BS 2869 Return To Fantasy
Produced by Gerry Bron
Released on May 1975
UK CHART POSITION #7 . . . US CHART POSITION #85
Find it at GEMM
BS 2869 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T he last of the over-the-top ‘eep, complete with spire-chasing organs, exploding drums, mystical encounters and bottomless ballads. With Lee Kerslake now entrenched behind the kit and John Wetton joining on bass (and sparing mellotron), this was Uriah on top of the Heep, a rock force to be reckoned with. Until the second track anyway, at which point all bets are off. You see, the trouble with Heep is their confounding heepness: a tasteless temerity that allows them to bluster between fantasy and crotch rock like they’re the second salty coming of Led Zeppelin or something. Adding Wetton to the mix doesn’t alter that heepness, at least not on this album. (He does have an audible effect on High And Mighty.) As with most of their classic-period albums, Return To Fantasy can be counted on for a couple of good fantasy numbers (“Return to Fantasy,” “Beautiful Dream”), a melodic midtempo ace (“Your Turn To Remember”) and a bathetic ballad (“Why Did You Go”). It’s still an acquired taste—when has Heep been anything but?—made palatable by credible rock riffs and a feigning toward fantasy half of the time. Hensley’s high-mindedness, Byron’s low-mindedness and Mick Box’ mindlessness meet in the middle like a tempest, the whipping winds of which goad them onto greatness or hound them into harried mediocrity, depending. Still, good salty fare for those who seek a second heeping. A Roger Dean or Boris Vallejo cover would have helped matters considerably, but the flaming ballerina approach has a few things going for it. Specifically, two nipples and a camel toe.

BS 2869 inner gatefold BS 2869 lyric sleeve
BS 2869 inner gatefold BS 2869 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. RETURN TO FANTASY    (Ken Hensley/David Byron)    5:52
  2. SHADY LADY    (Ken Hensley/Mick Box/David Byron/Lee Kerslake)    4:46
  3. DEVIL'S DAUGHTER    (David Byron/Mick Box/Ken Hensley/Lee Kerslake)    4:48
  4. BEAUTIFUL DREAM    (Ken Hensley/David Byron/Mick Box/Lee Kerslake)    4:52
  5. PRIMA DONNA    (David Byron/Mick Box/Lee Kerslake/Ken Hensley)    3:11
  6. YOUR TURN TO REMEMBER    (Ken Hensley)    4:22
  7. SHOWDOWN    (Ken Hensley/David Byron/Mick Box/Lee Kerslake)    4:17
  8. WHY DID YOU GO    (David Byron/Mick Box/Ken Hensley/Lee Kerslake)    3:53
  9. A YEAR OR A DAY    (Ken Hensley)    4:22

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  10. SHOUT IT OUT
  11. THE TIME WILL COME
  12. BEAUTIFUL DREAM (DEMO)
  13. RETURN TO FANTASY (SINGLE EDIT)

    CD reissue extra bonus tracks
  14. SHOUT IT OUT
  15. THE TIME WILL COME
  16. PRIMA DONNA (DEMO)
  17. WHY DID YOU GO (DEMO)
  18. SHOWDOWN (DEMO)
  19. BEAUTIFUL DREAM (DEMO)
  20. RETURN TO FANTASY (EXTENDED VERSION)

CREDITS

MICK BOX -- guitars
DAVID BYRON -- lead vocals
KEN HENSLEY -- keyboards, guitars, synthesizers, vocals
LEE KERSLAKE -- drums, percussion, vocals
JOHN WETTON -- bass, Mellotron, vocals
Peter Gallen -- engineer
B.J. Cole --
Mel Collins --
Dave Field -- artwork

return to URIAH HEEP discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK May 1975 Bronze LP ILPS-9335 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
US/CAN 1975 Warner Bros. LP BS 2869 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
AUSL 1975 Bronze LP L-36391  
BRA 1975 Bronze LP 810006  
FRA 1975 Bronze LP BRO-2010  
GER 1975 Bronze LP/CS 28 783 XOT/MC 56 773 GT  
JPN 1975 Bronze LP P-8580B gatefold cover
NET 1975 Bronze LP 89065 XOT gatefold cover
UK 1989 Castle Classics LP/CD CLALP/CLACD 175  
RUS 1993 SNC LP ME-2042  
UK 1996 Essential CDX ESMCD-381 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
US October 26, 1999 Castle Music America CDX CMACD-529 w. bonus tracks
US September 11, 2001 Sanctuary CDX 81104 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
NET May 27, 2004 Sanctuary CDX SMRCD-100 w. extra bonus tracks
JPN August 22, 2007 Sanctuary CDX BVCM-37734 digital remaster w. extra bonus tracks

 

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