Early Uriah Heep critics made them 'band of the people'

Uriah Heep guitarist Mick Box insists early criticism of their music made them a “band of the people” and helped launch their decades-long career.

Box believes the negative reviews of Heep’s early 1970s shows were full of “lies” and that fans saw through the supposedly unfair words.

He tells Wikimetal: “Back in those early days, we were the last to come out. Zeppelin were established, Sabbath were established, Deep Purple were established and then we came along in a blaze of publicity. The whole music scene in London was changing over from hard rock to folk rock – in fact it was when Dylan first picked up an electric guitar and there was uproar.

“So the whole music scene was changing and we were the last ones to come along. And everyone was basically saying ‘not another one.’ But we proved them wrong, because what it did for us was make us a people’s band. We weren’t a press-loved band, we were a people’s band.

“And these people were coming to the shows, shouting for four or five encores and wondering where that guy who wrote that review was standing or even if he was in the building. They lied.”

And Box – the last remaining original member of Heep – adds that reported tension between the top British rock bands of the early 1970s was fabricated by the press.

He says Heep got on just fine with the big three – Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, adding: “People try and make more out of it than there actually was. There was nothing, we were all musicians and we were all friends. There was no real competition at all, you were just striving to make your own music your own way.”

As reported by TeamRock, Uriah Heep’s 24th album Outsider is released on Monday, June 9.

Listen to the full interview with Wikimetal below

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.