Tag Archives: bernie shaw

Alan Simon’s Excalibur V : Move, Cry, Act, Clash!

Well, I don’t much about Alan Simon or this series of Celtic rock opera Excalibur releases. This being my first take on the project which previously released 4 studio and 2 live albums featuring different musicians on each one, though there are a few holdovers. I do know that Cherry Red recently released the first 4 Excalibur studio albums plus a couple of live shows in a 6 CD box – https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/excalibur-the-20th-anniversary-box-set-6cd-2dvd-boxset/

As a fan of many of the artists involved this is an outstanding concept release that features singers such as Bernie Shaw, Roberto Tiranti and Michael Sadler singing in styles they may do with their respective bands. And with that said, that contributes to the appeal here as these singers deliver performances like they have never before. Amazing performances, as well as from the various musicians such as Steve Hackett, Martin Barre and John Helliwell, among others. The last track is a wonderful surprise, as it features the late great John Wetton singing a ballad, “The Vision”.

An amazing production from Alan Simon, who has written and assembled a stellar cast here. As a Heep fan it is really something to hear Bernie [who delivers quite a theatrical intro] and Roberto [Ken Hensley’s Live Fire] sing in such a different project.

*For more info check out these links, as well as the press release below….

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/alan-simon-excalibur-v-move-cry-act-clash/

https://www.facebook.com/Excalibur.The.Celtic.Rock.Opera/

Alan Simon’s Excalibur V – Move, Cry, Act, Clash! 

Featuring:

John Wetton (Asia / King Crimson)
Steve Hackett (Genesis)
John Helliwell, Jesse Siebenberg (Supertramp)
Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep)
Martin Barre (Jethro Tull)
Jeremy Spencer (Fleetwood Mac)
Michael Sadler (Saga)
Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth)
Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
Shira Golan & Miriam Toukan (The Peace Tent Project)

Move, Cry, Act, Clash! is the fifth part of French musician and producer Alan Simon’s legendary Celtic rock opera series Excalibur.

Featuring Alan Simon, John Wetton, Steve Hackett, Bernie Shaw, Jerry Goodman, Martin Barre, Jeremy Spencer, Michael Sadler, Roberto Tiranti, John Helliwell, Jesse Siebenberg, Shira Golan and Miriam Toukan.

Move, Cry, Act, Clash! concludes its 12 tracks with “The Vision” featuring the legendary John Wetton (King Crimson/Asia) in a beautiful tribute to the friendship and respect between these two musical giants.

Alan Simon is a Breton songwriter and director. Author of modern operas, his works are performed in various national theaters (Russia, Germany, France …). More than 300,000 spectators came to applaud Excalibur or Tristan & Yseult. Alan has obtained several gold and platinum records and his creations have received several awards. In the USA, Alan won the Grammy for best producer in 2008 and for best song, “Circle of Life,” performed by Jon Anderson of Yes. His album Big Bang (2018) is the soundtrack of the City of Space in Toulouse (an educational park about the conquest of space). After the film O Gengis in 2005 (with Omar Sharif and Jean Reno), he has just finished Monsieur Constant, his second film for the cinema, which is in production during 2021. Today Alan wants to go on tour around the world with his extraordinary musical round table where many legends of folk and rock meet.

“‘Excalibur’ brought me a lot of happiness because by creating this musical round table, I had the great chance to collaborate with incredible rock and folk legends, pillars of mythical groups: Yes, Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, King Crimson, The Moody Blues, Alan Parson, Asia, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Fairport Convention, Runrig, Jethro Tull, Saga, Uriah Heep… Since its creation 20 years ago ‘Excalibur’ has represented 5 studio and 3 live albums including 120 original tracks. Offering a new album is not trivial. You have to give everything. So I made this opus V by investing myself 100% with an ‘old-fashioned’ production. No home studio but the joy of living in a large studio (Drums code studios in Italy) with great soloists and a fantastic symphony. Then I contacted magical interpreters that I like. What a joy to hear the guitars of the legendary pillars of Genesis and Jethro Tull: Steve Hackett and Martin Barre or the voices of Supertramp from Saga and Uriah Heep: Jesse Siebenberg, Michael Sadler and Bernie Shaw without forgetting this incredible talented singer Roberto Tiranti. We spent 6 months in a mixing studio with an average of 100 tracks per title. I hope that this more rock album than the previous ones will sign a real return on stage of this universal legend, ‘ever green’ say the English. Thank you to all those who supported ‘Excalibur.’ After 300 000 spectators in 4 tours, I hope that this musical round table finally finds its audience under the aegis of sharing. These 12 new songs underline the urgency to get moving for our planet. More than ever our destiny is in our hands. And everything is good to take. The concept of Excalibur and its musical knights must contribute to this new start. Artists can (and must) get involved more than ever.” – Alan Simon

Track Listing:

1 Move, Cry, Act, Clash
2 The Prisoner
3 The Last Bird
4 Messaline
5 I Said Shout
6 Heaven
7 The Lady of the Lake
8 When Your Feelings Grow
9 Wake Up (Before the Last War)
10 Hey
11 A Brand New Day
12 The Vision

To pre-order: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/alan-simon-excalibur-v-move-cry-act-clash/

Uriah Heep – 12 Favorite Tracks From The Bernie Shaw Years.

Uriah Heep Announce Living the Dream 2018 UK Tour - Your Online Magazine  for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

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….

Logical Progression

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.

One Minute

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.

I’m Ready

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

06/’21