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URIAH HEEP – Announce 25th studio album Chaos & Colour, release new single

Uriah Heep have released the first single & video from their forthcoming 25th studio album – Chaos & Colour – to be released in January of the new year! Details, ordering links, track-listing below.

November 8, 2022 – British hard rock legends and progenitors Uriah Heep announce the release of their 25th studio album, Chaos & Colour, set for release January 27th, 2023 via Silver Lining Music. Pre-orders available from November 8th on this site https://lnk.to/ChaosandColour

“Save Me Tonight” is another powerful melodic rock track which we have chosen to be the first single as well as the opening track of the album,” says Mick Box, Uriah Heep’s venerable and effervescent founding member, “it is made for rock radio and will surely be included on our new set list in 2023.”

Chaos & Colour is an album which bristles with explosive classic rock guitars, supreme harmonies, and Heep’s famously generous keyboard foundation. It is, unsurprisingly, an album that found its extra thrust during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was as bizarre for Uriah Heep as it was for humanity in general. “The album title reflects that we were in chaotic times with being locked down, tours being cancelled, businesses folding, and all the chaos that was thrown into the world,” explains Box, “and as far as I could see it, the only colour people had was through music. It helped so many people get through those difficult years, using that strength and power which music has, to make those bad times not quite so bad.” There were still the looming spectre of protocols and rules to follow in the middle of 2021, as the world tried to find its feet. Heep slowly found their way into Chapel Studios in London during the summer of 2021 as restrictions were tentatively lifted, working once again with Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Corey Taylor, Black Star Riders). “Jay was completely on board with what we are trying to achieve in the studio,” says Box. “We’re a band that has a fantastic heritage and to carry on that tradition it was vitally important that the band recorded in the studio all playing at the same time. Jay understood that and he pulled out the best of us as a band, as well as individual players, while getting us some amazing sounds.” Led by Box, it is no surprise that themes of light, love and, ultimately, positivity are constant through the album eleven tracks. “One Nation, One Sun” is a journey of soaring balladic contemplation, “Fly Like An Eagle” takes the listener on a journey of meditation, whilst “Closer To Your Dreams” is a battle cry for all rockers to get out there and do it, with Shaw imploring that “So many have tried but slipped away/Now it’s time for you to have your say.” During the entire album, Bernie Shaw’s timeless vocals sit expertly beside the band’s phenomenal artistry (Mick Box – guitar, Phil Lanzon – keyboard, Russell Gilbrook – drums, Dave Rimmer – bass), rounding out exceptional performances throughout. Produced by Jay Ruston, and engineered by Pieter Rietkerk, Chaos & Colour is a superb album of quality hard rock from the pioneers of the genre who continue to create top class material. Old fans will be reinvigorated whilst new fans will surely find Chaos & Colour an exceptional discovery.

Following the intense disruption to live music caused by the pandemic, the band are ecstatic to be back on the road and continue to bring their live show across Europe this winter. For a full list of confirmed dates, tickets, and additional information visit this this location – http://www.uriah-heep.com/2020Site/Index.html

Tour Dates:

12 November – Nürnberg, Germany – Löwensaal*

14 November – Vilnius, Lithuania – Compensa Concert Hall

15 November – Tallinn, Estonia – Alexela Concert Hall

17 November – Helsinki, Finland – Helsinki Ice Hall

19 November – Turku, Finland – Konserttitalo

20 November – Oulu, Finland – Madetojan Sali

22 November – Umeå, Sweden – Idun

23 November – Stockholm, Sweden – Göta Lejon

24 November – Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene

26 November – Kristiansand, Norway – Kilden Performing Arts Centre

27 November – Stavanger, Norway – Stavanger Kuppelhallen

28 November – Bergen, Norway – USF Verftet

29 November – Trondheim, Norway – Olavshallen

1 December – Sundsvall, Sweden – Tonhallen

2 December – Gothenburg, Sweden – Gothenburg Studios

3 December – Randers, Denmark – Vaerket Teatre & Musikhus

4 December – Copenhagen, Denmark – Docken Koncerter

5 December – Malmö, Sweden – Slagthuset Teater

7 December – Stuttgart, Germany – Liederhalle*

8 December – Dresden, Germany – Culture Palace*

9 December – Suhl, Germany – Congress Centrum Suhl*

10 December – Prague, Czech Republic – Forum Karlin

11 December – Budapest, Hungary – Hungexpo Hall C

13 December – Sofia, Bulgaria – National Palace of Culture, Hall 1

14 December – Thessaloníki, Greece*

15 December – Athens, Greece* (*Celebrating 50 years of Uriah Heep)

Chaos & Colour will be available to pre-order from November 8, in Black and Coloured Vinyl configurations, as a standard CD Digipak, a Deluxe CD packaged in a hardcover book with Uriah Heep’s Chaos & Colour signature patch and in digital formats.

