Canadian singer Bernie Shaw recently turned 65. Bernie relocated to the UK in the late ’70s and went on to record with such bands as Grand Prix, Praying Mantis, and Stratus, before joining Uriah Heep at the end of 1986. He’s sang on the band’s 9 studio albums since 1989, as well as numerous live albums. Keyboard player [and major writer in Heep’s albums for the past 32 years] is Phil Lanzon, who joined Heep not too long prior to Bernie, so the pair have given the band great stability as well as a number of excellent albums over the past 3 decades. This is just my own list, but feel free to drop any of your own favorites in the comments!
Between Two Worlds
From 1998’s Sonic Origami. Spooky intro build-up to the band kicking in. Just a great intro and epic rocker. Lyrical subject about being able to cross over and share the stage again with former members no longer in this world. I love this album, tho’ I wish there was a few more in this style on it.
Against The Odds
When I first heard 1995’s Sea Of Light, I couldn’t believe how much better it was than it’s predecessor and just loved the songs and production. This [again] being a killer opener, one of the best & heaviest guitar rockers the band ever did.
What Kind Of God
From 2008’s Wake The Sleeper. A crushingly heavy album; I really preferred side 2, which is what this track opens. Inspired by the book [and story within] of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. Very to different to anything on WTS, love the drum march throughout, the Hammond organ, the bass and the bass solo near the end, not to mention Bernie’s vocals….
At the time Sea Of Light was still new my favorites on it changed many times, but this one jumped out right away, and was always a favorite. Very smooth, love the Hammond organ throughout this and the chorus…
Take Away My Soul
From 2018’s Living The Dream. This album didn’t let up for the first 5 tracks, and this song I liked more so for Mick’s guitar solos. Cool that the song begins with the chorus, a neat twist. If anything, in my opinion this should’ve been the first track on the album [though “Grazed By Heaven” was an excellent choice as first video-single]. Reminds me “Between Two Worlds” and “Against The Odds” in it’s energy.
This one, from 2014’s Outsider stood out on this album, and got a good bit of attention for the band [w/ Alice Cooper featuring it on his radio show]. The piano / vocal intro is such nice piece on it’s own [wish there was more of this here], it’s a beautiful intro before the band kicks in to a pop-rock track that is very catchy, with such a memorable chorus.
Blood Red Roses
The first studio album with [then new] singer Bernie Shaw from 1989 was Raging Silence. It’s like the band tried to recapture the impact of Abominog with this album, and all the covers. But it’s the band’s own songs that I prefer here, particularly this one, which was written by departed vocalist / songwriter Peter Goalby! A great pop-rocker for the time, and still sounds great. I occasionally wonder if only PG had stuck around for this one…. hmm…
Trail Of Diamonds
I really like 2011’s Into The Wild, lots of excellent songs [tho’ I wasn’t crazy about the single]. This one being one of those epic blends of everything Heep – light and heavy, a few changes, great vocals from Bernie…
Love In Silence
Perhaps the track most loved by the Heep faithful from Sea Of Light [?]. An epic ballad! Phil Lanzon did an amazing job on this song with the piano, the Hammond break, the strings, and the various changes throughout the track. A great feel good Heep classic.
I Hear Voices
Sonic Origami had a lot of lighter stuff, but I really enjoyed that album. This one being a great pop-rocker, with a memorable chorus and vocal effects. I really liked this one as the following track to “Between Two Worlds”, such a great pair kicking off the album, back to back.
Great straight ahead upbeat rocker and [I believe] show opener at the time. This should’ve been the album opener [IMO] .
Knocking At My Door
Cool guitar / organ intro, to a favorite rock track from Living The Dream. Bernie does a great job delivering the words dealing with paranoia. And excellent mid song break and solo from Mick.
URIAH HEEP Studio Discography w/ Bernie & Phil:
Raging Silence – 1989
Different World – 1991
Sea of Light – 1995
Sonic Origami – 1998
Wake The Sleeper – 2008
Celebration – 2009
Into The Wild – 2011
Outsider – 2014
Living The Dream – 2018