The story of one "July Morning" by Uriah Heep, which became a holiday in Bulgaria

"Though I searched for you in thousands of faces, But no one knew of the burning fire In my heart, in my thoughts and in my soul..."

The Story of a Hit: How Uriah Heep's "July Morning" Was Born

There is not a person among rock fans who has never heard of the marvelous "July Morning." Uriah Heep. This song became a big hit and a classic of its time: it was loved in Japan, in Great Britain, as well as in Bulgaria in particular and in the Soviet Union as a whole! And the "Iveria" ensemble even recorded an English-language cover, which was quickly beloved by Soviet music lovers. But the original, no matter how you look at it, cannot be beaten.

We offer to recall the story of the creation of a favorite hit and find out what caused Ken Hensley and Manfred Mann, who was not even a member, to quarrel. Uriah Heep!

A lonely July morning on the bus

Ken Hensley
Ken Hensley

Already by tradition, a future hit was born accidentally - under very ordinary and unromantic circumstances. The word goes out to its immediate author, Ken Hensley:

"I wrote it a year before it came out, in the very early '70s. We were touring the world a lot at the time. And then we were in England. I don't remember why, but I was left all alone on the bus - I was waiting for the other guys who were running around somewhere. I sat all alone for a long time, and then I finally got bored and picked up my guitar. I plucked the strings, played something unobtrusive, and gradually the song came to me...".

It turned out, title appeared for a reason:

"It really was a July morning, and a very early one at that - 3 a.m.!"


The story of one "July Morning" by Uriah Heep, which became a holiday in Bulgaria
David Byron

As for the lyrics, the lyric tells of a search for love, but in an ambiguous way: long and hard our hero was trying to find love "outward."But I couldn't do it.

"I looked for you where I never dreamed,
The world has gone around, where else could I go..."

And then the "romantic wanderer" realized that it was necessary to seek such a bright and deep feeling inwardly - in the heart, in the mind, in the soul. It is more likely that we are talking about love in a broader sense-not to a specific person, but to life, to the world as a whole!

"Though I have searched for you in a thousand faces,
But no one knew about the burning fire
In my heart, in my thoughts and in my soul..."

The moment Byron became a "world-class" vocalist

Gorgeous David Byron lights up the stage...
The magnificent David Byron lights up the stage

Critics, like the vast majority of listeners, are unanimous in their view: despite a rich catalog of songs, many of which have become classics of their time, it is "July Morning." the most epic and beautiful masterpiece in Uriah Heep's repertoire. Many especially praised the arrangement and the performance, in which David Byron 1000% out!

It was after the release of "July Morning" that he was dubbed one of the leading vocalists in the rock world, emphasizing the closeness of his voice to that of an opera singer.

"Byron's performance of 'July Morning' was a model for the next generation of vocalists," rock critic Garisco concluded.

A little scandal

Manfred Mann
Manfred Mann

The history of the big hit would not be complete without the scandal. True - in the case of "July Morning" it turned out to be quite humblebut nonetheless noteworthy. On this record every member of Uriah Heep shone with their talents, including Manfred Mannwho was not a member of the group. But Mann contributed so much to July Morning that he even outshone some of the members. And that didn't sit well with him. Ken Hensleywho personally invented the parts for all the musical instruments...

Ken Hensley
Ken Hensley

On this track, Mann exudes a special musical magic with his synthesizer Minimoog! The idea to invite a keyboard "calif for an hour" belonged to the manager Jerry Bronouxwho later said that Manfred played "a decisive role in this song and its becoming a hit.

"It was my idea to invite Manfred and his Minimoog, and I never regretted it. Although I had to go out of my way to persuade him to stay and play - at first he flatly refused, saying, 'It's one chord, what can I do with it?

In this whole situation only Hensley was dissatisfied. And subsequently his resentment was aggravated: the story goes that during one concert the audience greeted Mann with enthusiasm, and later, when Uriah Heep came on stage, booed the band. After that incident Hensley and Mann formed a mutual dislike.

An interesting "July" tradition in Bulgaria

July Morning in Bulgaria
July Morning in Bulgaria

You might not know it, but "July Morning" has created a very remarkable tradition in Bulgaria: It all started back in the 1980s, when Bulgarians were actively traveling along the Black Sea coast, camping out, playing music all night long... A kind of Soviet hippie atmosphere! These carefree nights usually ended with on the morning of July 1.

Despite the fact that the USSR has long been in the past, the tradition lives on: every year, on June 30, people from all over the country come to the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria to meet together to first July morning!


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