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Uriah Heep - Look at Yourself CD (album) cover

LOOK AT YOURSELF

Uriah Heep

Heavy Prog


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Easy Livin
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4 stars "The strength of a new day dawning"

The third album from Uriah Heep sees them taking further giant steps forward. The rhythm section is still in a state of turmoil, but the nucleus of Box/Byron/Hensley have found a solid direction, and are approaching the pinnacle of their combined creativity.

The title track has become one of the band's most enduring pieces, a solid five minute chunk of loud, infectious rock, with a wall of sound, and a breathtaking pace. The instrumental breaks are quite stunning, with Box in particular in fine form. Towards the end of the track, Bronze label-mates Osibisa add additional percussion as it increases pace before reaching a climactic conclusion. I only discovered recently, that the lead vocals on the track are performed by Ken Hensley, not David Byron, although the latter always took the lead when the song was performed live. Quite why this happened is puzzling, as the overall sound is very much as if Byron himself was singing as usual.

The album includes the epic "July Morning", with its majestic prog sound, and superb structure. The track alternates between soft and loud passages, and includes a wonderful Hammond solo followed by Byron reaching ever higher with his piercing screams. The main instrumental theme which closes the track is basically simple, but transformed by a guest appearance from Manfred Mann on synthesiser. While Hensley would later master this instrument himself, they were still somewhat rare at the time, giving the track a very progressive feel in the early 70's. A truly magnificent piece of music.

The rest of the tracks are all very strong, including the melodic ballad "What should be done", and the twin guitar lead on "Tears in my eyes".

With this album, the Uriah Heep "sound" was firmly established. The tracks have great power, while strong melodies are still very much the priority. "July morning" especially is an absolute classic.

The recent Deluxe remaster has 7 additional tracks, including "Why", probably the best UH song not to have been included on an official album. Also included is "What's within my heart", a lovely soft ballad considered at the time to be too similar to "What should be done" to allow both to appear on the same album.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#31269)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
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5 stars Uriah Heep is probably one of the most underrated bands in history and "Look at Yourself" is their most underrated album, it's true that the force of nature called Lee Kerslake and one of the best bass players in history (Gary Thain) hadn't still joined the band, but Uriah Heep was doing prog' rock with the pioneers of the genre, and incredibly they could be catalogued as prog' metal 18 years before Dream Theater was even formed. But still some prog' pages refuse to take them seriously, that's something I will never understand.

I had the chance to buy this album when I was a child and even though I had no Idea what prog' means always treasured this LP with a mirror made of aluminum foil instead of an artistic cover, maybe because I guessed they had something special, that I wouldn't completely understand until I became a prog' fan a few years later.

For the first time in Uriah Heep's career all the tracks have progressive rock influences, stronger in some songs as Tears in my Eyes but present in each and every one.

The first song is "Look at Yourself", a frenetic track leaded by strong guitar, choirs and organ but specially with a powerful drumming, enhanced with fantastic percussionists as Teddy Osei, Mack Tontoh & Loughty Amao from "Osibisa". The song has more drastic changes that I can count, but inclusion of the powerful organ plus Ken Hensley voice and great chorus leaded by David Byron are a constant. The song ends with a breathtaking percussion and keyboards section hardly ever heard before them.

"I Wanna be Free" begins with a hard keyboard and guitar intro, until David Byron's starts soft and goes in crescendo, Mick Box is particularly strong when his turn comes but as almost in every track David Byron's voice is a highlight, not as strong as the opener but still an excellent song.

"La piece de resistance" of "Look at Yourself" is the amazing "July Morning", one of the first epics in prog' history and the first rock song that became a major hit in the Soviet Union. A beautiful symphonic track that has almost everything, even Manfred Mann invited to play the keyboards. At this point the atmospheric sound created by the fusion of organ, Moog and guitar appear for the first time in Uriah Heep's catalogue, even though the lyrics are not brilliant, the music and David Byron's operatic voice is so spectacular that nobody really cares. A true masterpiece!!!

"Tears in my Eyes" is my all-time favorite track, starts as a relatively complex rockabilly song that without advice stops in the middle to let in an extremely complex vocal arrangement supported by Mick Box's wah-wah guitar, which is broken by an acoustic guitar just to introduce another radical change with all the band playing hard rock style. If this track is not considered progressive, I don't know what do people expect.

"Shadows of Grieve" maybe the hardest track of the album, somehow similar to Deep Purple, with Uriah Heep's characteristic style, but again the classic organ divides the track in two parts, the second one being closer to what we can understand as prog' oriented, with various changes and leading keyboards, that lead to a mysterious vocal section with haunting chorus and then a dark keyboard ending, what an outstanding track!

