As the full title above suggests, ‘On The Rebound....’ is a 2 disc collection celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Heep’s first studio album, ‘Very ‘Eavy, Very ‘Umble’ way back in 1970. During these 40 years, the band have had their fair share of adversity, from the untimely deaths of two members, Gary Thain and the charismatic vocalist David Byron, to the instability that 15 line up changes ensure. Despite their ups and downs however, Heep have, with the odd exception, always produced music of quality. This 34 track compilation features at least one cut from each of Heep’s 19 studio releases. As one can imagine, over such a long period of time, and with the aforementioned line up changes, the musical style and direction has varied significantly, albeit within the parameters of the rock blueprint. The early to mid seventies probably saw the band at their peak, both commercially and creatively, and it’s the tracks from this period that are the most well known, such as ‘The Wizard’ from ’72, the absolutely classic ‘Gypsy’, featuring the instantly recognisable Hammond Organ of Ken Hensley in overdrive, and the equally memorable ‘Easy Livin’, all of which appear here. The departure of Hensley in 1980, following the release of the below par ‘Conquest’ set, saw the band lose some of their creative edge. The recruitment of Russ Ballard to try and reap some of the commercial success that Rainbow had with the Ballard penned hits ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ and ‘I Surrender’ is perhaps evidence of this. Although the ‘Abominog’ set of 1982, from which this compilation’s title track is taken, and which Ballard wrote, didn’t quite have the same commercial impact as that which Rainbow enjoyed, it was critically well-received. A series of albums followed in the eighties but none of these really had the desired effect of putting Heep back into the upper echelons of the British rock hierarchy, although there were some good tracks on those albums, such as ‘Cry Freedom’, ‘Weekend Warriors’ and ‘Rockarama’, all of which feature here. After the release of ‘Sonic Origami’ in 1998, the band took a ten year hiatus before returning with ‘Wake the Sleeper’ in 2008, another well received release. A couple of tracks from this album are featured in this compilation, ‘Overload’, which showcases guitarist Mick Box’s distinctive sound and a driving energy, and ‘Light of a Thousand Stars’. A more recent, and previously unreleased, song, ‘You Are The Only One’ brings the compilation bang up to date. Although contemporaries of Zeppelin, Sabbath and Purple, Uriah Heep never really entered the public consciousness in the same way as these other bands and, as a result, didn’t have the same commercial success. However, this compilation illustrates that Heep were, and still are, a fine band that has continued to make good, honest rock music, despite the problems they have faced, from imploding line-ups to shifting musical tastes. As such, this compilation provides a fitting legacy and should be of interest to both the die hard Heep fan, for its extensive sleeve notes and previously unreleased track as much as anything else, and to the younger generation who perhaps want a way of being introduced to the band’s back catalogue.
ON THE REBOUND: A VERY 'EAVY 40TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION
Review by Dave Uphill
2:36:41 (both discs)
17th May 2010
DISC ONE: 1) On the Rebound; 2) Overload; 3) Stay on Top; 4) Fallen Angel; 5) The Wizard; 6) Cry Freedom; 7) Love in Silence; 8) One Way or Another; 9) I Hear Voices; 10) Sweet Talk; 11) Blood Red Roses; 12) Woman of the Night; 13) The Time Will Come; 14) Different World; 15) Something or Nothing; 16) Sweet Lorraine; 17) Free Me
DISC TWO: 1) Light of a Thousand Stars; 2) Free 'N' Easy; 3) Weekend Warriors; 4) Stealin'; 5) You are the Only One; 6) Look at Yourself; 7) Voice on my TV; 8) Rockarama; 9) It Ain't Easy; 10) The Hanging Tree + more...
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...this compilation provides a fitting legacy and should be of interest to both the die hard Heep fan, for its extensive sleeve notes and previously unreleased track as much as anything else, and to the younger generation who perhaps want a way of being introduced to the band’s back catalogue."