“Save Me Tonight” is the first single from the upcoming album Chaos & Colour. Available to pre-order from November 9th here: https://lnk.to/ChaosandColour, Out via Silver Lining Music on January 27th, 2023.

Music video by Natalia Jonderko Śmiechowicz – N.STATION Animation & Design Studio.

The buoyant, blistering single “Save Me Tonight”, feels at once like a cry for lost love and an expression of COVID era pain. “I think that’s the beauty of a good lyric,” smiles founding member Mick Box. “A good lyric means that you can interpret it in many ways, and it’s so important to me when writing a lyric that it has those avenues to go in.” enthuses Box.

The single was written by bass guitarist Dave Rimmer and Jeff Scott Soto, who has been the vocalist for the likes of Journey and Yngwie Malmsteen. “’Save Me Tonight’ comes from a place of frustration and helplessness living through these unprecedented past couple of years but hanging on to this raging hope that we would all meet again! Once again, collaborating with Jeff Scott Soto has been a natural and very creative experience and the perfect platform for me to express these feelings and to carry on the Heep legacy.” Rimmer comments.

Chaos & Colour Track List:

Save Me Tonight / Silver Sunlight / Hail The Sunrise / Age Of Changes* / Hurricane / One Nation, One Sun / Golden Light / You’ll Never Be Alone / Fly Like An Eagle / Freedom To Be Free / Closer To Your Dreams* / Save Me Tonight (demo)**

*CD and Digital only

**Deluxe CD only

URIAH HEEP:

Mick Box – Lead Guitar / Vocals

Phil Lanzon – Keyboards / Vocals

Bernie Shaw – Lead Vocals

Dave Rimmer – Bass Guitar / Vocals

Russell Gilbrook – Drums & Percussion

Produced by Jay Ruston

Engineered by Pieter Rietkerk

Recorded at Chapel Studios, UK

Mixed by Jay Ruston at TRS West, Sherman Oaks, California

Additional Engineering by John Douglas

Mastered by Paul Logus

URIAH HEEP – A Look At High and Mighty

Among the Heep faithful there are 3 albums that tend to stir up the most controversy and conversation, and often one of them is cited as the band’s ‘worst’ album by many fans or rock historians. I’ve already written previously my support for Conquest and for Equator, both albums that land at the bottom of any Heep album ranking, and the 3rd in that trilogy would be 1976’s High and Mighty – the last to feature original singer & founding member David Byron. Frankly, none of these 3 land in the bottom 3 for me, in particular High and Mighty, an album I rank in the top half of the band’s catalogue.

High and Mighty came at the end of a very busy period for the band. In ’75 – the band had changed bass players, adding John Wetton in place of Gary Thain, who had been fired, and the band got down to releasing Return To Fantasy in the summer of ’75. Ken Hensley also had his 2nd solo album Eager To Please released not too far off from that. A huge world tour followed the release of that Heep album, followed by David Byron’s solo album Take No Prisoners, and a Best of Uriah Heep issued in most markets (except for North America). So, to say High and Mighty might’ve been rushed soon after is more than likely. Despite Return To Fantasy being a huge success in the UK, the band’s last few albums were selling less in North America, and with this perhaps was the motivation to ‘fire’ Gerry Bron as the new album’s producer and produce it themselves. But, where as RTF had many more band co-writes and member contributions, High and Mighty would consist of entirely Ken Hensley penned tracks, with Wetton getting 2 co-writes. Ken has stated in the past the album felt more like a solo album, and both he and Wetton noted that not much of the band were around at the time, leaving the 2 of them to take on most of the production, aided by engineer Ashley Howe.

