Uriah Heep - Return to Fantasy

General Review
 

Return to Fantasy was the first Uriah Heep album I ever bought. It was Xmas 1975 and I wanted "Demons and Wizards" that I've heard at a friend of mine. I did not really liked it then. And looking back 31 years it is still not one of my favourite Byron-era albums. Saying that I must admit that the song "Return to Fantasy" is one of my favourite Heep songs.

"Return to Fantasy" - this song has been very well described by another reviewer in the following words: "Return to Fantasy throws down the gauntlet with the title track, which builds from a tapestry of spooky synthesizer and organ riffs into a thunderous rock tune where the guitar and organ duel over a galloping backbeat laid down by Lee Kerslake. It's bracing stuff and one of the finest rockers in the Uriah Heep canon."

"Shady Lady" is another up-tempo rocker with the slide guitar taking lead in the beginning. Apart from the fact that the guitars take the lead on this song, there is nothing special about it.

"Devil's Daughter" sounds like a band having a good time playing their instruments but without a good melody or riff.

"Beautiful Dream" - starts like the beginning of a Rick Wakeman opus. Then comes the thundering guitars and what we have is a marriage between Wakeman and UFO. The result is not bad. The tempo changes and especially on the chorus, is very reminiscent of "Woman from Tokyo" from Deep Purple" This is probably the second best song on the album.

"Prima Donna" is a cheap shot at progressive rock by adding brass and vocals ala Beach Boys. This song is possibly the reason why the album flop as an album. With this song and the next one it takes the whole cohesiveness away.

"Your turn to remember" is a very good blues melodic ballad. But again - way out of place. Yesterday I was listening to Journey and when I put this album on this morning I got the same feeling. Very similar.

"Showdown" is totally a forgettable rocker. This is a mix of many Heep clich├ęs.

"Why did you go?" - is the ballad on the album. Not a bad song even though there are a huge country feel to this song. Again this song will fit well on a compilation but does nothing to make this album stronger.

"A Year or a Day" - goes back to the theme and feeling of the opening track. But alas to late to save the album. There are too many other songs in between that takes away the feeling.

Return to Fantasy has many good songs on it, but the "genre-hopping" makes it a less than good album. If you really want to enjoy this album, program your cd player for tracks 1,4 and 9.

7/10

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Cover

uriah heep return 1975

Credits

Mick Box Guitar, Liner Notes, Photo Courtesy, Group Member
Gerry Bron Producer, Original Album Producer
Mike Brown Remastering
Dave Burns Assistant Engineer
David Byron Vocals, Group Member
B.J. Cole Guitar (Steel)
Mel Collins Saxophone
Robert M. Corich Liner Notes, Coordination, Remixing, Mixing, Remastering, Research
Dave Field Design, Logo
Peter Gallen Engineer
Dave "DW" Harris Assistant Engineer
Ken Hensley Synthesizer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Liner Notes, Photo Courtesy, Group Member
Ian Herron Remixing, Mixing
Lee Kerslake Percussion, Drums, Vocals, Group Member
Harry Moss Mastering, Cut
Uriah Heep Arranger
John Wetton Bass, Vocals, Mellotron, Group Member

 
Songs on album:

1 Return to Fantasy Byron, Hensley 5:50
2 Shady Lady Box, Byron, Hensley, Kerslake 4:47
3 Devil's Daughter Box, Byron, Hensley, Kerslake 4:49
4 Beautiful Dream Box, Byron, Hensley, Kerslake 4:53
5 Prima Donna Box, Byron, Hensley, Kerslake 4:22
6 Your Turn to Remember Hensley 3:09
7 Showdown Box, Byron, Hensley, Kerslake 4:19
8 Why Did You Go? Box, Byron, Hensley, Kerslake 3:52
9 A Year or a Day Hensley 4:29

 

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