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Uriah Heep - Raging Through The Silence album review

Finally, the missing link

Cover art for Uriah Heep - Raging Through The Silence

The perfect birthday present for the Uriah Heep fan in your life. Watch their eyes well up as they tear open the wrapping paper and find the missing link in their voluminous collection: a CD/ DVD package of the band’s 1989 London Astoria show, previously available only on VHS.

It’s special because it marks the end of Heep’s wilderness years and the start of their renaissance with singer Bernie Shaw that has continued ever since. Not that it felt like anything momentous at the time. The 1989 tour might have marked their 20th anniversary, but having been through 15 lineup changes before Shaw’s arrival in 1986 there wasn’t much to celebrate. All semblance of continuity had gone. Shaw was their fifth vocalist in the 10 years since David Byron had been fired, but crucially he had both the voice and the frontman persona to stop the rot.

The Raging Silence album that preceded the tour (four songs from which are included here) was a cautious affair that the Heep fan seldom plays, but Raging Through The Silence demonstrates that playing live Heep were already in recovery and Shaw had mastered their 70s greatest hits. Indeed it would be another 18 years before the line-up changed again.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.