Uriah Heep is an English rock band, formed in December 1969 when record producer Gerry Bron invited keyboardist Ken Hensley (previously a member of The Gods and Toe Fat) to join Spice, a band signed to his own Bronze Records label.
They were sometimes jokingly referred to as "The Beach Boys of heavy metal" for their melodic songs, and trademark multi-part harmony backing vocals, although their music draws on diverse influences including progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal, jazz, and even country on occasion.
In spite of their huge popularity in Britain and continental Europe, Uriah Heep were never able to break into the American market in a big way, with the exception of three hit songs, "Easy Livin' " from the 1972 album Demons and Wizards, "Sweet Lorraine" from the 1972 album The Magician's Birthday (a top ten album in Australia), and "Stealin' " from the 1973 release Sweet Freedom. The band released several commercially successful albums in the 1970s, including the seminal Uriah Heep Live (1973), but their audience declined by the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult band in the US and UK. Uriah Heep maintain a significant following in Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, Japan and Russia, where they still perform at stadium-sized venues.
Graphic artist Roger Dean painted several of their album covers, most notably Demons & Wizards (1972), The Magician's Birthday (1972), and Sea of Light (1994). They have sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
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