John Lawton – Heartbeat (Hardbeat) (1981)

FrontCover1John Cooper Lawton (11 July 1946 – 29 June 2021) was a British rock and blues vocalist best known for his work with Lucifer’s Friend, Uriah Heep and the Les Humphries Singers.

Lawton began his musical career in North Shields, UK, in the early ’60s with The Deans, a bunch of kids who decided at random that he should be singer. He then moved on to West One and later Stonewall which included John Miles, Vic Malcolm (later of Geordie) and Paul Thompson (later of Roxy Music).

After Stonewall finished their stint at Top Ten Club in Hamburg in 1969, Lawton decided to stay in Germany, after having been offered the job as singer with legendary German rock cult band Lucifer’s Friend (1969–1976 and 1979–1995) with whom he recorded seven studio albums. He also joined the Les Humphries Singers, in the early ’70s (which included the Eurovision Song Contest in ’76).

In 1976 Lawton joined Uriah Heep as their frontman, recording the albums Firefly, Innocent Victim, Fallen Angel and Live in Europe ’79, touring Europe and the U.S. until September 1979.

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During his longstanding career Lawton has worked with some big names of rock, on various projects, including Roger Glover’s “Butterfly Ball” live at the Royal Albert Hall in 1975, featuring David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Ian Gillan and Twiggy. He sang on Eddie Hardin’s “Wizard’s Convention II” with Chris Farlowe, Denny Laine, Paul Jones and Tony Ashton.

Lawton worked with some of the finest record producers, including Tony Clarke (Moody Blues), Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones), and Harold Faltermeyer (Pet Shop Boys), who produced the titles Lawton sang on the Lenny McDowell Project “Lost Paradise”.

Lawton sang with German rock band Rebel, later known as Zar, on three albums, during the late ’80s -’90s including their hit singles “Line of Fire” and “Eagles Flight”, and moved on to Volker Barber’s classical project “Excalibur”. He also sang on several German commercials, including the “Colgate Gel” TV spots, the “Peter Stuyvesant Travel” spots, the Stuyvesant single “Come Together” and a stint for Harley Davidson Motorbikes.

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Lawton formed GunHill, later known as JLB (John Lawton Band), in January 1994, touring the UK and Europe. In 1995 he briefly rejoined Uriah Heep for 2 weeks, to tour South Africa and Austria with Deep Purple, filling in for their singer Bernie Shaw, who was suffering from voice problems at the time.

Inspired by German top producer Robert Papst and his partner Reinhold Hoffman, Lawton re-recorded one of the Les Humphries Singers’ favourites, the 1970s hit “Mama Loo”, in January 1998. In August 2000, his solo album Still Paying My Dues to the Blues, produced by Robert Papst, was released in Europe, UK and Scandinavia, by Hypertension Music Hamburg and distributed through EDEL Germany. (The album has been re-released in 2010)

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During the 4th Uriah Heep Annual Convention in London, May 2000, plans were made for a one-off concert by the so-called Hensley/Lawton Band. Lawton was joined by former Heep keyboardist Ken Hensley, for the first time 21 years after Lawton’s departure from Uriah Heep in 1979. With them were Paul Newton (their original bassist), and 2 members of Lawton’s band Reuben Kane on lead guitar and Justin Shefford on drums. They played a collection of old Heep classics and some of Hensley & Lawton’s solo songs, and the concert was recorded for a CD release called The Return.

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In 2001 Lawton teamed up with Ken Hensley to form the Hensley Lawton Band. After extensive touring, during Spring and Summer of 2001, culminating with a concert in Hamburg, Germany, featuring a full orchestra and a new rendition of Heep’s old classic “Salisbury”, both Ken and John returned to their respective solo careers. On 7 December 2001, both John Lawton and Ken Hensley appeared on stage with Uriah Heep during the annual Magician’s Birthday Party at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. This concert was recorded and released as a CD/DVD.

The John Lawton Band – “JLB” was taken on by Classic Rock Productions in 2001 to record the acoustic CD Steppin’ It Up, which features John & Steve Dunning. One More Night Live at the Mean Fiddler, CD & DVD, was recorded in 2002, which was followed in 2003 by JLB’s Sting in the Tale CD, an original studio rock album. Later that year followed another Live CD & DVD Shakin’ The Tale. JLB had been touring extensively with their last gig in Hamburg, September 2004, when Lawton decided to take an indefinite break.

