Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Uriah Heep - Rainbow Demon

This month it is time to do something obscure and classic.

If you lived in Switzerland or Denmark there is a decent chance, though not necessarily a very good chance you know the group I’m going to talk about. If you listen to a lot, and I mean a lot of classic rock you might know them as well. They are Uriah Heep, and unknown to most of the world they are living legends.

Uriah Heep started out in England as another rock group of many during the seventies, the critics never gave them any credit, and frankly their record sales left a lot to be admired. Then again it was the early seventies, you try competing with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Eagles, Rush, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, KISS, and others and tell me how many people notice you even exist.

Uriah Heep was a progressive rock group, which in laymen’s terms means they experimented a lot with new sounds. What perhaps set them apart form other progressive rock groups, was their highly fantasy influenced lyrics and sounds. They had a lot of songs about wizards, time travel, and other fun stuff like that.

You may, maybe, just maybe, may have heard “Easy Living” on the radio, I have once. That’s Uriah Heep.

I got into them via the Internet and discovered they had several songs that were actually very good. Not to banter on and on about how several different songs struck me with powerful symbolic meaning and great rock and rock sound, but yes, many songs were A grade.

I bought a couple of their albums, and so on, they’re great, they really are.

While I feel the need to choose one song I want to make it perfectly clear they have several very awesome songs, nonetheless I believe I will tell you about “Rainbow Demon.”

“Rainbow Demon” is not one of their bigger hits, it’s a cult hit among fans. A cult classic song from a cult classic rock group makes a lot of sense to me. Obvious fantasy based lyrics with the whole demon angel but there is a unique sound that makes this song different form any other. Once familiar with the general sound of Uriah Heep this is clearly a Uriah Heep song, but a strange and different Uriah Heep song, one of their best in my opinion.  I particular like the retro sound combine with what I feel sounds like a western twang.  I always invision the Rainbow Demon as some king of multicolored sword wielding cowboy from hell.  King of like the gunslinger, only on acid.

Perhaps it is just me and my dark ways but I feel a great dread in this song, a song about some horribly heart broken demonic warrior;

"Rainbow Demon" by Miryah:
"There rides the rainbow demon
On his horse of crimson fire.
Black shadows are following closely
On the heels of his desire.

Riding on in the mist of morning
No one dared to stand in his way.
Possessed by some distant calling.
Riding on through night and day.

Rainbow demon - Pick up your heart and run.
Rainbow demon - Looks for his sword and is gone."

And now all you know about Uriah Heep, and my work is done for another month. So until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.

- Colin Kelly