Mick Box is 73 years today, and Permafrost congratulates him, and in addition we congratulate Box and also his dear Uriah Heep four days in advance with the 50 anniversary of the debut album …Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble. Definitely a milestone in progressive heavy metal/hard rock! The very good track Gupsy written by Box and Ken Hensley.
Mick Box born as Michaler Fredrick 9 June 1947, in Walthamstow, East London, England and is the lead guitarist of the British rock group Uriah Heep, having previously been a member of The Stalkers And Spice, both with original Uriah Heep vocalist David Byron. He is the only member from the band’s founding in 1969 who is still active with the group.
Mick Box states and smiles, «Music has served me well, It’s a passion I’ve always had, which I still carry to this day. It’s what drives me to keep on doing this. When the old rock bands like Sabbath, Purple, Zeppelin and us were getting started in the early-’70s, we didn’t know we were writing the book at the time… it was more like get your heads down and go for it!».
«The greatest compliment you can ever have is when someone comes up to you and says that you’re the person that inspired them to play. That’s the ultimate accolade».
Uriah Heep current lineup includes lead and rhythm guitarist Mick Box, keyboardist Phil Lanzon, lead vocalist Bernie Shaw, drummer Russell Gilbrook, and bassist Davey Rimmer.
In fact, Trevor Bolder, known as bassist in the groups Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash and David Bowie’s The Spiders From Mars, would have been 70 years today if he had lived.
…Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble is the debut studio album by British rock band Uriah Heep, released on 13 June 1970 by Vertigo Records in the UK. The original vinyl release was a gatefold sleeve, featuring front man David Byron on the front sleeve, almost unrecognizable beneath cobwebs.
It was issued in August 1970 by Mercury Records in the United States as just Uriah Heep with different sleeve artwork (a centipede type monster), and with the track Bird Of Prey in place of Lucy Blues. The album was reissued by Bronze Records later in 1970 after the band signed to that label. Bird Of Prey was later a part of Uriah Heep`s second album Salisbury.
The album shows the band trying out various genres – a mix of heavy metal and progressive rock – rather than the hard rock that they would become known for on later albums. Tracks 3 and 8 were recorded as Spice songs prior to the band’s renaming as Uriah Heep, and featured session player Colin Wood on keyboards. When Ken Hensley joined Spice in early 1970, the tracks were not re-recorded.
The album was generally panned by the mainstream critical press upon its release, although it has since been acknowledged as an early classic of the heavy metal genre. Rolling Stone magazine’s Melissa Mills began her review by saying, «If this group makes it I’ll have to commit suicide. From the first note you know you don’t want to hear any more».
The song Bird Of Prey was later a part of Uriah Heep`s second album Salisbury. The very progressive title track Salisbury was written by Box, Hensley and Byron.
Salisbury is skewed toward the progressive rock genre, with its 16-minute title track featuring a 24-piece orchestra and was also significant for Hensley’s instant rise to a position as main composer of the group’s music.
The front cover of the album depicted a British Chieftain tank, which connects to the title, as Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, is a military training area.
According to AllMusic reviewer, the album perfected Uriah Heep’s blend of heavy metal power and prog rock complexity and «is too unfocused for the casual listener but offers enough solid songs for the Uriah Heep completists».
Canadian journalist Martin Popoff described the album as «a dark downer and a failed experiment”, imputing the cause of the slip to the prog rock nightmare of the title track and to the hatchet production job».
William Pinfold of Record Collector, reviewing the 2016 expanded re-issue, considered Salisbury «a collection notable for tightness, precision and a confident breadth of talent”, and praised the band for the album’s variety».
One of the album’s tracks, Lady In Black, described as «a stylishly arranged tune that builds from a folk-styled acoustic tune into a throbbing rocker full of ghostly harmonies and crunching guitar riffs,» became a hit in Germany upon its re-release in 1977 (earning the band the Radio Luxemburg Lion award).
The entire Uriah Heep album catalog…..
Very ‘eavy… Very ‘umble – 1970
Salisbury – 1971
Look at Yourself – 1971
Demons & Wizards – 1972
The Magician’s Birthday – 1972
Live ’73 – 1973
Sweet Freedom – 1973
Wonderworld – 1974
Return to Fantasy – 1975
High and Mighty – 1976
Fallen Angel – 1978
Conquest – 1980
Abominog – 1982
Head First – 1983
Equator – 1985
Raging Silence – 1989
Different World – 1991
Sea of Light – 1995
Sonic Origami – 1998
Wake the Sleeper – 2008
Celebration – Forty Years of Rock – 2009
Into the Wild – 2011
Outsider – 2014
Living the Dream – 2018