If you already know Heep’s catalogue, then this slipcased set is useless. As an introduction, however, it does the job. While there are bound to be omissions of some favourites, these 46 tracks include many standards, especially on the first, 14-song disc, which covers the classic pastoral early 70s hard rock years. Hence, we get the flutey Come Away Melinda, Edgar Broughtonlike wailing of Bird Of Prey, and trademark Deep Purple-esque psych-boogie of Love Machine. Lady In Black is more folk-rockin’, while the kazoos on The Magicians’ Birthday add a jazzrock element.
Disc Two’s 15 tunes range from the ploddy Return To Fantasy and AOR of Can’t Keep A Good Band Down, to the strident The Hanging Tree and dreamy Wise