Return To Fantasy

Two albums after trying to escape from the fantasy concept, Uriah Heep altered their course by reverting back to mystical and magical symbolism of the past.   With the addition of new bassist John Wetton [former King Crimson] in place, once again the band was returning to fantasy.     The original vinyl gatefold had the lyrics inside the inner sleeve and regardless of the negative press or recollections of band members it became one of the top charting albums in the bands history.   It was the highest charting album in the UK they ever experienced; only on the charts for a mere six weeks it did peek at # 7.   However the management regarded input on sales in the US as it lagged behind previous success; only 10 weeks on the charts and a peek at only # 85.  It also peeked at #2 in Norway, # 3 in Austria, #22 in Australia and #29 in New Zealand.   The overall picture looked bright but the sales failed to match expectations in major markets.

Gerry Bron predicted during the year-long Return To Fantasy tour,  that Uriah Heep would play to one million people and travel 30,000 air miles.   Most of those plans did come to pass but without turmoil within' the band and on the road.   The pressure on the band during the Byron years was tremendous.   Mick was quoted by Sigmund Ruud that Heep was touring 9 months a year and spending 3 months a year in the studio.   Mick recalled ending a tour in Glasgow one night and the band was driven overnight back to the studios in London.   Then the band worked all day and through the night in the studio before being taken by car to Heathrow Airport.   Heep then flew to Chicago where they were kicking of a 3 or 4 month North American tour.   The label had arranged a big party to kick of the US tour the day Heep arrived in Chicago.   Mick said the band was so tired that they were falling asleep in their food.   Everyone thought the band was on drugs because they had food stuck to their faces from falling in their food.

During the tour Mick Box broke his right wrist at the Convention Center in Louisville on August 2nd, 1975. "Well, all I can remember about the broken arm incident was that it was the first night of our American tour.   We always had a black carpet on stage and as per usual I came running on stage at the end of our intro tape, full of energy and the lighting trusses were a little more forward than I had anticipated and I fell into the front pit 6 feet below.   This time I hurt my left arm really badly which looked like it had been dislocated.   I was dragged back up and carried on the show in great pain.   I did not know but somebody had organized for a nurse to come to the stage and see what the damage was.   This happened in between David*s announcements.   Meanwhile to kill the pain, there was a bottle of Remy Martin brandy on my side of the stage that came in very handy.   The nurse checked out my arm which was very painful and I carried on the show with my mate Remy.   At the end of the show, I felt no pain until I put up my arms to salute the crowd still wearing my guitar. I lost my balance and went down again, this time breaking 4 bones in my right wrist."   The tour continued on however and Mick played with a cast on his right arm.   Mick recalled this with, "It had be organized by the Promoters to have a nurse / doctor give me 3 injections a night for pain.  One before I went on stage,  one whilst on stage and one when I came off. Sometimes the nurse / doctor could not stay for the whole show and so they gave me a huge booster shot. When this happened we had to delay the show until I was ready and I had returned back down to earth. I must say without realizing it, I really started to enjoy the light show."


Recorded at Lansdowne and Morgan Studios,
London England in Spring 1975
Initial release July 1975


Original Album Credits:

David Byron: Lead Vocals
Ken Hensley: Keyboards, Guitars, Synthesizer, Vocals
Mick Box: Guitars
Lee Kerslake: Drums, Percussion, Vocals
John Wetton: Bass, Mellotron, Vocals

Produced by: Gerry Bron
Engineer: Peter Gallen
Assisted by: Dave Burns and Dave Harris
Thanks to: Mel Collins & BJ Cole
Cutting by: Harry Moss at EMI Abbey Road
Design Logo Ltd., Illustration Dave Field
Photographs by: Joe Caffney
Thanks to our road crew: Chris, Del, Ed, Peter, Riock,
Tom and BJ
All Titles Published: Sydney Bron Music
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
1974 Bronze Records Ltd.

Track Listing: (sample audio files marked in yellow)

Side A:
. Return To Fantasy (Hensley / Byron) 5:52
Shady Lady (Hensley / Box / Byron / Kerslake) 4:46
3. Devil's Daughter (Byron / Box / Hensley / Kerslake) 4:48
4. Beautiful Dream (Hensley / Byron / Box / Kerslake)  4:52

Side B:
Prima Donna (Byron / Box / Kerslake / Hensley) 3:11
2. Your Turn To Remember (Hensley) 4:22
3. Showdown (Hensley / Byron / Box / Kerslake)  4:17
Why Did You Go (Byron / Box / Hensley / Kerslake) 3:53
5. A Year Or A Day (Hensley) 4:22

1996 Remaster Bonus Tracks:
Shout It Out (B side of Prima Donna single)
The Time Will Come (B side of Return To Fantasy single)
Beautiful Dream (previously unreleased)
Return To Fantasy (edited version)

2003 Re-remaster Bonus Tracks:
Shout It Out
The Time Will Come
Prima Donna (alternate demo)
Why Did You Go (alternate demo)
Showdown (alternate demo)
Beautiful Dream (alternate demo)
Return To Fantasy (extended version)

Single Releases:

Return To Fantasy US Promo Ad

Prima Donna / France


Prima Donna / Germany


Prima Donna / Italy


Prima Donna / Portugal 


Prima Donna / Spain


Prima Donna / Sweden


Prima Donna / Yugoslavia 


Return To Fantasy / Germany


Return To Fantasy / Holland


Return To Fantasy / Japan

Related Press Clippings:

Return To Fantasy / Russian EP

Showdown / Russian EP

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