Alongside Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, Uriah Heep's thrashing hard rock and screaming guitar solos helped create a template for heavy metal in the early 1970s. Named after a character from Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield, the band was formed in London by guitarist Mick Box with front man David Byron in 1969 and their debut album Very 'eavy. Very 'umble (1970) laid down their signature bombastic, soaring, theatrical sound. The band dabbled with prog-rock on follow-up Salisbury in 1971 which included the 16-minute title track complete with a 24-piece orchestra, but made their breakthrough when Demons and Wizards (1972) reached number 20 in the UK. Just as they hit their prime around the mid-1970s, Byron was fired from the band when his drinking got out of hand. Nevertheless, they found particular appreciation in the late 1980s with bands such as Judas Priest and Def Leppard and continued to maintain a loyal fan base in Germany, Austria and Sweden despite Mick Box being the only remaining original member through numerous line-up changes. Byron succumbed to alcoholism in 1985, at the age of 38. In 1987 they became one of the first Western bands to perform in Soviet Russia, playing ten consecutive nights at Moscow's Olympic Stadium. The concerts were released as Live in Moscow and the band returned to the UK for Reading Festival in 1988. Sea of Light, their 19th studio album, was released in 1995 and was taken as their return to previous success. Sonic Origami followed three years later, but their next album, Wake the Sleeper, didn't emerge for nearly a decade. For the 40th anniversary in 2009, they released Celebration, an album of their greatest hits as well as two brand new tracks. Into the Wild came in 2011 followed by Outsider in 2014 and Living the Dream in 2018. Ken Hensley, who wrote many of their signature hits (“Look at Yourself”, “Easy Livin’”, “Lady in Black”, and “July Morning”) during his stint with the band in the 1970’s, passed away in November of 2020.