New Cover: Uriah Heep – The Wizard

While Uriah Heep is primarily known for the song “Easy Livin'” from their landmark album “Demons and Wizards”, its opening track “The Wizard” has always been my all-time favorite by the band.

Uriah Heep: From the “Demons and Wizards” era, 1972.

It popped up on my randomizer a short while back, and I immediately realized it would be great cover material. As I went along with the production process, adding my own touches as I always do, it turned out to be quite a bit more work than I’d anticipated. Then again, they always are.

In the end, it was an extremely satisfying project. I certainly hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

Words and Music by Mark Clarke and Ken Hensley

He was the Wizard of a thousand kings
And I chanced to meet him one night wandering
He told me tales and he drank my wine
Me and my magic man, kinda feeling fine

He had a cloak of gold and eyes of fire
And as he spoke, I felt a deep desire
To free the world of its fear and pain
And help the people to feel free again

Why don't we listen to the
Voices in our hearts?
'Cause then I know we'd find
We're not so far apart
Everybody's got to be happy
Everyone should sing
For we know the joy of life
Peace and love can bring

So spoke the Wizard
In his mountain home
The vision of his wisdom
Means we'll never be alone
And I will dream of my magic night
And the million silver stars
That guide me with their light

This cover a tribute to my lost Brother, Art Horning, who first introduced me to Uriah Heep along with uncountable other artists during my early days. He was by no means a musician, but most definitely an absolute music aficionado.

A gentle giant and kinder soul you’ll never find… Rest in peace my dear friend, you’re sorely missed by all.

Not many people are lucky enough to have had
a true Amigo like Art, for some 55 years no less.

Credits

  • Arrangements, all instruments and vocals by Craig Guerrieri.
  • Recorded, mixed and mastered by Craig Guerrieri at Cygnus Studios, Florida, USA. ©2020.
  • Featured image artwork by Roger Dean.

Instruments

  • Peavey DW-3 acoustic guitar
  • Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar (effects by AZOR)
  • Fender Jazz bass guitar
  • KORG MS-20 analog synthesizer
  • Yamaha MX49 digital synthesizer
  • DW Drums with Zildjian, Paiste and Wuhan cymbals
  • Additional percussion by Treeworks
  • Wizard narration and magic spells by, The Wizard!

Studio Engineering: Technical

  • DAW: REAPER
  • A/D Interfaces: Behringer UMC1820 and ADA8200
  • Microphones: R0DE, Sennheiser, Carvin, CAD
  • Amplification: Line 6, Carvin

A note regarding tablature: Although what I produce are 99% covers, I almost always wind up having to write my own tab since what I usually find on the web is either simply flat-out incorrect, or written in the wrong key or tuning.

That said, most people don’t realize that performing covers very often does actually involve writing music, in order to get it right.

This song actually uses Drop-C guitar tuning which gives it that powerful sound, similar to metal bands using other analogous tunings such as Drop-D, for a likewise kick-ass effect.

Of course, the layman need not concern themselves with understanding any of these nuances, except for the fact Drop-C sounds really fucking cool!

2 thoughts

  1. Was here from the beginning on this work and loved the progress of it all. I had no idea this was done to honor “RC”… truer words of this bro were never spoken.

    sigh Loved you Art.

    Like

    1. Thanks for all your help with preview critique on this, my old friend! Sincerely, you’ve no idea how valuable it was to me, and you played a bigger part in this production than you probably realize.

      Regarding Art, I’ve never heard a single soul have a negative thing to say about the man throughout all the years I knew him. He was truly one of a kind, and instantly grew on everyone he met. I remember him being a big fan of Heep, and I was long overdue for a dedication to the best friend I ever had. So, it’s a good fit, I think.

      Besides his most valued friendship, he meant so much to my family as well. I know you’re aware of at least some of this:

      • Introduced me to my bride-to-be.
      • Was my Best Man at the wedding.
      • Godfather to my oldest son, which he considered a great honor.
      • Visited me shortly after I relocated to Colorado, and slept on my couch for a month! He liked the area so much he moved out there permanently, which of course made me extremely happy.
      • All of my children (and grandchildren) affectionately called him “Uncle Art”. He was so generous and wonderful to each and every one of them.

      I could go on forever. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t think of Artie, and in my heart I know there never will be.

      Like

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