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Live From the Byron Era
Live From the Byron Era
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2004

At last here it is, the previously unreleased footage of Uriah Heep from 1973-1976. Fifteen tracks never before available on DVD and all featuring the late, great David Byron at his very best. Digitally restored and remast...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll
Studio: Classic Rock Legends
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/15/2004
Release Year: 2004
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A must-have!
Youri | Moscow, Russia | 08/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Well, this is a long-awaited DVD, which enables us to see the classic UH of David Byron, Mick Box, Ken Hensley, Lee Kerslake and Gary Thain/John Wetton with live footage from 1973 - 1976 first time on DVD in remastered quality with good sound (DTS, DD5.1 or DD2.0). Here is the tracklist:

1. Sunrise '73
2. Tears in My Eyes '73
3. Traveller in Time '73
4. Love Machine '74
5. So Tired '74
6. The Easy Road '74
7. Rock'n'roll Medley '74
8. Return To Fantasy '75
9. Easy Livin' '75
10. Stealin' '75
11. Prima Donna '75
12. Shady Lady '75
13. July Morning Montage '73-'76
Bonus tracks
1. Easy Livin'74
2. Stealin' '74

1973 footage: live in Budokan - video is good/audio is good
1974 footage: live in Shepperton - video is satisfactory/audio is good
1975 footage: live in USA - video is (almost) good/audio is satisfactory (mono!)

The material presented on this DVD is simply priceless since it is the only possibility to see UH in full glory at their peak, so it is a must-have for every UH fan. The restorators did a great job to give the material the best presentation possible.

But, as it is not uncommon with ClassicRockProductions releases, there is a fly in the ointment: in the annotation at the back cover 17 songs with 76 minutes duration are mentioned, while only 15 are listed and physically present at the disk, its actual running time being equal to 71 minutes. So either these two songs were omitted at the last moment or the person who wrote the notes did it for some other DVD! In any case such discord is inadmissible. Besides, the DVD is dedicated to the memory of David Byron and Gary Thain, and it is natural to expect some information about them in special features section - some kind of biography/discography with photo gallery. But nothing of this kind is there - no special features at all! Well, to make such articles about these great musicians it is not necessary to find some rare tapes and thoroughly restore them, spending a lot of time and money - all one has to do is to write a small article and place it on DVD! Or am I asking too much?

All in all, it is a very good DVD with great content, and I would give it a five star rating, but due to the above mentioned drawbacks one star should be deducted."
Buy this only after reading this full disclosure...
T. Edel | 10/29/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I have to assume the other reviewers were watching a different DVD, otherwise they have real low standards. I gave it one more star than it deserves b/c a true fan still needs to purchase it. Only because there really is no other footage available from what I read...

I am a huge fan of Rock, and I rely heavily on these reviews when exploring bands I haven't heard before. I.e. Budgie, Elf, Colosseum, etc. But I have never written a review before until now. I feel I must write this review to offset all the positive I've heard concerning this DVD. The reviews and liner notes really got my expectations high, only to be disappointed. I wouldn't feel so bad if I knew what to expect.

Now, by no means am I telling you NOT to buy it, just to know what your getting into so you don't have the same false expectations that I had going into viewing this DVD. I am a huge Heep fan. My first intro to The Heep was back in the early eighties when I picked up a radio promo copy of "Innocent Victim". After that great sonic explosion, I graduated to even better LPs (cassettes at that time) such as "Look At Yourself", "Demons and Wizards", "Classic Heep Live", "Wonderworld", I could go on and on... I'm also a huge Deep Purple fan (go figure), so my musical standards were set pretty high when it comes to concert DVDs. I have a few DP DVDs and love them all. When reading the DP reviews for their DVDs, I learn that some aren't the best quallity footage; some black and white, some poor camera angles, etc... When I read the reviews and the DVD sleeve for this Uriah Heep Classics Live video, I'm led to believe this is the greatest find since King Tut's tomb. THAT IT'S NOT!!!

What it IS, is some kind of a poor concert fantasy sequence that I could have done better if I were to fall asleep with a Heep CD playing and DREAMED I were at a concert. At least the audio would sound better. The notes say the sound had been remastered. I think by some 14 year old fan in his basement maybe. The sound is mediocre at best. Also, it's not until track 8 or so at the U.S. show, that the video and audio are actually in sinc. The whole first half of the DVD is filled with what seems to be cut up video clips from some shows put in sinc with the audio from other shows. Many video clips are repeated over and over and slow motion is used when they can't find video to match. I was so disappointed with what I was seeing and hearing, I had to pop out the disc to see if it was truly the same title to confirm I didn't just get ripped off. The U.S. footage looks like they were performing at a high school gymnasium... this from one of the greatest arena bands in the world at the height of their success?! "Shady Lady" is the best track on the DVD in regards to video quality and video to audio sinc.

