I could go on for a while making Uriah Heep lists. Here I’ve gone through all those great Heep songs that never made it to the albums they were recorded for – B-sides, outtakes, demos [good quality]. These are my favorites, and it was tough to edit down to just a dozen [+1] as the band usually had a couple of leftovers from each album – some came out in the day on the back of a 45, and some were mixed and came out years or decades later on remastered CDs or box sets. So these are my favorites, and I know there’s plenty to pick from, so drop a line with your favorites or one in particular that you feels greatly overlooked.
Here Am I
An early Heep gem from Salisbury days. This is one epic piece of everything that made that classic Heep sound and feel, it’s got some soft moments and then crushingly heavy with the Hammond & guitar and harmonies all coming in. An odd omission from those early albums.
Why (14 Minutes)
This song is probably the best known Heep B-side amongst fans. The song has a history to it,a few different releases, most notably the 14 minute version – hence the title. Having been recorded during the Look At Yourself sessions, and then later
prior to Demons & Wizards, it would have been a great track on either album, but I really can’t imagine where it would fit or what I’d substitute. My 2 favorite 70s Heep albums, and this song was so different.
A straight up rocker, written by Gary Thain, and leftover from The Magician’s Birthday recordings. Not sure where this would’ve fit on the album, tho’ such a driving rock tune would’ve been nice on the first side. Gary contributed writing to some classic Heep cuts [“Sweet Lorraine”, “Circus”…], but this is the one gem that he was credited as sole writer of.
A demo from the Wonderworld period, which was eventually included on the “Time Of Revelation” box set. This is a very different and outstanding Heep track. An acoustic track, with a unique mix of guitars and vocals. Would’ve made a nice tune for an acoustic showcase. I really like this song, though I’m not sure how it would’ve fit on the Wonderworld album!?
The Time Will Come
A B-side from Return To Fantasy. A very classic-Heep rock track, mixed full of heavy guitar & Hammond organ, harmonies … Love David Byron’s vocal on this. Too bad it didn’t make the RTF album, which could’ve used another heavy song on Side 2. The other B-side [“Shout It Out”] was a decent heavier cut as well.
Name of The Game
High & Mighty, though one of my favorite Heep albums, is criticized by many as being a bit too ‘lightweight’. Though this track wasn’t totally finished, it definitely would’ve beefed up the album [again] on Side 2! Heavy guitar intro, great vocal from David Byron. The other outtake [“Sundown”] wasn’t bad either! Ken Hensley did a solo version of this that wound up on his “From Time To Time” collection.
A Far Better Way
The John Lawton era of Heep produced a number of great B-sides and outtakes [that would surface years later, like this one]. This ballad that builds up til Lawton goes all out. One of the best things he performed with Heep, and it didn’t make it to album…. though I really like the Firefly album as it is, so not sure where it would fit.
My favorite outtake from the Lawton era. It’s classic Heep – mystical, plenty of organ, guitar [tho a bit back in the mix], harmonies, and heavier than many on the Innocent Victim album. Aussum performances from Lawton, Lee Kerslake and Trevor Bolder. This is a track [I think], older Heep fans would’ve welcomed on the album, at the time.
A Right To Live
Fallen Angel produced a number of B-sides and leftovers. This track, written by Lawton – was issued on a promo single, as a B-side. Such a good song; simply astounding that this one [and perhaps 1 or 2 others?] were omitted from that album in ’78, because IMO – there’s a few that it could easily replace.
Son Of A Bitch
A B-side from the Abominog recordings. A solid, heavy, and tough rocker that even got in to the band’s live set during that tour.
The B-side to the MTV aimed single “Rockarama”, from the last album to feature Peter Goalby. I very much prefer this song from Peter over the 80s pop mess on the A-side.
When Phil Lanzon joined Heep in ’86 he brought with him his songwriting, something needed with the departure of Goalby and John Sinclair, who contributed largely to the 80s Heep original output. The band recorded a number of things, including a Live album before a new studio album. This pop-rocker, written and sang by Phil. An underrated ’80s Heep track that would’ve fit nicely on Raging Silence in place of one of the covers.
Hard Way To Learn
Included as a ‘bonus’ track on Into The Wild, in Japan. It’s a fairly heavy ballad, penned by Trevor Bolder. Such a cool classic Heep sounding tune, a shame it was left off the album elsewhere.
2 thoughts on “Uriah Heep – Favorite Outtakes”
Interesting choices! I agree with most of them but IMO you left off the best Shaw era outtake Sail the River.
I thought a lot about that one, it is a favorite- but it was made easily available on an album, so it was never rare. Where as Hard Way To Learn was only released as a bonus track in 1 country (?) …and its an equally as impressive song .