“Beyond Our Ken” (Melody Maker, 1973)
This article was published in Melody Maker (March 3, 1973). Author — Geoff Brown.
ABOUT ten days ago I spent a Sportsnight with Hensley.
The Hensley in question was Ken, organist with Uriah Heep, who during the afternoon had played a round of golf with Cliff Bennett (his old boss in Toe Fat) and during the evening watched the incomparable Mohammed Ali dispose of Joe Bugner with the minimum of sweat.
We also talked a bit about his music.
Ken has recently recorded a solo album — “Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf” — and it has thrown into sharp relief the dichotomy of releasing a solo album while remaining an integral part of a successful group.
“The album has helped me personally tremendously because I can see that otherwise I would have had to split from the band because these were genuine feelings that were coming out from me and I had to have an outlet for them.
“I couldn’t get them out through the band because the band is a much less personal medium. A medium for just a small part at what comes out.”
Nevertheless some of the material has been suitable for both mediums. “Rain” for instance.
” ‘Rain’ was an almost fairy tale sort of story because when we thought about ‘Magician’s Birthday’ we wanted to stay away from a total concept sort of thing, although we wanted to keep a theme running through the album.
“At a point when we were listening to potential material I played ‘Rain’ to the band, I think that at the time I even explained that it was potentially a track for my own album. But everyone liked the song so it went on the album.
“I also did it on my album — for better or worse — because that was the way it was originally intended and because I wanted to see how it came out.”
Ken’s writing output at present is moving at a staggeringly fast pace.
“I have two albums full of songs ready at the moment, about sixteen or seventeen songs which I could sit and play to you now. But I don’t know… sometimes I’m so afraid of them being too personal. I’m very half-hearted about playing them to other people.
“The point is I’m an introvert type of writer but I try to present my writing in an extrovert sort of fashion so that it becomes more widely appealing.”
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© Geoff Brown, 1973
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