Uriah Heep — Innocent Victim (1977)
«Innocent Victim» was recorded at Roundhouse Studios between July and September 1977 (with a break for Uriah Heep’s European tour) and was released in November 1977 by Bronze Records label in the UK and Warner Bros. in the United States. The album failed to chart in Britain as well as in America, but it was very successful in Germany (more than a million copies were sold in that country alone) and New Zealand, where the single «Free Me» was a No. 1 hit.
The 2004 CD release included six bonus tracks. The first bonus track is a full unedited version of «Illusion/Masquerade» which was originally written as a whole song but later was divided into two parts: «Illusion» was included in the album, and «Masquerade» was released on the B-side of «Free Me» single. Next two bonus tracks are the songs that were not included in the «Firefly» original release, and the last three tracks are live versions, recorded during Uriah Heep’s European tour in 1979. These versions differ from the ones that were released on «Live in Europe 1979″.
By the way, the original title for the album was «Inside The Mystery». Martin White, the artist who designed the cover art for the previous Uriah Heep’s album, told* Classic Rock that the band liked his artwork for «Firefly» so much that they commissioned him to create a cover for the next album. He was only told the planned title — «Inside The Mystery». Based on the title alone, Martin had to come up with a concept design. “I thought that the biggest mystery of all was life itself. So I came up with a huge organic vault of symbols – strange, cabalistic graphics like pentangles, ankhs [Egyptian symbols of life] and things. But by then they’d changed the album title and it didn’t work any more”. By the way, this story suggests that the original plan was to include the song «Inside The Mystery», released three years later (in 1980) on Hensley’s third solo album, «Free Spirit».
- Keep on Ridin’ (Hensley, Williams) 3:40
- Flyin’ High (Hensley) 3:19
- Roller (Bolder, Ian McDonald) 4:41
- Free ‘n’ Easy (Box, Lawton) 3:05
- Illusion (Hensley) 5:05
- Free Me (Hensley) 3:34
- Cheat ‘n’ Lie (Hensley) 4:54
- The Dance (Williams) 4:49
- Choices (Williams) 5:49
- Mick Box — guitars
- John Lawton — vocals
- Ken Hensley — keyboards, guitars, vocals
- Lee Kerslake — drums, vocals
- Trevor Bolder — bass guitar.
Producers — Gerry Bron and Ken Hensley.
Engineers — Peter Gallen and Mark Dearnley (“Choices”).
Mixing — Peter Gallen.
Assistants — John Gallen and Julian Cooper.
Cover art — David Shortt.
Bonus tracks on CD reissues:
- Illusion/Masquerade (full unedited version) (Hensley) 8:18
- The River (out-take) (Bolder, Box, Hensley, Kerslake, Lawton) 3:10
- Put Your Music (Where Your Mouth Is) (out-take) (Bolder, Box, Hensley, Kerslake, Lawton) 2:57
- Cheat ‘n’ Lie (live) (Hensley) 5:58
- Free Me (live) (Hensley) 5:46
- Free ‘n’ Easy (live) (Box, Lawton) 3:15
* Classic Rock, August 2004, p. 8 (online version).
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