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Uriah Heep - Moscow And Beyond (DVD) CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.86 | 12 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars This was how the east was won

Uriah Heep is a band whose live concerts are amply captured on video. I myself have quite a few of the band's live concert videos on DVD, but until now I've never had the pleasure to see the present concert film capturing the band live in Moscow in the late 80's. Apparently, Uriah Heep became the first Rock band from the West to break through the Iron curtain and perform on the other side. As such, this video is of historic importance regardless of what you think about Uriah Heep's music. But for those of us who do like their music, it is exciting to consider that it (and Rock music in general) was one of the forces that helped to bring an end to Communism in Eastern Europe. It is undoubtedly true that music can empower people (which was probably why the authorities wanted to suppress it).

This film is however noteworthy not just for reasons of political history. It also marked the beginning of a new line-up of the band--a line-up that would go on to be the longest lasting and most stable line-up in the band's history. Moreover, the set list contains three songs that are not included on any of the band's studio albums. These are Pacific Highway, Corina, and Mr. Majestic. The latter is particularly interesting as it features lead vocals by Phil Lanzon (the band's new keyboard player at the time and who wrote the song). Lanzon is not a great singer, and it is by no means a great song, but it is rather interesting to hear it as it stands apart from the band's regular repertoire. Pacific Highway and Corina are, by contrast, rather typical Uriah Heep numbers of this era and would have fitted well on Raging Silence.

The band are energetic and very much in their element throughout. The new members of the band fit right in; Lanzon is on fire on the keyboards and Bernie Shaw is a fantastic vocalist and showman. The classic songs performed include Look At Yourself, Easy Livin', Gypsy, July Morning, and The Wizard, and the 80's are represented by Too Scared To Run. All of these are really good songs and this rendition of Gypsy is particularly interesting due to the symphonic keyboard interlude it contains. As far as I understand this film doesn't feature the complete set list that was performed at these concerts. The live album from the same concerts contains a few songs that are not present here (and vice versa). As such, neither release seems to be complete. But this doesn't detract from my enjoyment of this film.

This is definitely a very good addition to any Uriah Heep collection and essential for fans, but it is not their best live concert video (my two favourites are Magic Night and Acoustically Driven) and certainly not the only one you need to have. Still, it is worthy of four stars.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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