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March 14, 2017

Uriah Heep – Firefly (1977) – Lp

by Record Facts

Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969. Uriah Heep‘s by-the-books progressive heavy metal made the British band one of the most popular hard rock groups of the early ’70s. Formed by vocalist David Byron and guitarist Mick Box in the late ’60s, the group went through an astonishing number of members over the next two decades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist:  Uriah Heep
Title:  Firefly
Year:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  Bronze Records
Catalog# 28520 XOT

Firefly is the 10th album by British rock band Uriah Heep, released in 1977 by Bronze Records in the UK and Warner Bros. Records in the US. It was their first album without lead vocalist and founding member David Byron, and the first of three albums with new singer John Lawton.

After losing founding vocalist David Byron in 1976, many hard rock fans thought Uriah Heep had reached the end of the line. However, the group bounced back in 1977 with Firefly, an album that pursued a stripped-down sound harking back to the group’s early-’70s successes. They also boasted a new singer in John Lawton, a vocalist who had made his fame working with artsy German hard rockers Lucifer’s Friend. Although he lacked the multi-octave range of David Byron, Lawton boasted an impressive and emotionally rich hard rock voice that instantly jelled with the Uriah Heep sound. An ideal example of this new synergy was provided by the opening track, “The Hanging Tree,” which featured Lawton dramatically delivering a narrative about an outlaw on the run over a spooky musical track that blended echo-drenched synthesizers with some typically gutsy guitar riffs from Mick Box. Other memorable tracks on Firefly include “Who Needs Me,” a spirited slice of boogie rock with a rousing singalong chorus, and the title track, a miniature prog epic that deftly blends balladry, hard rock, and acoustic-styled folk into one cohesive outing. Nothing on Firefly hits the epic heights of “Gypsy” or “July Morning,” but it contains none of the failed experiments that weighed down High and Mighty and it further benefits from a nice sense of consistency that is built on tight songwriting and inspired performances. In the end, Firefly remains one of the most cohesive albums from Uriah Heep‘s mid- to late-’70s period and is guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of the group’s fan base.

The first single from the album was “Wise Man“.

The original vinyl album was a gatefold sleeve, with a cardboard lyric liner.

 

Side one
1.  The Hanging Tree  (3:42)
2.  Been Away Too Long  (5:04)
3.  Who Needs Me  (3:39)
4.  Wise Man  (4:43)

Side two
1.  Do You Know  (3:15)
2.  Rollin’ On  (6:23)
3.  Sympathy  (4:49)
4.  Firefly  (6:17)

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Read more from Uriah Heep

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