Sweet Freedom

Naming the Sweet Freedom album was symbolic on several levels.  First off the band had a new label in the US as they had fulfilled the contract with Mercury.   This was the first release on the Warner Brothers label and they felt the move would give the band more notoriety.   Secondly and more important was the conscious effort to leave behind the mythological and magical fantasy presented on the two previous yet highly successful albums.   The band wanted to distance themselves from those who took the writing just a bit too far in their interpretation of the work.  The majority of the album was written by Ken Hensley during time spent hospitalized recovering from Hepatitis that he caught from drinking tap water during the Magician's Birthday tour in Japan.

The album itself was recorded during a stay in France at Chateau D'Herouville for tax purposes.   The Chateau has become famous for being reputedly haunted, several other bands tried doing albums there as well.   Most notably was Jethro Tull who had to scrap an entire album recorded due to recording problems.   That album was released many years later as "The Disaster Tapes".

While in search of the next big hit to follow up Easy Livin', the band had that with Stealin'.   It was a hit in several countries but in the US it was gaining major steam and climbing the charts before it was removed from the airways by sensors due to the lyric, "I done the rancher's daughter and I sure did hurt his pride".    Still today the song is heard on classic rock stations in the country.

This album made many statements and the classics If I Had The Time, Pilgrim and the title track Sweet Freedom alone provide a wonderful appeal cherished for decades by millions world wide.  This was reflected in the chart success the LP gained.   It charted for three weeks in the UK and it peeked at # 18.   With the final rank of # 2 in Norway, # 9 in Austria and # 33 in Australia it made it's mark.   In the US it charted for 23 weeks and peeked at # 33 where it was certified "gold" by the RIAA on March 5, 1974.   The forth Uriah Heep album to gain this honor but in turn it would the last.

Recorded June - July 1973
The Chateau D'Herouville, France
Initial release September 1973


Original Album Credits:

David Byron: Lead Vocals
Ken Hensley: Keyboards, Guitars & Vocals
Mick Box: Guitars
Lee Kerslake: Drums, Percussion & Vocals
Gary Thain: Bass

Produced by: Gerry Bron
Recording Engineer: Peter Gallen
Equipment Crew: Del Roll, BJ Reisch, Tony Patrick
Cover Concept and Photography by: Fin Costello
Handtinting by: William C. Klein
Art Direction and Design by: Peter Corriston
All Songs Written & Arranged by: Uriah Heep
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.

1973 Bronze Records Ltd.

Track Listing: (sample audio files marked in yellow)

Side A:
Dreamer (Thain / Box) 3:41
2. Stealin' (Hensley) 4:49
3. One Day (Hensley / Thain) 2:47
4. Sweet Freedom (Hensley) 6:37

Side B:
If I Had The Time (Hensley) 5:43
6. Seven Stars (Hensley) 3:52
7. Circus (Thain / Box / Kerslake) 2:44
Pilgrim (Hensley / Byron) 7:10

1996 Remaster Bonus Tracks:
Sunshine (B-side to Stealin' single)
Stealin' (edited version)
Seven Stars (unreleased version)

2004 Re-Remaster Bonus Tracks:
Seven Stars (extended version)
Pilgrim (extended version)
If I Had The Time (demo)
Sweet Freedom (alternate live)
Stealin' (alternate live)

Single Releases:

Sweet Freedom UK Promo Ad 1973

Dreamer / Japan


Seven Stars / Holland


Seven Stars / Japan


Seven Stars / Thailand EP


Stealin' / Denmark


Stealin' / France


Stealin' / Germany


Stealin' / Holland


Stealin' / Italy


Stealin' / Spain

Other Sweet Freedom Promo Ads:

Sweet Freedom / Thailand EP


Sweet Freedom US Promo Ad 1973 #1


Sweet Freedom US Promo Ad 1973 #2


Sweet Freedom 1973 UK Tour Promo Ad


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