Abominog must surely
rate as one of the most important albums in Uriah Heep's history. Its
significance lay in the way in which it pulled Heep out of the Seventies
and thrust them into the Eighties with determination muscle. Released in
March 1982 (preceded by 'Abominog Junior', an EP that included 'On The
Rebound' - a Russ Ballard song - 'Tin Soldier '- a cover of the Small
Faces track - and 'Son Of A Bitch'), it immediately won favour with the
critics, with now established rock magazine Kerrang! declaring it
"the most mature and perhaps best album of their career".
Sounds paid tribute to Heep's rebirth with a five star review, while the
cover art itself guaranteed instant attention.
If there was any
comment that could have been interpreted in a negative fashion then that
was that perhaps it sounded a little too American. "Ashley Howe,
our producer (who had engineered on some of Heep's early albums), had a
very American head on his shoulders," says Box.
Goalby found that his
production suited him. "I liked what Ashley was doing. He's a good
producer and if ABOMINOG had not been the way it was the band couldn't
have taken off again. ABOMINOG opened all the doors." Fair comment,
though the truth of the matter is that Heep have been at the forefront
of melodic rock since it was born; it was just that the passages of time
have associated that flavour of music with the Americans.
It was a success
though, both in Europe and America, with the album a hit in the US and
'The Way That It Is' gaining heavy rotation on MTV - "really
turning America around," states Box. "It was lovely to see the
new band accepted in that way." It was then turn for Heep to be
added to the Castle Donington Monsters Of Rock roll-call, their
appearance on the day looked upon very much as a return. "We got a
good response," says Mick.
getting annoyed with my guitar going out of tune and I was rubbing it
against the scaffolding and the head snapped off! I didn't mean it but
the crowd loved it!"
Head First rates as
ABOMINOG'S close partner in crime. Again produced by Ashley Howe
("He was like the
sixth member of the band." says Goalby), it rates closely alongside
its predecessor in terms of commerciality and character, with again a
couple of outside songs being brought in to augment the group
compositions - tracks actually mostly written by Goalby with the help of
Box and Sinclair but credited to the whole band. "Mick wanted to
avoid the previous problems of having one person make all the
money," says Goalby, "so that was part of the deal when I came
in." The release of HEAD FIRST followed Daisley's exit from the
band (off to help Ozzy write again)