URIAH HEEP – The Spitfire Years (2011)

URIAH HEEP  The Spitfire Years

“The Spitfire Years” is a ‘Best Of’ just released in Russia as a warm-on for the upcoming new album ‘Into The Wild’.
Published as ‘The Definitive Spitfire Years’ in the rest of Europe a couple of years ago, this compilation comprises songs from the three ’90s works recorded by the legendary band.

‘Sea Of Light’, ‘Spellbinder Live’ and ‘Sonic Origami’ proved that the current lineup – 20 years and counting – is still well capable of producing relevant, high calibre, melodic rock.
You could argue a good case that 3 albums is an impossibly slim body of work from which to create a decent compilation, but the tracks are well chosen and representative of the actual sound and style of the Heeps.

This collection just barrels along on good tunes, a welter of heavy riffs, dramatic keyboards, a lot of big choruses and backing vocals filled to bursting with soaring harmonies.
Just classy, progressive melodic rock, written by experienced craftsmen, delivered with punch and panache.

The brilliantly grandiose “I Hear Voices”, the rifftastic hard rock of “Universal Wheels”; the surging “Spirit Of Freedom” and the compact, declamatory “Change” all contribute greatly to the Heep cannon, all reaching for that awesome melodic moment and not falling far short.
Uriah Heep are not a band often quoted by others as an influence, but listen to “Dream On” and tell me that Saigon Kick haven’t felt the heat.
Survivor’s “Across The Miles” is a personal favourite. Like the source album (Too Hot Too Sleep), it’s often overlooked. Heep’s marvellous cover is here, not quite as atmospheric or as lingeringly romantic as the original, but perhaps more powerful and harder hitting.
Unsurprisingly, ‘Spellbinder Live’ proves to be a rich source of classic Huriah Heep back catalogue, giving us satisfyingly heavy, highly energetic versions of crowd favourites; “Gypsy”, “Stealin”, “Wizard” and “Easy Livin”.

“The Spitfire Years” is an outstanding compilation from the most accessible, melodic period of Uriah Heep.
A neat, hi-def snapshot of the band’s nineties resurgence; european Melodic Hard Rock with tons of melody and crispy production.
Very Good.

01 – Between Two Worlds
02 – I Hear Voices
03 – Dream On
04 – Universal Wheels
05 – Spirit Of Freedom
06 – Question
07 – Change
08 – Across The Miles
09 – Sweet Sugar
10 – Time Of Revelation
11 – Worlds In A Distance
12 – Gypsy
13 – Stealin’
14 – Devil’s Daughter
15 – Wizard
16 – Easy Livin’

Mick Box – guitar, vocals
Trevor Bolder – bass, vocals
Bernie Shaw – lead vocals
Phil Lanzon – keyboards, vocals
Russell Gilbrook – drums, vocals


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