John Wetton’s presence is felt immediately on the opening track “One Way Or Another”, in which he takes the lead vocal. A fantastic beginning to this album with the opening guitar riff coming in with a fresh new strong sound, before Wetton’s bass, then drums and organ join in. This is a standout track, and a shame it never got a proper single release. There would be no global single from this album, with this song being issued in the UK (limited), and nothing in North America. David Byron was apparently off with chicken pox at the time of recording this track, so that was the reason given for Wetton’s lead vocal. John recalled in an interview that when David did come back he went in to sing the song, part way through stopped, saying that it was fine the way it was. “Weep In Silence”, a heavy guitar driven ballad, with Hensley’s distinct guitar sound throughout and a great vocal from Byron remains a fan favorite from this album, though it was never played live. “Misty Eyes” starts out gently with Byron singing the opening lines alone before the band comes in softly with acoustic guitar, organ and drums. A good lighter pop song that would’ve made a catchy single, IMO. The first side ends with “Midnight”, the longest track on the album, and most progressive,. An often overlooked epic in the band’s catalogue, and although Wetton didn’t get a co-write on this Or on “One Way Or Another”, his performances (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals or backing vocals) make these 2 tracks his greatest contributions to his time with the band.

Side 2 opens with the anthem “Can’t Keep A Good Band Down”, a response and dig at the band’s critics. A good upbeat rocker that would’ve (again) made for a fine single. A shame the song would never feature in the band’s live show back then or ever. Next up was the pop-rock of “Woman Of The World”; a good tune, tho’ a bit on the lighter side. Might’ve made a decent single, but like a number of tracks here it lacks an extended solo or something unique as the song merely fades out quickly after the last chorus. “Woman Of The World” would include the band’s message to Bron in the harmonies – You can stick this contract up your flue “Footprints In The Snow” is a favorite of mine on this album, co-credited to Wetton. Love the mix of acoustic and electric guitars organ, and harmonies. An underrated classic from the Byron era, IMO. From here, despite how much I love this album, I can see how critics might disagree with my enthusiasm, as the next 3 tracks drop off a bit, especially the funky keyboardy “I Can’t Stop Singing”. I never ‘got’ this song, and listening to it now, I still don’t. . tho’ it’s not bad, and David sounds convincing on the verses, but the chorus… meh…. “Make A Little Love” is a guitar blues n boogie number, featuring slide guitar. Sounds like it could’ve been a good old school jam rocker, but it ends too early, like a few tracks here, sounding rushed . This one did make it in to the live set on the High & Mighty tour, but like the rest of the album was never played again (aside from Ken resurrecting a track live with John Wetton). The album ends on a high note, but a sad one with “Confession”, with David delivering an apologetic lyric on Ken’s piano ballad. It’s an excellent, moving ballad that sits behind the band’s previous ballads “Rain” and “The Easy Road”. A shame it ends so soon.

In 1995 I interviewed John Wetton and he recalled no leftover tracks being recorded, but sure enough 2 outtakes would eventually be released. “Sunshine”, a good upbeat number; love Lee Kerslake’s intro and playing here. The other cut is the guitar heavy “Name Of The Game”. This song appeared in another version on Ken Hensley’s From Time To Time album in ’94 (an album of solo outtakes and demos), as Ken had recorded the track in the late ’70s with members of Bad Company. A great heavy riff to open this song, fantastic delivery from David and slide guitar from Ken. To me, this sounds like it wasn’t totally completed or mixed well enough, hence it’s lack of inclusion on the album, but a crying shame this wasn’t totally finished and cleaned up and included – could’ve made for a very different outcome of an album that is often brushed off as “lightweight”.

High and Mighty received a huge press bash at the time in Switzerland, where James Bond was filmed. But after that the album dropped – with no worldwide single, and little push. As the band toured the US before it’s release – with no single on the radio or record in the shops, High and Mighty was kinda doomed. The tour saw Ken Hensley leave the band and return, and David Byron fired at the end of the European tour. John Wetton had already made up his mind due to the internal conflict, and and left as well. Many fans wrote the band off after David Byron was dismissed, and the band’s profile and album sales would continue to sink in North America.

But really, I kinda love this album. I realize it may be seen as lightweight or too much of a Ken Hensley solo project by many old Heep fans, but to me it had a new fresh approach and sound following Return To Fantasy and Wonderworld. The band experimented, did something new, and High and Mighty offered up a number of tracks that would’ve made fine singles. With John Wetton having a major hand in it, it sounded much more modern in tune with UK nd Asia, and a forward step from the band’s previous albums. Heck, I even think the album cover art is pretty cool!

KJ, 02/’22