Return to Fantasy

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Return to Fantasy
Return To Fantasy (Uriah Heep album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by Uriah Heep
Released June 1975
Recorded Spring 1975 at Lansdowne Studios and Morgan Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal
Length 40:33
Label Bronze (UK)
Warner Bros. (USA)
Producer Gerry Bron
Uriah Heep chronology
Return to Fantasy
High and Mighty
Alternative cover
Uriah Heep Return To Fantasy 2004 Expanded De-Luxe Edition
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

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 became their biggest-selling album to date. It 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 megastar fame & fortune in one of the '80s biggest grossing acts, Asia. Rehearsals & demo recording was commenced in early 1975 even before the ejection of Wetton's predecessor Gary 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 and travelled 300,000 miles.

1975 was indeed a busy and lucrative year for the band, not only was 'Return To Fantasy' climbing the charts but both Ken Hensley and David Byron released solo albums.

Band member Mick Box later recalled: "This album introduced John Wetton on bass & vocals and, 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 and proved to be a very powerful stage number. This album reached No. 7 in the UK charts and 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 and 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 and 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 and solid performances throughout, but we rushed into it and it doesn't have any cohesiveness to it. Nor does it contain a hit single! In those days, we were really strugglng internally, and we needed to slow down and re-group a bit. We never did, of course, and 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."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Mick Box, David Byron, Ken Hensley, and Lee Kerslake, except where noted.

  1. "Return to Fantasy" (Byron, Hensley) - 5:52
  2. "Shady Lady" - 4:46
  3. "Devil's Daughter" - 4:48
  4. "Beautiful Dream" - 4:52
  5. "Prima Donna"- 3:11
  6. "Your Turn to Remember" (Hensley) - 4:22
  7. "Showdown" - 4:17
  8. "Why Did You Go" - 3:53
  9. "A Year Or a Day" (Hensley) - 4:22
2004 Bonus Tracks
  1. "Shout It Out" (Ken Hensley) - 3:35
  2. "The Time Will Come" - 4:08
  3. "Prima Donna" (Demo) - 4:06
  4. "Why Did You Go" (Demo) - 5:19
  5. "Showdown" (Demo) - 4:18
  6. "Beautiful Dream" (Demo) - 5:49
  7. "Return To Fantasy" (Byron, Hensley) (Extended Version) - 7:14


The 2004 Remastered version by Castle (UK) as SMRCD100, team

Sleeve Design/Illustration by Dave Filed

Chart listing[edit]

  • Australia #22
  • Austria #3
  • New Zealand #29
  • Norway #2
  • UK #7
  • US #85


External links[edit]