"What Should be Done" is a power ballad where David's voice and Ken playing piano are the higher points, again the vocal arrangements are very important as in most of this album as well as the keyboards and Mick's guitar. A good relief after so many strong tracks and before the breathtaking "finale".

Sometimes introductions lead to confusion, anybody who listens the moody organ passage at the beginning of "Love Machine" would expect something softer and even proggy, but after 27 seconds, everything is pure rock & Roll, a very good track with a terrible name. A good frenetic closer for a great album.

"Look at Yourself" may not have Gary Thain and Lee Kerslake or a Roger Dean Art cover, but IMHO is the best Uriah Heep album an one of the most influential prog/metal albums.

A five stars album that I really suggest it to any progressive and/or metal fan.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#31270)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
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Prog Folk
3 stars Another drummer (the fourth in three albums - sounds like Spinal Tap or early Judas Priest ) , and still another good album, the band finding their real sense and direction. The title track is excellent , but July Morning is the track thart epitomizes best the heep sound for years and albums to come with great dramatics. Side 2 is not as good , only the Purplesque Shadows coming to notice. The following albums will see what every heep fans consider the ultimate line-up with Thain and Kerslake changing the rythm section , but IMO , the better albums are this one and the previous. The cover of the North America is slightly different but the principle of it was there.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#31271)
Posted Friday, June 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Uriah Heep's third album has some epic tunes on like ' July Morning', ' Look At Yourself' ( always better on the Live version!) and ' Tears in my Eyes' This with Salisbury and High and Mighty IMO Uriah Heep's best three albums along with the classic live album from the 70's as well. I do not think of them as a progressive band to be honest but still agree they should be on this great prog archive site.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#31273)
Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With heavy rock tones, URIAH HEEP's third release "Look At Yourself" truly marked their entrance into the world of prog rock. Of course URIAH HEEP were always more about rock than prog but managed to teeter on the border throughout their career. "Look At Yourself" offers some of Hensley's finest keyboard work as well as standout guitar work of Mick Box. This album carries a slight underground early 70's vibe but does offers superb sound quality at the same time. David Byron's vocals work to perfection on this album a carry that strong rock tinge to them. There are a couple of guests as well with Manfred MANN adding some scrumptious mini moog on "July Morning" and "Osibisa" assist on the title track "Look At Yourself". Prog rock fans might find it interesting that Ian Clarke (Ex CRESSIDA) takes primeship for the drumming on this album as well. Overall a heavy dose or early rock with progressive tinges makes this still one of my favourite URIAH HEEP albums.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#31279)
Posted Saturday, March 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
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3 stars This album didn't quite fulfill the promises that their previous masterpiece "Salisbury" gave. There are a bit less artistic elements involved, and especially the B-side of the vinyl felt low with spirit. But that cannot be said from the A-side which has the title track "Look at Yourself" as its opener. I personally think this "rock hit" of the group stands better the test of time than "Easy Livin'" or "Lady in Black". Keyboards support the menacing rhythm from restrained melodic perspective, and the lyrics have a good meaning. From the album visitors, Osibisa conjure a nice percussive jungle to the coda's volcanic eruption, and Manfred Mann goes insane at the end of most touching anthem "July Morning". After gazing my distorted face from the nearly reflecting front cover, I also noted the reissue CD of the album with bonus tracks at the local library. The eleven minutes long "Why" is an interesting track to listen, as there are not much compositional alterations on the song. Beautiful rock mourning typical to the band just escapes to very long instrumental playing and maturing the tension for its question left without answers.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#31280)
Posted Sunday, April 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Psychologists have discovered that at the age between 14 and 18 the music you have experienced will play a very important role in the rest of your life, it's attached to many deep rooted emotional life events (identity, opposing against your parents, school, girls and boys, etc.). I'm sure that people will judge this as psycho-bla-bla but if I take a look at my own adolescent period between 14 and 18, I'm stunned about the fact that bands like Black Sabbath, Status Quo and ... Uriah Heep still cause so many pleasant and exciting feelings, especially this album. If you analyse their music, it's not very elaborated, the lyrics are the usual R&R subjects and the structure is quite simple. But the chemistry between the musicians is amazing (especially the guitar-organ interplay, EXCELLENT AND SO EXCITING) and the compositional skills are great: melodics, harmonics, timing of the soli, surprising breaks and musical ideas like the Osibisa percussion in the end of the catchy and powerful "Look at yourself", the slide-guitar from Ken Hesnley in "Tears in my eyes" and the Minimoog solo from Manfred Mann during "July morning", a composition that can compete with many great progrock tracks! THESE GUYS WERE THERE WHEN I NEEDED THEM AS A SEARCHING ADOLESCENT AND THEIR MUSIC IS PROG THAT ROCKS SIMPLE BUT SO COMPELLING!!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#39274)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
frittef@hotma
4 stars "Look at Yourself" is a more straightforward heavy metal album than "Salisbury" And it leans more towards the Hammond organ than any other Uriah Heep albums. Fans of Deep Purple and Atomic Rooster will like this album. This is not to say that it is a bad album however, not at all. The track "July Morning" is the most proggressive this album has to offer and it is a great track which features Mannfred Mann on moog-syntheziser. This album is highly recommended to fans of classic 70's heavy metal while proggrock fans should start with "Salisbury" or "The Magician's Birthday" instead.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#39336)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars My first Uriah Heep disc. I bought this in the late 80's when I mostly listened to heavy classic rock (Deep P. Led Z. and Black S.) and this album fitted right in. At the time I didn't regarded it progressive rock, and I still don't regard this album to be progressive rock really (though some elements that make up progressive rock are present. mosty notable in July Morning, Shadows Of Grief and I Wanna Be Free).

