uriah heep - look at yourself

Uriah Heep: Look at Yourself (1971)

It’s another late night. We’ve switched from scotch to red wine, but we’re ready to continue down the track by track path of the monster that is 70s hard rock. Uriah Heep may have solidified their classic lineup and earned their biggest hit to date with “Easy Living'” on 1972’s Demons and Wizards, but the real hard rock punch came a year earlier with the mesmerizing Look at Yourself. The progressive side hasn’t yet fully come into its own; instead we get pounding guitars and organs and an overall more metal release. I was thrilled to find a great copy – a first US pressing at my local shop Needle + Groove for a song. A few listens convinced me of its merit, and for a while I was happy to say it was my favorite of their releases I had heard to date. Now that I had a serious dive into the followup, let tear this sucker up track by track and still if my assessment still holds true.

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uriah heep - demons and wizards

Uriah Heep: Demons and Wizards (1972)

Okay ladies and gentlemen…I have had more than a few drinks, the stereo is turned up loud, and I’m ready to continue down the path of classic 1970s hard rock, as initiated all the way back in July of this year when I waxed poetic about the Sea of Tranquility YouTube channel. Let’s keep the train rolling with some of the vinyl I picked up over the last few months, starting with a band I knew by name but was woefully ignorant of musically…the mighty Uriah Heep and their dynamic fourth album Demons and Wizards. I think at this points I’m enough sheets into the wind to do more of a reaction review, even though I’ve heard the record a number of times already. Flare your pant bottoms and grab your wicker basket of wine…it’s time to do this.

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scorpions - virgin killer

Scorpions: Virgin Killer (1976)

Coming back to the Scorpions after the fun of discovering their weird psychedelic side with Fly to the Rainbow I skipped ahead a bit to see what fourth album Virgin Killer had in store. By this time they had already started to hone their songwriting into the tighter, more streamlined commercial approach that would rocket them to stardom in a few short years. Having started their path with with third album In Trance (sadly one I don’t own…yet) I was eager to check out if Roth’s guitar was still as frenetic and alight as my first exposure. So let’s dive into Round 2 of Chris reacts to a virgin listen of Virgin Killer and see what hits, what misses, and where I’m left standing with the Scorpions’ 70s output.

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scorpions - fly to the rainbow

Scorpions: Fly to the Rainbow (1974)

Back from a week of vacation where weirdly enough I spent most of my time listening to a lot of metal. Usually it’s a ton of funk and more sunny music to complement the beach weather, but there you go. Anyway, right before I left picked up Fly to the Rainbow, the second album from Scorpions: I’m familiar with what I would call the “classic” period from Lovedrive to Love at First Sting, but beyond some excursions into the late 70s my early knowledge is severely limited. I know the real early stuff is supposed to be significantly different, so as an experiment I’m going to review this real-time as I listen to it for the first time. I guess it’s a reaction post – is that a thing? I don’t know. Let’s dive in.

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savoy brown - looking in

Savoy Brown: Looking In (1970)

Like so many metal albums of my youth, it started with the album cover. I would see Looking In, the sixth album from England blues rock band Savoy Brown constantly on my trips to the local record shops, and would marvel at that delicious comic book artwork. But each and every time I’d turn way, convinced it was just another run of the mill 70s rock and roll record that could be ignored. But as I started digging more into some of the obscure gems of the 70s I decided to stop ignoring that cover and give it a shot.

Man, I love being wrong.

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Detective: Detective (1977)

Kicking off my dive into 1970s hard rock with this recommendation fromĀ Sea of Tranquility. I grabbed Detective on CD without hearing anything besides the description: a band that impressed Jimmy Page so much he immediately signed them to his Swan Song label. The band’s eponymous debut is a killer rock album that certainly hews close to late-period Zeppelin were putting out but contains some surprising detours along the way, making it a real catchy hard rock gem with enough of its own identity to (for the most part) keep the clone hounds at bay. In other words, here there be hooks, and they will most assuredly get into you.

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