David Byron

Lost and Found

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Two CDs sum up what many people hoped would be the re-emergence of former Uriah Heep frontman David Byron in 1982; and two CDs show how close he came to fulfilling those dreams. Originally hatched as the follow-up to the previous year's On the Rocks, the nine songs that make up the first half of this collection show what a great idea the David Byron Band was, as one of the finest voices in English rock linked up with then little-known guitarist Robin George, to swing through an album's worth of songs which -- insanely -- the entire U.K. music industry passed on. From the opening tease of "Bad Girl", through the crunch of "Need Love" and the frantic pace of "Safety in Numbers," this is the album that completely dismisses all the sad tales of Byron's alcoholic decline, and reveals him to be firmly in control of everything that mattered, music-wise at least. From the album (which is, in fact, merely demos, although you'd never guess that from their quality), we slip back to a half-dozen "real" demos, recorded at Byron's house in 1981, and follow that with a step even further back, to a Byron Band live show in 1980. The sound quality is great, the performance is electrifying, and when the show slips into "July Morning," even a few duff notes and some feedback cannot disguise the fact that you're in the presence of a master.

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