Uriah Heep - Salisbury (1971)



This was the second album from Uriah Heep. The only personel change was Keith Baker who came in for Nigel Ollson who went to join Elton John.

For this album they have built on the templates created on the firts album. The only genre that they have dropped was the blues orientated song. That was a logical step because it did not work.

Firstly we have two songs that took of where Gypsy started. The first song is "Bird of Prey" which became a huge favorite. With its heavy organs, riffs and aggresive vocals it was commercially a huge success. Then there is also "Time to Live" which is a lesser success at songwriting. The guitarsolo in the middle is stunning. But defnitely not a song to remember.

Secondly we have the two mellow tracks. My favourite is "The Park" It is a a ballad-style song built on a light blend of acoustic guitars and ethereal keyboards. It has a gentle, appealingly psychedelic feel that is topped off by David Byron's falsetto vocal and some soaring harmonies from Byron and Ken Hensley. This was defnitely Heep's best song to date. The second mellow song is "Lady in Black". This was possibly the surprise of the decasdde. Consisting of only two chords and now rods but "la la la" for the chorus, it became a huge hit in Germany and South Africa. It is said that they even use this song in German schools to teach the children English. It is also the biggest favourite at gigs.

Thirdly there is the guitardriven song that continued the example set by Dreammare on the previous album - that is: "High Priestess". The harmonies and the twin guitars are brilliant on this song.

Lastly there is the long prog epic. On Very 'Eavy very 'Umble they had "Wake up" which was a prog song with jazz influences. On this album they traded it in for Prog with classical influences. Salisbury is the forementioned track - an 16 minute epic with lots of strings and brass.  This was possibly Heep's answer to Deep Purple's Concerto. Purple's Concerto did not work and neither does Salisbury. I think it was a waiste of time and valuable space on an album - it was the whole second side on the LP. The most I can say about this song is that it was a good jamming session and preparation for songs to come like "Paradise/The Spell"

Salisbury is a very important album in the development of Uriah Heep's sound, but defnitely not one of my favorites.

Rating: 7.5/10

Album Cover:

Release date: 1971

Band members:

Mick Box (guitars)
David Byron (voc)
Paul Newton (Bass)
Keith Baker (Drums)
Ken Hensley (Keys, guitars)


1 Bird of Prey Box, Byron, Hensley, Newton 4:13
2 The Park Hensley 5:42
3 Time to Live Box, Byron, Hensley 4:01
4 Lady in Black Hensley 4:44
5 High Priestess Hensley 3:41
6 Salisbury Box, Byron, Hensley 16:12

Best Songs:

The Park
Lady in Black


Salisbury has not aged well. If you forget "Lady in Black" and "The Park" it is a forgetable album. Those two songs make it wothwhile having this album.



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