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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Uriah Heep - 1978 Fallen Angel
 
Uriah Heep - 1978 Fallen Angel



ARTIST: Uriah Heep
ALBUM: Fallen Angel
LABEL: Bronze
SERIAL: BRNA 512
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 2000, Castle Music (UK), CMACD559 * 2006, BMG (Japan), BVCM-37738, Bonus tracks, remastered, gatefold, ltd edition

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: John Lawton - vocals * Mick Box - guitars * Ken Hensley - keyboards * Trevor Bolder - bass * Lee Kerslake - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Woman Of The Night * 02 Falling In Love * 03 One More Night * 04 Put Your Lovin' On Me * 05 Come Back To Me * 06 Whad'ya Say * 07 Save It * 08 Love Or Nothing * 09 I'm Alive * 10 Fallen Angel

WEBLINKS: www.uriah-heep.com


Background
The late 70's were a period of disarray for Heep who had seen their fortunes decline dramatically since the late, great David Byron's (vocals) sacking in 1976, a slide which had begun in earnest prior to his departure. John Lawton had been drafted as his replacement, but his subsequent albums, 'Firefly' and 'Innocent Victim' (both 1977) failed to chart in both Britain and the US, a reminder of how far Heep had fallen. Aside from Lawton, the only other lineup change from Heep's 72-75 heyday, was Trevor Bolder (David Bowie, Wishbone Ash) who had replaced John Wetton in 1976. Wetton of course had taken Kiwi Gary Thain's place in 1975, Thain dying of a drug overdose in 1976. While 'Fallen Angel' saw no chart action either, the band started to shift towards the AOR style they would perfect in the early 80's, removing themselves slightly from their increasingly dated 70's hard rock approach.


The Songs
The scintillating 'Woman Of The Night' is a British AOR alternative to the US artists who were furthering the genre at the time. Hensley adds some deft synth touches and the overall melody is desperately thrilling. The back to basics hard rock of 'Falling In Love' benefits from some clean harmonies and sounds more fresh than many mediocre 70's efforts like 'Return To Fantasy' and 'High And Mighty'. Some ripe boogie is showcased on 'One More Night (Last Farewell)' but more first rate AOR appears with 'Put Your Lovin' On Me', some neat chord changes keeping things interesting. Further heights are reached with 'Whad' Ya Say', a showcase for Hensley's keyboard mastery, brilliantly atmospheric. A memorable AOR chorus makes this one of Heep's best 70's moments. 'Save It' opens with standard 70's metal riffs but leans towards prime piano based boogie, the second such number. Certain shades of what similar period Whitesnake were doing here. Unfortunately 'Love Or Nothing' sounds as if the band had been listening to Brotherhood Of Man prior, thanks to the dominant pop harmonies, 'la la la la'.....'I'm Alive' and 'Fallen Angel' revert back to Heep's harder sound, although the latter relies on Hensley's synths for main effect once more.


In Summary
This may have achieved little commercially, but is easily one of the bands better efforts of the decade. The agreeable mixture of harder AOR, traditional hard rock and mean boogie is perfectly executed, minus 'Love Or Nothing'. Heep fell into the abyss somewhat after this as the outstanding Lawton departed, as did Kerslake, to be replaced by John Sloman (vocals, ex Lone Star) and Chris Slade (drums, ex Manfred Mann's Earth Band). Following 1980's 'Conquest' the band split, with Hensley gone for good. Of course Heep reconvened and went onto better things with 82's 'Abominog', a period of rejuvenation. 'Fallen Angel' is an important album in establishing this 80's era and is an essential listen, in a time when the band was supposedly finished.


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Comments
#1 | reyno-roxx on June 27 2008 14:30:27
I've been picking up the set of remastered CDs from 2004 (all with liner notes by my old bud Dave Ling) when I've seen them cheap and I've been particularly impressed with the John Lawton era releases, especially 'Firefly'. They always suffered from a bit of a bad press for seemingly not being as good as the earlier Byron era records (Mr Popoff is terribly scathing of them), but they are far better in many ways than the often erratic earlier albums.
#2 | englandashes on February 15 2009 20:48:41
The tracks 'Woman Of The Night' and 'I'm Alive' are excellent tunes, also 'Innocent Victim' release deserves a mention, even though it must have one of the worst covers ever!
#3 | rkbluez on November 19 2009 11:38:57
Love this CD and I'm a fan of every era of Heep...to me the only real bad album they ever did was Conquest...I agree with Dave in the Lawton era albums are very solid...I love Firefly but Fallen Angel is my favorite of that bunch...I like the way Mick Box's rhytym guitar cuts though on some of the songs like Falling In Love...it's pushed back in the mix but has a nice crunchy tone to it.
 
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