Now I must get started on the "great" David Byron. I enjoy what he did on the studio albums, but my expectations were heightened after reading how important he was to Heep and what a great front man he was. I expected the master showman. When I think great front men, my standards are high; i.e. Paul Rodgers, Ian Gillian, Coverdale, David Lee Roth, even Freddie Mercury. David Byron is a ridiculously dressed Freddie-wanna-be, which would be OK if he was a great singer/performer which he's not. He is a good singer and when it comes to performing, he's a pretender. Now granted this is a small sampling and I'm too young to have had a chance to see him live, in person myself. Far be it for me to speak ill of the dead, I really hope someone that has actually witnessed him live, can prove me wrong.

Now, I know you may be thinking this isn't worth your hard earned cash. That's only partly true. If you're a casual fan or someone just getting introduced to the great Uriah Heep, you'll want to pass on this one. If you are a long time fan like me, you NEED this DVD b/c there is no better option, as they say, it's better than nothing. As a die hard fan, we like to "will" it to be better than what it is, but that only works if you have a strong imagination. But then I guess you could watch a better show in your dreams. Only buy this DVD if you can find a cheap used copy. Don't waste your hard earned cash on a new copy at full price, you'll just be disappointed and have buyers remorse.

As lovers of rock music, there are certain things we just have to accept; There will never be new recordings that sound as good, warm, and pure as The Stones "Out Of Our Heads" or Beatles "Rubber Soul", Metallica will never be what they used to be on "Master Of Puppets", there will never be a perfect, full, uncut video copy of Deep Purple MkII circa 1972, and there will never be quality concert footage of Uriah Heep from the `70s...

P.S. there is one more reason to spend a few dollars on this video, to see Mick Box play lead with a broken arm/wrist during the U.S. show...
A mish-mash
Woodrow Wilson | upstate NY | 08/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"What this amounts to is a mixed bag of four shows. The first is footage of Japanese shows set to the soundtrack of "Live 1973" (and a rather poor synching job, I might add). Kind of disappointing for the longtime Heep fan, even though the music is good and the footage is interesting; they just don't go together. Next are two "Don Kirschner's Rock Concert" shows and are completely original (I saw these on TV back in the day). The first is from 1974 and the "Wonderworld" tour, and is the equivalent to the "Live From Shepperton" CD -- good performances all around. The second is from '75 and the "Return to Fantasy" tour. In this, you can see the band getting sloppier. Finally there is one of the last Byron shows, the '76 Pink Pop show, in which the band is really sloppy in a grating rendition of "Sweet Lorraine." There's also "July Morning" set to "Live 1973."

If nothing else, this compilation is interesting in that you can see the band's decline into burnout from '73 to '76. The DVD is not bad, overall, but the synched footage kind of leaves you with the impression that you weren't told the whole truth when you bought it. So now you know what I wish I had known when I purchased it."
4 Stars for the Heep Fan - 3 for Everyone Else
Duct Tape 2007 | Orange County, NY USA | 04/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"OK, I think I can provide some background here. I don't disagree with any of the other reviews. The video and audio quality is just ok, but there are good reasons for that.

1)Budokan -The Budokan video was obviously cut and edited. The audio for all three tracks is lifted right from the commercially available Uriah Heep live cd (recorded in Birmingham, UK), and the video is cut to match the audio. Any Heep fan from way back will pick this up right away (I wore out 3 vinyl copies of Uriah Heep Live, so every note and nuance is permanently etched in my memory). The edit itself is not bad, but if you watch closely you can catch spots where you hear Byron's vocals, but in the video he is not singing. They probably had the Budokan video with horrible, unsalvagable audio, and decided to replace the audio and edit to make it usable. But as a previous reviewer said, this is probably all that was available, so better to have this than nothing at all. No mention of any of this in the liner notes.

2) 1974 - Shepperton (sp?). I distinctly remember seeing the exact same video on Don Kirshner's rock concert in 1974, and it was my introduction to them. It looks as though the band recorded and produced this and gave it to DKRC to run. The video has a second or third generation feel to it, but it looks ok. They were supporting Wonderworld, and the band is just ok here. Some of the same shots are used over and over again (Mick Box snarling into the camera)and some of the edits are off, especially with Byron's singing.The lyrics on So Tired are just horrible (who could sing that with a straight face), but this was my first exposure to Heep way back when so it was good to see this again.

3)Return to Fantasy 1975 - Don Kirschner's Rock Concert - I saw this when it aired as well, and taped it on my little portable cassette player. This looks like it was recorded at a studio specifically for the show. Frankly, Byron's stage presence is clumsy and obnoxious here, although he sings well. Future Asia frontman and bassist John Wetton joined on this tour. The band sounds better here than the 74 show, although Mick Box is playing with a hugh cast on his right wrist. Sound and video are decent, given its age.

Quite frankly, unless cans of previously undiscovered video show up in someone's basement, this is all that exists from the group in their classic era, so it does no good to complain, just be thankful it exists and you can watch it. Perfect, no.....but pretty good. The July Morning montage is good as well....clips spliced from various origins and various venues..I hadn't seen this before and it is well done."