Look At Yourself Right from the start Heep kicks in with fast riffs, great singing and fabulous drumming. High energy classic rock, with beautifull fast organ play from Ken Hensley ending with a drum solo, with organ and guitar backing that seem to go on for ages, really thrilling. I Wanna Be Free again a heavy rock song, but a little slower than the previous song, beautifull vocals and after the first slow minute, the pace quickens and heavy rock, with some fabulous screams make up the song. Great and heavy.

July Morning wraps up the first side of the album, a 10 minute balad, with beautifull organ play and Byron's voice is powerfull and sweet at the same time."I was looking for love in the strangest places, there wasn't a stone that I left unturned" A great song and one of the classics Uriah Heep produced. Brilliant rock song.

Side two of the album starts with the fast and heavy rock of Tears In My Eyes. Heavy guitar riffs, with a great rhythmic nanananana middle section, which after an accoustic rhythmic moment explodes into a good guitar solo and returns to the initial song format. Great.

Shadows Of Grief Very frenetic song, with great guitar and organ riffs complementing each other. really heavy rock with great moments throughout. halfway the song gets more spacy, with fabulous screams and organ work building up to a great final. FABULOUS.

What Should Be Done A ballad, with great vocals and some nice piano play, but not really brilliant. The closing Love Machine ends the album in style, great typical Heep rock, fast rhythmics, deep grooves and fabulous singing, with a great guitar solo. GREAT.

Basicaly "Look At yourself"is a fabulous heavy classic rock album, in line with the better Deep Purple albums, some progressive elements interwoven through the song structures, but not all that much. An enjoyable album and a taster for what's next in their catalogue. recommended for all who like classic metal.

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Send comments to tuxon (BETA) | Report this review (#42511)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars URIAH HEEP was the first real big rock concert I saw in my teens (72-73).To me they are the king of hard rock ( with DEEP PURPLE) and it is this album who put them on the map. David Byron=vocal Ken Hensley=keyboards Mick Box=guitars Paul Newton=bass =later on replace by Gary Thain Ian Clark=drums=later on replace by Lee Kerslake (this was the best line-up) In this album there is everything for hard rock lovers(good drums-excellent guitar-power- full bass-amazing keyboards and one of the best rock singers.) no weak track,well maybe one(What Should Be Done).Imagine a blend between=DEEP PURPLE,BLACK SABBATH,BOSTON).I give 4.5 stars to this album just listen to July Morning (10:36) and Shadows of Grief(8:40) you will understand.If you want to try URIAH HEEP I recommend LOOK AT YOURSELF-DEMONS AND WIZARDS-THE MAGICIAN'S BIRTHDAY.You cannot go wrong with these 3 albums,because their the best of URIAH HEEP. POTS

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Send comments to pots (BETA) | Report this review (#43791)
Posted Monday, August 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Third album; I quite remember the first time I heard it somewhere in 1975. Incredible play in 'July Morning' setting atmosfear for many later Heep songs. Also unforgettable 'Tears in my Eyes' with its remarkable 'na na na na na na ..' chorus that won't get out of your head, with psychedelic left-right-left stereo effects. Nicely followed bij 'Shadows of Grief', a dark prog rock number. Nothing more to say about 'Look at Yourself', a masterpiece of itself.

