Tag Archives: Uriah Heep

(1974 Album) Jethro Tull – A Passion Play

Huh?

This concept album reached #13 on the UK charts and claimed the top spot on the Billboard charts in the US.

However…. it’s rubbish.

I have absolutely no idea why I added it to my collection.

Unless it was to make that Uriah Heep Live album seem better?

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(1974 Albums) Atomic Rooster – Made in England

Oops!

Apparently, in 1974, I ponied up for an Atomic Rooster album?!

Doutbless swayed by the prior Carl Palmer (of ELP) connection I can only assume I either discovered this album languishing in a bargain bin somewhere OR it was some kind of balancing karma for me having successfully palmed off that awful Uriah Heep live album a few weeks ago.

Whichever it was, I think its VERY safe to say that the peculiar heavy jazz-rock meanderings of Mr Vincent Crane – which are said to linger on this particular album – did not remain with me for my entire life. Indeed, they probably didn’t stay with me for more than one or two listens…  but naturally my diary does not go into such intricate detail.

Trivia freaks may wish to know that vocals on this album are handled by Chris Farlowe. Yes, that Chris Farlowe, hitmaker behind the magnificent Jagger/Richards-written No.1 single “Out of Time” in 1966. Shall we have a spin of it to take the awful taste of Atomic Rooster out of our collective mouths?

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January 8th 1974

“BACK TO SCHOOL – MOCKS BEGIN AFN” / “Eng Lang 2 -> hard!” / “Tim B gave me £2.50 for Heep Live”

For most 16-year-old kids in 1974 the start of their Mock GCSE O-Levels would be an important turning point in their life.

For me THE most important turning point in mine was that – YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! – I successfully palmed off that AWFUL Uriah Heep album to an unsuspecting fool.

What’s more, this “Tim B” fellow actually gave me money for it!

Doubtless making the alleged difficulty of “English Language 2” (Dumb & Dumberer?) easier to swallow

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November 15th 1973

“Got Procol Harum”

Whilst this doesn’t fully compare to the horror of Uriah Heep a week or more ago, it does come pretty close. At least to me.

The album in question would have been “Broken Barricades“, the last Procol Harum album to feature guitarist Robin Trower before he embarked on a long, mostly pointless, solo career.

I can recall someone played me the opening cut – “Simple Sister” – and based on a certain je ne sais quoi about it, I stumped up good cash for the entire album.

Let’s quickly scan the lyrics of “Simple Sister” shall we?…

Simple sister
Got whooping cough
Have to burn her toys
Take her treats
Eat her sweets
Scare off all the boys

Simple sister
Got whooping cough
Have to put her out
Wear her clothes
Steal her bows
Tell her that she’s stout

Simple sister
Got whooping cough
Lock her in a cell
Throw the key
Into the sea
Hope she never gets well

I think they fall adequately into the arena of “HUH?“, don’t they?

Now, let’s listen to it

Nope, I don’t see the attraction either.

I’m sure Broken Barricades isn’t the last “crap” album I bought on the basis of hearing one ‘good’ track, but it may very well have been the first? What’s the betting I was as attracted by the (admittedly) groovy die-cut sleeve as I was anything else?

As the years have gone by I have grown to dislike Procol Harum more and more, none moreso than the hideously ubiquitous “A Whiter Shade of Pale“, their supposed classic from 1967. This droning despondent organ-based number has even more trite lyrics than “Simple Sister”…
I wandered through my playing cards
and would not let her be
one of sixteen vestal virgins
who were leaving for the coast

For some reason the ‘general public’ love this song and even 32 years after its release it is “the most played song in public places” (pubs, restaurants, etc) in the UK. It’s been named winner of the Best British Pop Single, made #57 in Rolling Stone’s “Greatest Songs of All Time” and is a lofty #19 in the “100 greatest number one singles”. Which only goes to prove there’s no accounting for taste.

More recently we all had to endure it even more as it featured in the news, former Harum organist Matthew Fisher finally winning his court case against songwriter Gary Brooker after claiming that he ‘co-wrote’ the song (because of his distinctive Hammond organ ‘riff’). Boy, that must have been a slow news day?

A few years ago I took part in a ‘torturethon’ for charity, which comprised of me having to listen to the same song – one that I truly hated – over and over again for as long as I could, in my case for 8+ hours! Wherever I went and whatever I did, the song I chose was always in my ears. I blogged the experience for an online magazine, mainly swearing gratuitously. That song was Siouxsie & the Banshees “Hong Kong Garden”.

It could just as easily have been “Whiter Shade of Pale”

Like the Uriah Heep before it, I hope future diary entries make mention of ridding myself of the ‘evil’ Procol Harum album.

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November 12th 1973

“Got Uriah Heep Live cheap”

You have GOT to be kidding me??

Erm… I mean… I have GOT to be kidding me?!!

Uriah Heep?

Cheap. Christ, it would HAVE to be cheap. If it cost me 1½p, that would have been a penny too much. Even if I stole it, it was still too expensive.

I can honestly state that I would not know a Uriah Heep tune now if it came up and slapped me in the face. Not one.

I think what makes this doubly-scary 36 years after the event is that “Uriah Heep Live” was a DOUBLE album. If I didn’t know any better I would swear that someone stole my 1973 diary and wrote this in it just to taunt me about my utter lack of memory.

I think Einstein once said something along the lines of “your brain will only remember the things it needs to remember, discarding all the rest”

Surely Uriah Heep must have been discarded within seconds of hearing them. If a future diary entry does not speak of me trading, giving away or burning this album then I seriously question my mental health in 1973.

Ugh!

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