Seattle Center Arena
March 10, 1973
JEMS Full-Track Tandberg Mono Master
Recording Gear: Sony ECM-22P Microphone > Tandberg Model 11 Portable Reel to Reel
JEMS 2017 Transfer: Master reel > Tandberg Model 11 > Sound Devices USBPre 2 capture (24/96) > iZotope RX and Ozone > MBIT+ convert to 16/44.1 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC
02 Sweet Lorraine
03 Traveller In Time
04 Easy Livin�
05 July Morning
06 Tears In My Eyes
08 Circle Of Hands
09 Look At Yourself
10 Love Machine
11 Rock and Roll Medley
Tale of the Tapes and the Tandberg
With Jared�s passing in October 2016, the complete JEMS Archive was moved south from his home up north. That move, sad impetus aside, presented an opportunity, however daunting, to go through and organize the collection. With the help of some amazing friends and experts (among them Slowburn, SS, RD and slipkid68), JEMS tapes are now accessible in ways they have never been before. Stan, the S in JEMS, was also on hand to help and fill in our taping history as he always does. His taping stories are legendary.
When the task was done and loaded into the truck, one box in particular captured my attention: master reels recorded by Stan on his Tandberg portable reel to reel. We�ve posted some 30 or more of these on DIME over the years, but there were several that had yet to be transferred, and still more that Jared had transferred in the last five years but had never circulated or uploaded. And then there�s Uriah Heep.
Some eight years ago, UH archivist Konstantinos Takos (AKA maratos) contacted me on DIME and asked if JEMS had ever taped Uriah Heep. Having never seen a UH tape in the archive with my own eyes and with no Uriah Heep recordings included on our admittedly incomplete but usually accurate list of our earliest tapes, I replied that we had not. Fast-forward to December 2017. Rustling around in our storage unit where the bulk of the JEMS archive sits looking for something else, I opened up a box marked as �undocumented 10-inch reels,� and low and behold one tape box contained a slip of paper inside that read, �Uriah Heep. Stan�s Master.� No shit. So we had.
If you don�t know about the Tandberg, it was a remarkable piece of gear in its day, not only capable of recording at 3-3/4 and 7-1/2 IPS, but in full-track mono. I won�t do the math, but compared to a cassette, the surface area of tape capturing the music is orders of magnitude higher, which is why so many of Stan�s Tandberg masters from the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen are considered by some as audience-recording classics. The Tandberg required 10(!) D-cel batteries to operate, is roughly the size of a compact typewriter and weighs more than ten pounds. Imagine sneaking that into a show and your respect for what Stan accomplished only grows.
This is the tenth in a series of Tandberg master reels digitized for the first time. Happily, the original Tandberg deck is still fully functioning, so these transfers offer full-track mono playback on the original tape recorder to maximize quality.
We asked Konstantinos to lend his expert ear to the recording and here�s what had to say about the performance:
This recording captures a typical, great performance of the 'classic' Uriah Heep line-up during the "Magician's Birthday" tour. As I like to say, that was THE PEAK OF THE HEEP, performance-wise. Delivered by:
David Byron (vocals)
Mick Box (guitar)
Gary Thain (bass)
Ken Hensley (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Lee Kerslake (drums)
It can be considered an extended version of the "Live" album as it is 20+ minutes longer. The "Live" album was recorded in Birmingham, England 6 weeks prior to the Seattle concert and has quite a few edits and cuts due to the vinyl restrictions of the time. The officially released recording had to be 'squeezed' in order to fit 4 sides of a double LP (lengthy songs such as 'July Morning' and 'Gypsy' making the task even more difficult). So you can view the Seattle recording as the �raw,� original version of the "Live" album which was released a couple of months later (early May 1973).
More importantly, the sound quality is simply superb. Stan reached perfection considering the tough circumstances under which he had to tape this performance. It is easily in the Top-5 of Uriah Heep audience recordings from the 1970-1980 era.
There are quite a few interesting moments during the performance, but I will mention only a few:
- The band had to make a last-minute change to the typical set list: they swapped "Gypsy" with "Tears In My Eyes" due to a problem with the keyboards. So Ken Hensley had to switch to slide guitar for "Tears In My Eyes.�
- Those with trained ears will notice that Ken Hensley offers a rare preview of an instrumental section of "Pilgrim" during his keyboards solo on "Gypsy": check the 7:54 mark. "Pilgrim" was the last song of the band's next studio album "Sweet Freedom" which was released six months after the Seattle concert (September 1973).
- The over-extended introduction of "Look At Yourself" (almost 4 minutes).
- The lengthiest version of the "Rock 'n' Roll Medley" to have ever surfaced so far. This was the last concert of the US leg of the tour and obviously the band had more "freedom" on stage.
MANY THANKS to Stan for capturing this truly great piece of HEEP-STORY; to Jared for preserving a huge, priceless archive (RIP); to BK for bearing me in mind regarding all things Uriah Heep and for resurrecting the 45-year old master tape; and to Frogster for his incredible efforts.
Right back at you, Konstantinos, keeper of the flame and archivist for all things Uriah Heep. We echo your thanks to Stan for another amazing Tandberg recording; to Jared his incredible stewardship of and contributions to the JEMS Archive, we miss you everyday; to K; and finally to Frogster for keeping the pace of releases up with his enthusiasm and posting support.
BK for JEMS
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