|Come Away Melinda: A Collection of Classic Uriah Heep Ballads|
|previously released material|
|Released on August 14, 2001|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
[high resolution scan]
I n an effort to hit their annual quota of ubiquitous Uriah Heep compilations, Castle released an album of Rarities (Empty the Pockets) and this collection of ballads in August. Both compilations lead off with “Come Away Melinda” because, well, you try coming up with ten different Heep compilations every year. The ballads really aren’t, not technically anyway, a point I made earlier in the AMG review (lest it be completely pointless). But any excuse to listen to eighteen classic Heep songs in luscious digital sound may be all the impetus you need. (Or maybe luscious digital sound and a dictionary, I don’t know.) Most of this is Byron-era balladry, and I have to say that, the more I listen to his voice, the more I wish Ronnie James Dio were in this band. The masking effects, heavy harmonies, crunching choruses... Heep went to a lot of trouble to hide David Byron’s limitations. Not that the two John Lawton tracks at the end are so much better, but even Elvis couldn’t have done much with “Come Back To Me.” (Actually, now that I think of it, if he sang it slow like “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” it would be terrific. Sorry for doubting you, Elvis.) What comes through in the digital remasters is the music: the spacey synthesizer passages, the explosive drums and guitars. Songs that never floored me on vinyl or earlier CDs (“Weep in Silence,” “Wonderworld”) sound brand new in their remastered versions. But there are plenty of places to find the remastered versions, and this wouldn’t be the place to start looking. Had they placed a woman in hotpants on the cover as they did with Rarities, well then, you’d have a bigger impetus. But they didn’t. Apparently Castle had a less liberal hotpant quota, which I mention only because I like saying “hotpant” in the singular form. I like Heep too, here as much as anywhere. But Ballads isn’t compelling compiling or packaging or hotpanting or anything you need to own. (I think I like it even more in gerund form.)
|CMRCD238 back sleeve|
Joe Geesin -- liner note interview
return to URIAH HEEP discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|UK||August 14, 2001||Castle||CD||CMRCD238||picture sleeve|
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