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Send comments to Hermanes (BETA) | Report this review (#60195)
Posted Monday, December 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
ofurglassi@ho
4 stars Manfred Mann to the rescue! Uriah Heep were usually a pretty dull band but here they manage to deliver one awesome track, 'July Morning', with the help of superMann. Manfred punishes his synthesizer and the singer shrieks like a little girl and the result is much better than your normal Heep track. The rest of the album though is dwarfed by this uber track and seems positively weak in comparison. However 'July Morning' is 10 minutes long so nobody should feel cheated after buying this album despite all the blah rockers on it.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#62422)
Posted Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
jensingvordse
5 stars You really travel back in time to 1971 when you hear this album.You really feel 1971.Progressive and hardrocking .Uriahs best album. Before i rated Demons&wizards and Magicians Birthday higher but not now.July Morning is the best track of the album great lyrics and superb minimoog playing but all tracks are really really good. Look at yourself , I wanna be free, Love machine. David byron sings like a god. All members add fantastic colouring. Technical the sound quality is superb.Ken Hensley could be very very proud of this album. One of the early 1970s best albums. They are kings of hardrock. No doubt.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#67261)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For those of you who were there during the glory days of rock music in the 70s, you must have known this album or at least one song called "July Morning" which was the radio hit at the time altogether with Deep Purple "Child In Time" and Grand Funk Railroad's "Someone". I only knew this album after I listened to Uriah Heep Live 73 where some songs of this album were featured beautifully. I fell in love with "Love Machine" and the title track performed live by the band. So I searched this album and found out the cassette version of this album from Monalisa, Bandung. By the time I got the cassette, "July Morning" was the norm already. Whenever we talk about Uriah Heep, people would directly associate with this song. It's exactly like "Child In Time" with Deep Purple.

In 2000 I purchased the CD remastered version of the album. As Ken Hensley put it in the liner note of this CD version, this album was the one that made the band recognized in the American market. So I could only imagine how "important" this album to the band because it remarked the band's entrance into American market. Some people said that the band was the second division bands and the others like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin were at the first division. Well, whatever people said I totally disagree and I don't care what people really said!. For me personally, Uriah Heep is the band with its unique characteristic and they play really original music unlike Led Zeppelin who mostly played other people's songs or Deep Purple's "Child In Time" which was adopted from other song. So be it. I LOVE URIAH HEEP man! No matter what other people say about the band! The uniqueness of Heep lies on unique sounds produced from Mick Box' guitars and Ken Hensley's strange organ sounds. That's good enough to justify how the band is unique by its own. The combined sounds between the two are also excellent.

"Look At Yourself" (5:07) is a great track opener with a dynamic drum work combined with soaring organ and stunning guitar work. The music flows dynamicallywith organ as main rhythm section and backing vocal sound "aaaaaa." characterizes the music uniquely. In between segments, organ provides its punch wonderfully followed with vocal choirs like "chuw chuw chuw ." augmented with guitar solo and soaring organ sounds. The composition lets drum solo followed with organ produces great musical flow. It ends up the song beautifully.

The opening track is followed almost seamlessly with "I Wanna Be Free" (3:59) which is actually a ballad song with an excellent melody and vocal choirs. This is the kind of song the people want to emulate especially the opening choirs line. It's really a good song. Well, I don't need to explore further with "July Morning" (10:36) which has become the icon of the band. This song is even becoming a regular setlist in any Heep's live concert even until now. But my favorite version was the one featured at "Live 73" album where the combination of soaring organ and bass guitar playing of Gary Thain (RIP) is truly wonderful! I even like the live version than the original studio version.

No one would argue that "Tears In My Eyes" (5:02) is an excellent rocking track. Performed in relatively fast tempo this track combines stunning guitar solo by Mick Box and powerful Byron's voice and excellent keyboard sounds. Everyone knows that the main characteristic of this song lies on minute 1:45 where the voice line sings "chuw chuw chuw .." accompanied with acoustic guitar fills. It's really great!

"Shadows Of Grief" (8:40) is not the band's hit but it has a powerful musical quality in terms of composition and textures and, again, it demonstrates great vocal choirs combined with stunning organ sounds. It's one of my favorite as well. The drum is also very dynamic. Byron sings in relatively fast tempo and high register notes. "What Should Be Done" (4:13) is a mellow track with excellent electric piano work by Hensley. It provides a musical break because it's relatively slow. The concluding track is a rocker "Love Machine" (3:37). This track has become a legend and one of my favorites.

It's hard for me to identify any lacking this album has as a phenomenal rock music that shaped the foundation of classic rock sounds. Altogether with "Demons and Wizards" I would give this album as a masterpiece rock album which any rocker on planet earth should own a copy of this album. It's a mandatory album of the 70s! My CD has two bonus tracks: "Look At Yourself" (single version) and "What's Within My Heart". Keep on proggin' ..!

