The matter of production here became the point of major contention. With Bron committed to non-musical projects (including his air-taxi service) the band decided to produce the album themselves. The manager later insisted the result was Heep's worst album, while Hensley accused the manager of deliberately ignoring the band's interests. The album, though, was launched in the most lavish manner (with journalists and business people being flown off to the top of a Swiss mountain for a reception). However, it was not matched with the quality of live concerts, which were increasingly chaotic due to Byron's inconsistency on stage. "He'd always got drunk after the show but it had never got to the point where it would jeopardize the show itself. The performance had always been first and foremost with David. It was when the show started to come second that the problems began," Hensley remembered. "The distance between David and the rest had grown to unworkable proportions," according to Blows. "It's a tragedy to say it but David was one of those classic people who could not face up to the fact that things were wrong and he looked for solace in a bottle," commented Bron. In July 1976, after the final show of a Spanish tour, Byron was sacked. Soon bassist John Wetton announced he was quitting. Obviously he was not comfortable in the band, nor were his colleagues with him. Hensley later explained, "When he joined, we thought that we could replace a great bass player (Thain) with another great bass player, but we ignored the personality factor, which is crucial. It was like grafting on a new piece of skin but it just didn't work—the body rejected it."
Post-David Byron period (1977–1981)
Uriah Heep recruited bassist Trevor Bolder (ex-David Bowie, Mick Ronson), and after having auditioned David Coverdale (Deep Purple, Whitesnake), Ian Hunter and Gary Holton (Heavy Metal Kids), brought in John Lawton, formerly of Lucifer's Friend and the Les Humphries Singers, with whom they turned totally away from fantasy-oriented lyrics and multi-part compositions back towards a more straightforward hard rock sound typical of the era.