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Uriah Heep is Living Easy

Time is passing. Bands that were formed during the early days of the rock era that have survived to this point are racking up some mind-boggling numbers.

Uriah-HeepConsider Uriah Heep, one of the classic hard rock bands (check out clips for confirmation). According to Wikipedia, “Heep” will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary next year. It has released 24 studio albums, two albums of re-recorded material, 18 live albums and 39 compilation albums. That’s a lot of albums. If it all was squeezed into one year, Uriah Heep would release an album every day for three months.

The band has sold 40 million records worldwide. Even as its popularity has waxed and waned in the U.S., it enjoys great popularity in the Balkans, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia and Scandinavia, the profile says.

The band’s name, by the way, a character in Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield.” AllMusic’s James Christopher Monger described Heep as a “the scheming, parasitic lawyer.”

Any band that has been around this long has an extensive history. The names will mean little to anyone but aficionados. Both the Wikipedia and AllMusic bios are good, with the latter being far more concise. Only one original member—guitarist Mick Box—still is with the band. Box and vocalist David Byron founded the band in 1969 but eventually was let go due to alcoholism. All told, according to Monger, more than 40 musicians have played in Uriah Heep.

Here is one take on the band’s top songs. Monger puts Uriah Heep alongside Deep Purple, Queen, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin as influential hard rock acts. Above is “Easy Livin’,” which probably is the band’s most recognizable song and the one most accessible to those not really attracted to the general type of rock the band plays. “Stealin’ ” is below.

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