In May 2006 Lawton joined forces with Dutch guitarist Jan Dumée (ex-Focus) to form the On The Rocks project. On The Rocks – “OTR” featured Brazilian musicians Ney Conceição on bass, Xande Figueiredo on drums, and Marvio Ciribelli on keyboards. Lawton and Dumée wrote and recorded the tracks for the debut album Mamonama, released in October 2008.

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In September 2008 John Lawton appeared on stage at the Heepvention 2008 in Spain, with former Uriah Heep members Ken Hensley, Lee Kerslake and Paul Newton, together with Jan Dumee from the OTR project on guitar.

In December 2008 John entered the world of television by presenting the Bulgarian travel documentary series “John Lawton presents” which also includes music from the Mamonama album. Made by the Bulgarian TV company “Skat”, the films feature interesting historical landmarks of Bulgarian towns and cities, traditional festivities and interviews with the city mayors and local people. So far the series consists of 19 documentaries, including the municipalities of Karnobat, Sozopol, Tsarevo, Primorsko, Burgas, Smolyan, Pamporovo, Varna, Malko Tarnovo, Velingrad, Shumen, Popovo winter, Popovo spring, Chepelare, Lovech, Kavarna, Stara Zagora, Nedelino.

In 2009 John again joined Ken Hensley, Lee Kerslake and Paul Newton to appear at Heepvention 2009 in Salo, Finland with a Finnish guitarist completing the line-up.

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In March 2010, John made his acting debut in the motion picture, filmed and produced by Bulgarian film company Miramar Film. Part of John’s scenes were shot at Liscombe Park, UK, featuring a guest appearance by Uriah Heep guitarist Mick Box, with the remainder filmed in Sofia. He also recorded the movie’s soundtrack song – Tonight. The film was premiered in Sofia on 26 March 2011.

In November 2011, Lawton teamed up with Bulgarian band Diana Express to record the album “The Power of Mind” which was composed by Dr. Milen Vrabevski. The album was released in 2012.

Lawton died unexpectedly in June 2021, at the age of 74. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his first solo album:Strange solo album by John Lawton (Lucifer’s Friend, Uriah Heep) and a good chunk of Lucifer’s Friend that is increasingly hard to find anywhere. Lots of new wave influence on it, and disco basslines.(AdamOdell)

The German edition of the album:

Actually this killer fmrock album is kinda a super group album!! With Lucifer’s friend members. As for Curt Cress is an amazin’ musician and composer.Also Adrian Askew is quite interestin’ musician!!!.Unfortunately criminally underrated album!!!. (by KB-P2730)

We all know thatJohn Lawton is an outstanding singer, and this is my favorite album besides his Uriah Heep albums. Plus I have just realized what a great bass player Dieter Horns is – awesome playing and such a fat Precision Bass tone! (by Klaus)

Actually, it was a perfect album. There was almost everything for being successful, an incredible voice, however as usually, very good guitarist, super drummer, the music back then is much better than what we have now. It seems to me, only a promotion sucked totally and it’s a shame that a few people aware of such gem, a lost pearl. Pity! (by Natalie Gordon)

I guess, that best albums of John Lawton was with Lucifer´s Friend.


Adrian Askew (keyboards, vocoder)
Curt Cress (drums)
Peter Hecht (piano)
Peter Hesslein (guitar, background vocals)
Dieter Horns (bass)
John Lawton (vocals)

01. Lola 3:57
02. Heartbeat 3:40
03. Return To Sender 4:07
04. Christine 3:46
05. Breaking Out 3:45
06. Rainbow Chasing 3:13
07. Stairway 4:02
08. Daddy’s In The Money 4:03
09. What A Woman 3:37
10. Darkness Over The Island 5:11

All songs written by John Lawton & Peter Hesslein



John Lawton, the vocalist for the long-running Uriah Heep during one of the British rock band’s most popular eras, died June 29 of undisclosed causes.

His death was announced last night by the band.

“It is with deep regret that we share the devastating and tragic news of the sudden and totally unexpected passing of John Lawton on 29 June 2021,” the band wrote on its official Twitter page. “John will be greatly missed.”

Named after a character from the Charles Dickens novel David Copperfield, the London band Uriah Heep, formed in 1969, had already found success with vocalist David Byron (including the 1972 hit “Easy Livin’” and 1973’s “Stealin’”) when Lawton replaced the original singer in 1976. During his three-year tenure with the band, Lawton and Uriah Heep recorded three studio albums: 1976’s Firefly, 1977’s Innocent Victim and 1978’s Fallen Angel. The 1979 concert album Live in Europe ’79 also featured Lawton.

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While Heep’s popularity in the United States arguably peaked prior to Lawton’s arrival, the band enjoyed significant success globally both during and after his stint. Most notably, Lawton sang lead on 1977’s “Free Me,” a hit in Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Prior to his work with Uriah Heep, Lawton sang with German rock band Lucifer’s Friend as well as the German pop group the Les Humphries Singers. Post-Heep, he performed with the groups Rebel, GunHill and with producer/songwriter Ken Hensley in the Hensley Lawton Band.

Lawton is survived by his wife, although additional survivor information was not immediately available. A private funeral service will be held according to his wishes. (

Led Zeppelin – Copenhagen (1969)

FrontCover1Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar-driven sound, they are cited as one of the progenitors of hard rock and heavy metal, although their style drew from a variety of influences, including blues and folk music. Led Zeppelin have been credited as significantly impacting the nature of the music industry, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock. Many critics consider Led Zeppelin one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock groups in history.

Originally named the New Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin’s deal with Atlantic Records gave them considerable artistic freedom. Initially unpopular with critics, they achieved significant commercial success with eight studio albums over ten years.

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Their 1969 debut, Led Zeppelin, was a top-ten album in several countries and featured such tracks as “Good Times Bad Times”, “Dazed and Confused” and “Communication Breakdown”. Led Zeppelin II (1969) was their first number-one album, and yielded “Ramble On” and “Whole Lotta Love”. In 1970 they released Led Zeppelin III which featured “Immigrant Song”. Their untitled fourth album, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV (1971), is one of the best-selling albums in history with 37 million copies sold. The album includes “Black Dog”, “Rock and Roll” and “Stairway to Heaven”, with the latter being among the most popular and influential works in rock history. Houses of the Holy (1973) yielded “The Ocean”, “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “The Rain Song”. Physical Graffiti (1975), a double album, featured “Trampled Under Foot” and “Kashmir”.

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Page wrote most of Led Zeppelin’s music, particularly early in their career, while Plant wrote most of the lyrics. Jones’s keyboard-based compositions later became central to their music, which featured increasing experimentation. The latter half of their career saw a series of record-breaking tours that earned the group a reputation for excess and debauchery. Although they remained commercially and critically successful, their touring and output, which included Presence (1976) and In Through the Out Door (1979), grew limited, and the group disbanded following Bonham’s death in 1980. Since then the surviving former members sporadically collaborated and participated in one-off reunions. The most successful of these was the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in London, with Bonham’s son Jason Bonham on drums.

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Led Zeppelin are one of the best-selling music artists of all time; various sources estimate the group’s record sales at 200 to 300 million units worldwide. With RIAA-certified sales of 111.5 million units, they are the third-best-selling band and fifth-best-selling act in the US. They achieved eight consecutive UK number-one albums and six number-one albums on the US Billboard 200, with five of their albums certified Diamond in the US. Rolling Stone magazine described them as “the heaviest band of all time”, “the biggest band of the Seventies”, and “unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history”. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995; the museum’s biography of the band states that they were “as influential” during the 1970s as the Beatles were during the 1960s. (wikipedia)

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Javit1972’s details: First of all, this show was not broadcast live as it was
happening. It was broadcast some days after the original show taking place,
and as of yet, the date of the original broadcast is unknown. The radio station
secured the rights to broadcast only a part of the show from Peter Grant, who
thus gave them what we have today; copied from Jimmy’s master reel. From there
the Pre-Broadcast reel resided in radio archives until relatively recently.
Around 1992 it was transferred to DAT and from there to my CDR which I EACed
to WAV and encoded to FLAC with FLAC frontend. (original uploader)

A great addition to every serious Led Zeppelin collection !

John Bonham (drums)
John Paul Jones (bass)
Jimmy Page (guitar)
Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica)

01. I Can’t Quit You (Dixon) 5.54
02. I Gotta Move (McDowell) 3.33
03. Dazed And Confused (Holmes/Page) 10.31
04. How Many More Times (Bonham /Jones/Page/Plant) 2.10

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