Demons and Wizards (Uriah Heep album)

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For the Demons and Wizards album, see Demons and Wizards (Demons and Wizards album).
Demons and Wizards
Demons and Wizards.jpg
Studio album by Uriah Heep
Released 19 May 1972 (1972-05-19)
Recorded March–April 1972
Studio Lansdowne Studios, London
Genre
Length 39:40
Label
Producer Gerry 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: May 1972
  2. "Easy Livin'"
    Released: August 1972

Demons and Wizards is the fourth album by British rock band Uriah Heep, released in 1972 by Bronze Records in the UK and Mercury Records in the US. The album helped the band become famous and has sold 3 million copies worldwide.

Production[edit]

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 UK 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.[1]

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. 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 K. Blows, "Everything just clicked into place".

The result of Heep's newfound 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.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]

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".[3]

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

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Ken Hensley except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Wizard"   Mark Clarke, Ken Hensley 2:59
2. "Traveller in Time"   Mick Box, David Byron, Lee Kerslake 3:25
3. "Easy Livin'"     2:37
4. "Poet's Justice"   Box, Hensley, Kerslake 4:15
5. "Circle of Hands"     6:25
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Rainbow Demon"     4:25
7. "All My Life"   Box, Byron, Kerslake 2:44
8. "Paradise"     5:10
9. "The Spell"     7:32

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
No. Title Length
10. "Why" (original B-side single version) 4:53
11. "Why" (long version recorded during Demons and Wizards sessions in early 1972) 7:39
12. "Home Again to You" (demo recorded during Demons and Wizards sessions) 5:28
2003 Expanded Deluxe CD
No. Title Length
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

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[4] Gold 500,000^
Worldwide sales: 3,000,000

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Chart performance[edit]

Country (1972) Peak
position
Norway 5
Denmark 7[5]
Australia 14
Italy 12
The Netherlands 5
Finland 1
United States 23
United Kingdom 20

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]