REVIEW – The week’s best rock albums from Uriah Heep, Yes/ARW, more | Music | Entertainment


Uriah Heep
Living The Dream
(Frontiers Music)

This is Uriah Heep’s 25th studio album and it’s a hard rockin’ beauty of a milestone in the band’s lengthy career, that has ventured into deep dips but also soared to many incredible highs. Heep has pulled out all of the stops on Living The Dream. Phil Lanzon’s fine organ playing comes to the fore and a bellowing Bernie Shaw probably puts in his finest recorded vocals for the band.

The title song, Grazed By Heaven and the vintage sounding Falling Under Your Spell prove it’s a no holds barred pulsating hard rock album of ready made classics. Heep also has a penchant for penning an epic tune in their locker and the sonic scope of Rocks In Road is hard retro-rock at its finest. It classily competes in the pantheon of Heep’s legendary songs from the 70s.

Final words of wisdom go to long-standing original member guitarist Mick Box: “We have been together for 47 years and we have seen many bands come and go, so in effect we are still ‘Living The Dream.’ It’s the perfect title for the new album.” The dream lives on!

Yes featuring Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman
Live At The Apollo
(Eagle Rock)

With Yes now split into two distinct groupings of players, out of the blocks with a live release is the ARW version.

Those fortunate to see (and for those who didn’t, the captivating DVD should remedy) this version on their ongoing tour will reminisce and marvel at the pristine sound and note perfect renditions of these beloved songs.

Superlatives cannot do enough justice to explain the musical interplay between Wakeman and Rabin. Similarly, with Jon Anderson whose voice and delivery surprisingly remains timeless. You will just have to buy this essential artefact, buckle up for an ultimate cosmic musical trip and listen for yourself.

Road To Utopia
(Cherry Red)

The Road To Utopia is paved with musical gold judging by the first class orchestral arrangements that liberate and elevate these cherished songs to a higher plane.

And as far as collaborations go, Dave Brock and Mike Batt is not one that would instantly trip off the tongue. Yet their differing musical paths and talents sparkle together as Batt’s arrangements on We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago, Psychic Power and the hypnotic and folksy Down Through The Night reveal their magnetic charms.

A further surprise is Eric Clapton playing stratospheric lead guitar on the Lemmy penned The Watcher, with Mike Batt’s piano stomping all over this raucous version.

Dave Brock’s voice sounds re-invigorated as does this new twist on these well-loved songs. Enjoy the ride as Dave Brock, Mike Batt and Eric Clapton (BBC) take artistic licence on to another level and then some.

Ben Poole
Anytime You Need Me
(Manhaton Records)

As far as young sharp-shooters go, Ben Poole is maturing fast with his six string action hitting the bulls-eye, more often than not, on this classy blues hued offering.

Broadening his palette of styles, there are plenty of ear and radio friendly tunes here to crossover to a wider audience.

His captivating smooth vocals contrast with his guitar grit to irresistible effect on this finely balanced platter.

There is a burgeoning boom of British blues talent happening and Ben Poole is right in the thick of it.

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