ESMCD560 Innocent Victim
Produced by Gerry Bron & Ken Hensley
Released on September 1977
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
ESMCD560 cover
[high resolution scan]

T he late ‘70s weren’t exactly a cultural renaissance for rock. As the drugs wore off, bands forged in the late ‘60s were left with the remaining half of their cultural legacy: sex. This led to what I derisively call “crotch” rock, written by men about 1) being in love with a woman, 2) being out of love with a woman, 3) being too much of a travellin’ man to love any one woman, 4) the dangerous women who love travellin’ men, and 5) the occasionally mystic experience (after all, the mantra was still sex, drugs and rock & roll). Adolescent boys loved this stuff -- so did some adolescent girls, although I don’t think a lot of blood was getting into anyone’s brain because of all those tight jeans. Still, Innocent Victim (as good an album of crotch rock as you could hope for) wasn’t marketed as well as Boston, Foreigner, et al, so it failed to crack the Top 100. Those who did tune in got a treat: spot-on harmonies, top-notch musicianship, with ample opportunities to rock out (“Free ‘N’ Easy”), space out (“Illusion”) and sing along (“Free Me,” “Cheat ‘N’ Lie”). If Firefly was proof that John Lawton and Trevor Bolder were helping rekindle Heep’s muse, Innocent Victim confirmed it. Songwriter Jack Williams was also brought in for a few tracks, giving the band a slightly more mature (and less noticeably Heep-ish) sound on “The Dance” and “Choices.” Although the record did well in Europe, punk and disco were dominating the bigger markets, pushing bands like Heep into the shadows. Today, Innocent Victim can be appreciated as quality crotch rock, well polished and pretty catchy in spots with a bit of bite for good measure. Far more essential than Fallen Angel and even Conquest, it’s one of two Lawton-era albums that every Heep fan should consider adding to their collection. FYI, the 1997 Essential reissue sounds terrific and adds some worthwhile bonus tracks to the mix.

ESMCD560 lyric gatefold ESMCD560 back sleeve
ESMCD560 lyric gatefold ESMCD560 back sleeve


  1. KEEP ON RIDIN'    (Ken Hensley/Jack Williams)
  2. FLYIN' HIGH    (Ken Hensley)
  3. ROLLER    (Ian McDonald/Trevor Bolder)
  4. FREE 'N' EASY    (John Lawton/Mick Box)
  5. ILLUSION    (Ken Hensley)
  6. FREE ME    (Ken Hensley)
  7. CHEAT 'N' LIKE    (Ken Hensley)
  8. THE DANCE    (Jack Williams)
  9. CHOICES    (Jack Williams)

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. THE RIVER    (Ken Hensley/Mick Box/Lee Kerslake/Trevor Bolder)

    2004 Sanctuary CD reissue bonus tracks
  12. FREE 'N' EASY (LIVE)


MICK BOX -- guitars
KEN HENSLEY -- keyboards, guitars, vocals
LEE KERSLAKE -- drums, vocals
JOHN LAWTON -- vocals
Mark Dearnley -- engineer (9)
Peter Gallen -- engineer, mixing
John Holmes -- illustration
David Shortt -- cover design
Leaderline Artists/Steve Ridgeway -- artwork

return to URIAH HEEP discography

UK/SWE September 1977 Bronze LP BRON504  
US September 1977 Warner Bros. LP BSK 3145  
ARG 1977 Bronze LP BRON 2502  
AUS'L   Bronze/Festival LP L36421  
GER/NET/SPA 1977 Bronze LP 25 543 XOT  
JPN 1977 Bronze LP P-10441B  
MEX 1977 Ariola LP LA 073  
RUS 1977 Ariola LP C60-14802  
SAF 1977 Bronze LP/CS ML/MC 4139  
BRA 1983 Bronze LP 810442  
GER 1989 Bronze CD 260.130.217  
UK December 3, 1991 Castle Classics LP/CD CLALP/CLACD 210  
GER 1992 Castle CD CLC 5116  
US October 26, 1999 Castle Music America CDX 532 w. bonus tracks
UK/GER July 14, 1997 Essential CDX ESMCD560 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
UK September 25, 2001 Sanctuary CDX 81114 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
UK August 2, 2004 Sanctuary CDX   remaster w. ALL bonus tracks
US August 24, 2004 Castle Music America CDX 72374 digital remaster w. bonus tracks


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