Music: Uriah Heep

The classic lineup in the mid-1970s.

Uriah Heep are a British Progressive Rock band whose debut was released in 1970, with 21 albums under their belt. They are considered one of the first metal bands, having been beaten to the punch of actually creating it by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath by a year or two.

The nucleus of the original group was David Byron, a singer with an operatic voice and multi-octave vocal range and lead guitarist Mick Box, both of whom had played in a psychedelic group called Spice in the sixties. The third member of the core of Uriah Heep was Ken Hensley, who contributed keyboards, some guitar and most of the songwriting. Bassist Gary Thain and drummer Lee Kerslake completed the "classic" line-up that played on the Demons and Wizards and The Magician's Birthday albums.

Presently, Box is the only member who has been in every incarnation of the group.

Not to be confused with the David Copperfield character for whom they're named.


  • Concept Album
  • Control Freak: Ken Hensley, the band's keyboardist, second guitarist and primary songwriter during the first part of their career, developed a reputation for iron-handed control over the group.
  • Demoted to Extra: In spite of their popularity and influence, Uriah Heep is less well remembered than other early metal groups, though they probably have more recognition in prog rock circles.
  • Epic Rocking: The second side of the album Salisbury is occupied by a sixteen-minute long suite featuring a twenty-six piece orchestra. One of their most popular songs, "July Morning", is another good example.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: The late great David Byron had an incredibly powerful falsetto, as heard among other places on "Sunrise" from The Magician's Birthday.
  • Heavy Mithril: One of the earliest exponents of this style.
  • I Am the Band: A bizarre example. Mick Box, the lead guitarist, is the only original member still in the band to this day. For a time they were a simple revolving door band after all of the original members left, with Box as the only constant member. However the line-up that he formed in 1986 lasted 21 YEARS and would still be together today, had ill-health not forced a change in drummers.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of their harder-rocking material is in the 4-6 range. They also have a variety of softer material that's lower on the scale, too.
  • Progressive Rock: Of the harder-rocking variety- they're almost an Ur-Example of Progressive Metal.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Ken Hensley took the lead vocal on some of their most popular songs, including "Lady In Black" and "Look At Yourself".