SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Words In The Distance 1994-1998(3cd Set) Uriah Heep


WORDS IN THE DISTANCE 1994-1998 (3CD SET) Uriah Heep
This remastered beautifully presented clam box release with informative booklet brings together 3 albums from a band that have become a rock institution. The albums in question being ‘Sea Of Light’ ‘Spellbinder’ (live concert) and ‘Sonic Origami’. I’m going to work backwards, bear with me. 1998’s ‘Sonic Origami’ is classic Heep, symphonic with a moving opening track ‘Between Two Worlds’ written by Mick Box as a tribute to original vocalist David Byron and Gary Thain who both sadly passed away in 1985 and 1975 respectively. And unusually for a band that writes their own material there is a cover of Survivors ‘Across the Miles’ which is great, although see the sleeve notes for Micks comments! ‘Golden Palace’ is another standout track, as I say all ‘classic’ Heep. Released in 1996 ‘Spellbinder’ see’s the band playing live in Germany (where they are huge) to an obviously rapt audience. I’m not big on ‘live’ albums in general but this certainly catches a band on blistering form and was recorded for a German radio broadcast primarily. ‘Devils Daughter’ ‘Wizard’ and ‘Gypsy’ are just three highlights and its the next best thing to being there in person it certainly pulls you in to the night. However its 1995’s ‘Sea of Light’ that is the jewel in the crown. When it was released back in ’95’ I was sent a copy that co-incided with me doing a rock radio show and it was love at first listen! I played it to death! From the opening wailing guitar chords of ‘Against The Odds’ thru the insanely catchy ‘Sweet Sugar’ the hauntingly beautiful ‘Mistress Of All Time’ EVERY track is a tour-de-force. Its not just a great Heep album its a GREAT rock album up there with anything Purple, Rainbow, you name it have ever produced. This is first division rock at its finest, the whole album is so cohesive, the running order of the tracks is perfect, the energy and togetherness of the band is awesome. Die hard UH fans on its release said it was ‘a return to form’ that is damning with faint praise in my opinion. S.O.L is the apogee of a band with all the stars aligned. If you are a serious rock fan this album should be in your collection and played regularly and LOUDLY weekly you’ll feel all the better for it! And just to cap it off you can enjoy the evocative unmistakable Roger Dean artwork (remember those Osibisa covers). Well that’s my ‘umble’ opinion…….

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Til next time, stay warm…….Colin

John Williams… I am sure when we used to gig at The Crown the bloke that owned it was Alex, he was with Uriah Heep

Alan Esdaile… Your right John, he was the drummer.

Image – The Cobweb St Leonards 29th November 1969


supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey… The Cobweb 29-11-1969. Know nothing about ‘Image’ and trying to do a Google search on them is darn near impossible.

Jim Breeds… Image. Take a look at this FB page’s About section. Could it be? “formed in 1999” but “they decided to take over the name IMAGE, which was the name of Bryan and Greg’s father’s band in the early 80’s.” Probably not the same Image, then. Ah well, I tried 

Pauline Richards… Remember it well. Roger Saunders and that floor that made your clothes see through!!

Radio Caroline – poster 1977/1978

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                 supplied by Kevin Carlyon

Kevin Carlyon… Used to print these for myself to give out to people in 1977/1978. It got around the law by advising people not to listen!!  I printed thousands to distribute.

Jan Warren… No, don’t remember the flyers as I moved to London in early 1974, but I remember the pirate radio stations in the 60s, especially Radio Caroline, and all the “jingles”!! – happy days!! 🙂

Leigh Wieland Boys… I am sure a local Hastings lad (friend of my brother’s) possibly called Dave Cox? Became a DJ with Radio Caroline – does that ring a bell with any one?


From The Jam & Secret Affair – Mod Special – White Rock Theatre 30th March 2017


From The Jam featuring Bruce Foxton, original Jam member along with Russell Hastings will be performing all the Jam’s greatest hits expect to hear, Start, That’s Entertainment, In The City, Beat Surrender, Down In The Tube Station, Eton Riffles, plus many more.

Along with special guest Secret Affair performing their hits My World, Time For Action and more, with a DJ playing classic mod tunes. This is must-see show for any mod fan.

further information

Matt Thomas… From The Jam featuring original Jam members Bruce Foxton & Rick Buckler

Judith Hayward… Oh yeah!!

St Clements Caves – August 1975 – Shaft, Tanglewood, Rubber Band & Raven.

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Mick O’Dowd… Weren’t (Black ) Raven and Rubberband one of the same Alan?

Alan Esdaile… Yes Mick, they were but odd that one poster says Rubber Band tonight and Raven next week. Maybe a different Raven?


Mick O’Dowd… Didn’t Black Raven suddenly disappear and reappear as Rubber Band when a single by RB materialised. Never quite understood that.