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Ken Hensley, creative linchpin of rock band Uriah Heep who wrote hits including Easy Livin’ – obituary

  • Ken Hensley, who has died aged 75, was the beating heart of Uriah Heep, one of the most popular heavy metal acts of the 1970s; organist, songwriter, guitarist, singer and producer, he led the band as they enjoyed a string of hits and conquered America. Like most of their rock (as opposed to pop) contemporaries, their success was primarily album-based, but they are perhaps most widely known for the single Easy Livin’, which like much of the band’s material was written by Hensley. Heep guitarist Mick Box recalled of the song’s genesis: “We were driving down to London to fly to America and someone said, ‘This is easy living, isn’t it?’ as a joke, a piss-take. But it resonated with Ken. It wasn’t a song that we over-thought.” Written in 15 minutes, it became a hit in the US and across mainland Europe.