Band members Related acts
- Ken Hensley -- vocals, keyboards
backing band (1973)
- Head Machine
- The Hensley Lawton Band
- The Rebel Rousers
- Toe Fat
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Proud Words On a Dusty Shelf
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: bullet hole bottom right; gatefold sleeve
Catalog ID: 3295
Best known for his work with The Gods and the
ever-subtle Uriah Heep), 1973 saw
vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Ken Hensley sign a parallel solo deal with
Mercury Records (coincidently Uriah Heep's label). Responsible for
much of Heep's better material (the top-40 hit 'Easy Livin'' quickly coming to
mind), even the Heep's biggest critics
(hard to imagine anyone taking a shot at the band ...), had to admit Hensley
had more than his share of talent.
1.) When Evening Comes (Ken Hensley) - 4:35 rating: **** stars
For a guy best known for playing keyboards, Hensley displayed some nice chops on the opener 'When Evening Comes'. A tasty blues-rock ballad, the song was helped by surprisingly restrained vocals and some of the most effective blues guitar I've heard in a long time. The song was tapped as the album's US single:
1973's 'When Evening Comes' b/w 'Fortune' (Mercury catalog number 73410)
Geez, never though I would say this about something in the Uriah Heep "family", but the acoustic 'From Time To Time' was a truly beautiful ballad. Laidback and subtle, this was 180 degrees different than your typical Uriah Heep effort. Damn good and the cheesy '70s synthesizers struck a soft spot with me. The track was tapped as a promotional single in the States, but never seems to have seen a commercial release:
1973's 'From Time To Time' b/w '' (Mercury catalog number 73382)
an easy-going rollicking melody, musically 'King without a Throne' was a
major surprise. For goodness sakes, there was even a catchy chorus.
first part of the ballad 'Rain' isn't all that different from the Uriah Heep
version. Not sure if I like this one more, or less.
The title track also served as the album's most commercial and catchy track. With a bouncy melody an "uplifting" lyric, and some stellar slide guitar, I've always wondered why Mercury didn't tap it as the single.
showcasing Hensley's sweet slide guitar work, the opening segment of
'Fortune' was among the prettiest things he ever wrote. From there the
tune went off in a Uriah Heep rock direction; meaning lots of twists and
turns; stops and starts. Interesting, but not my favorite performance.
included on Uriah Heep's 1971 "Salisbury" album, it
was interesting to hear Hensley covering his own tune. Hensley sang
the Uriah Heep original (David Byron supposedly disliked the song and
refused to sing it). The remake ditched the acoustic, folky feel for a
more rock orientation and while it was nice, the original was better.
kicked along by some pastoral acoustic guitars, 'Go Down' actually reminded
me a little bit of the Uriah Heep version of 'Black-Hearted Lady'.
Pretty, relaxing tune that showcased what a sweet voice Hensley had.
Hensley fans gush over 'Cold Autumn Sunday' and while I'll admit it was a pretty enough tune, it's always struck me as one of those songs where he simply tried too hard. Maybe pompous pushes it too far, there's just something forced and artificial on this one. The song was released as a single in Japan:
1973's 'Cold Autumn Sunday' b/w 'Rain' (Bronze catalog number
Hearing pedal steel guitar my natural instinct is to run ... That was certainly the case hearing 'The Last Time'. Hearing Hensley stretch to hit the high notes didn't do the song any favors. Unfortunate way to end the album.
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