Hensley – Keyboards, guitars, percussion, vocals, co-lead vocals on "Paradise" and "The Spell"
- Lee Kerslake – Drums, percussion, vocals
- Gary Thain – Bass guitar (except "The Wizard" and "Why")
- Mark Clarke – Bass guitar (on "The Wizard" and "Why"), co-lead vocals (on "The Wizard")
- Uriah Heep – Demons And Wizards (1972) – Classic Rock Forum
- "Allmusic review".
- "American album certifications – Uriah Heep – Demons and Wizards". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH