April 13, 2024
Uriah Heep - Firefly cover art

Uriah Heep’s first album after the controversial dismissal of vocalist David Byron, ‘Firefly’ ushered newcomer John Lawton into the band. Tough times were ahead for Heep, and despite containing a rare British hit single for the band in Wise Man, Firefly (given a deluxe edition reissue facelift in 2004) was their first release to fall short of the UK chart in five years. Tellingly, artist Martin White was given a less than detailed brief when commissioned to design its sleeve. 

“It was definitely a bit vague, but the picture is my visualisation of what I thought they wanted,” White said. “I think I was given the album’s title track to listen to. The bloke riding the firefly on the front was a pure invention. The people at Bronze Records were pleased because they thought it looked like Ken Hensley. The girl on the back was actually my partner at the time.” 

“The album’s title track was written in New Jersey while I was still married [to Pat],” Hensley explained in 2004. “It was at a barbecue in her parents’ back garden that I first saw a beautiful firefly. It inspired the song, and I think the lyric inspired the cover illustration.” 

Uriah Heep: Firefly cover art

(Image credit: Bronze Records)

Uriah Heep approved of White’s design, which was later used on a backdrop for their show at The Rainbow in London. White subsequently gave up a family holiday in order to work on the band’s eventual follow-up, Innocent Victim

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