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Salisbury

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I’m showing my age here, but Salisbury was one of the first, if not THE first, records I ever owned. KSHE played it a lot — those were the days when it was hard to find out what they were playing because the DJ’s were too busy getting stoned to bother telling you what they were playing.

I remember it because my brother and I wanted it so badly that we special ordered it from our local Katz — the old chain that had a revolving cat head complete with whiskers that lit up as its logo –so we had to pay seven dollars (full price!) instead of the normal five. A couple of kids riding their bikes into downtown Kirkwood (don’t tell mom!), we pooled our money to buy it. I rarely get that got-to-have-it urge anymore when it comes to music, but whether it’s the music or the man, I can’t say.

I sold all my records, the real vinyl ones, at a garage sale some years ago to some guy who paid me a whopping twenty-five cents each for the whole collection, which netted me well over 30 dollars. I sold my records because my stylus broke, and I couldn’t find anyone in a store who understood me when I asked for a new cartridge for my turntable. Okay, that’s why I threw away the turntable; the records went a few years later when it was clear we wouldn’t be buying a new turntable and my wife was tired of the records taking up space in the basement. I don’t know if I sold Salisbury then, or if it been included in my brother’s collection when we split up our collection when he went off to college, but I hadn’t listened to it in years, decades actually.

And then less than a year ago, I bought it again. My wife and I belong to the Columbia House Music Club, yeah, we are a couple of squares, and sometimes they run deals where the more you buy, the less each album costs, so I was racking my brain trying to come up with something to buy, not only because of the discount, but also because I was feeling old and worn out because I don’t buy many CDs anymore. For some reason, Salisbury popped into my brain, and thankfully they had it.

I do like this album. Thirty years later, and it still sounds good. Nobody makes music like this anymore, which is a real shame. Back in 1971, progressive rock was just starting out, and Uriah Heep was putting out only their second album. In those days, bands were experimenting with long songs – it had yet to become obligatory since progressive rock was, hard to believe, still new — and this was Uriah Heep’s first foray into the genre, and their best. The title song runs for 16 minutes of sonic enjoyment. Five other good songs round out the whole thing. The only complaint I have about Salisbury is that it’s too short.

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