KEN HENSLEY Proud Words gatefold 1973 USA LP Uriah Heep

USA original 1973 edition on the Mercury red label LP "Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf" with gatefold cover (SRM 1-661).

AMG REVIEW: This is the solo debut of Uriah Heep's resident keyboardist and top songwriter, but it isn't the heavy metal epic one might expect. In fact, Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf uses electric guitar sparingly and instead goes for a moody soundscape built on acoustic guitar and piano. Songs like "Black Hearted Lady" and "The Last Time" even evoke a bit of a country and western feel, thanks to their use of mellow-sounding slide guitar. This subtle sonic style puts Hensley's songwriting in the spotlight and that is a good thing because each of the songs is well-crafted and tuneful: a subtle combination of acoustic guitar and synthesizer brings out the haunting, delicately crafted melody of "From Time To Time" and "Black Hearted Lady" effectively evokes its mood of heartbreak with a descending acoustic guitar riff. The album's subtlety also highlights the strength of Ken Hensley's vocals, which often sound close to his Uriah Heep bandmate David Byron. However, Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf doesn't fully abandon the rock and roll muscle that made Uriah Heep famous: "Fortune," is a mid-tempo rocker whose complex, dramatic arrangement gets the closest to sounding like Uriah Heep and "Cold Autumn Sunday," subtly
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