To Uriah Heep: Welcome to Indonesia!! We will rock the stadium with a flock of Indonesian rockers ..

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#68272)
Posted Saturday, February 04, 2006 | Review Permalink
clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hard rock at it's best. Hard rock at it's proggiest.

This one is my favourite HEEP album. "Salisbury" might be better in development, but this one is raw, daring and sincere.

The only weak song on the album is the closing song, "Love Machine". However, it's weaker only a) because it's not prog and b) it's not on the some (high) level with the rest of the album. But BLACK SABBATH fans could find it easily enjoyable.

I would like tho point out the highlights of the album, but I can't. Simply because all other tracks are brilliant.

The opening tune, "Look At Yourself" will bless your ears with the rawest and strongest Hammond organ ever. Ken Hensley is playing like a possessed maniac. Song is quite simple in structure (two chords!) but the layering and developing is insane. This is a masterpiece of dynamics - one of the most important aspects of progressive rock music.

"I Wanna Be Free" contains loads of merry melodies and powerful chorus, while "July Morning" is an all-time epic. "Tears In My Eyes" and "What Should Be Done" are two more simple-structured songs, but both are very good, "Tears In My Eyes" leaning on a hard-rock side, while "What Should Be Done" is bluesy piano ballad.

"Shadows Of Grief" is one-hundred percent progressive rock madness and hard-rock song at the same time, utilising best from the both worlds. Insane vocal harmonies (only QUEEN can compare in the complexity and beauty), equally insane guitar and organ interplays, dissonant and psychedelic parts, unpredictable changes - they are all participating in this beautiful insanity.

This one is not only for hard-rock fans, it's well worth giving it a try.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#101801)
Posted Wednesday, December 06, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars HARD-ROCK OR PROG ?

Heep has surprised quite a lot of people in releasing two very different albums so far. Their debut album showed clearly a tendancy in releasing hard-rock songs, with a strong keys influence. With "Salisbury", they delivered an almost all progressive piece of work. So, which direction for this one ?

When you listen to the opener, there are little doubt.

As usual we get a superb opener. "Look at Yourself" is an incredible piece of hard-rock music with gorgeous and violent keybords from Hensley and great backing vocals. This is with no doubt one of the highlight of the band, ever.

Hensley's keyboards attacks are one of the most aggressive I have heard (similar or even harder than Jon Lord's ones). It is a great rock song, all times, all genres. This track is absolutely devastating. Drumming is tremendous as well. I can compare the violence of this song with "Speed King" wild intro. The difference being that with LAY, the rythm is frenetic all the way through. After those five minutes and eight seconds, one will have the need to breathe a little bit to recover from such a shock, really. This track is a piece of anthology. This is the classic Heep that I prefer (by far).

Although rocking alright, the next track sounds like a sweet rock ballad in comparison. It is a nice transition track in expectation of "July Morning".

Hensley's work in the intro is truely remarkable here. Very heavy again. The song switches to a wonderful vocal part : subtle, quiet and very emotional (ah, how much I love emotion...). This long track (over ten minutes) leads us to a fantastic keyboard solo combined with the so typical high voice from Byron. It has even some (very short) prog moments but the general mood is close to heavy rock. The very repetitive and hypnotic musical riff might be a bit too long at the end, but what a wonderful track ! Another all-time high.

What a first side has delivered the Heep ! Can they go on like this on the second one ? I guess it is almost impossible.

It opens with "Tears In My Eyes" : another great hard-rock song with fabulous vocal moments but this is the Heep's trademark. It is more guitar oriented than the two masterpieces of side one. The instrumental middle section features a crazy beat : Box delivering a great guitar work.

"Shadows of Grief" is also a great, solid hard-rock tune with fantastic keyboarding as usual. This long track (almost nine minutes) includes some quiet psychedelic moments here and there (almost proggy for a minute). But they are combined again with the greatest musical furry : hard- rock at its best. The filiation with DP is of course obvious. The mood is a bit scary (it reminds me of the musical "Fantom Of The Opera", namely its title track). The last three minutes are less convincing and a bit hectic. But that's not an issue !

"What Should Be Done" is a mellow ballad that would better have fit on "Salisbury". Somewhat out of tone here ...Or maybe, the Heep did it on purpose to avoid a complete knock- out of the listener ? It's the weakest number of the album, but still not too bad.

The closing number "Love Machine" is precursory of "Easy Livin" (the track, not the collaborator). Hesitant intro and then, we are submerged again by Hensley's sublime keyboard sound. The rythmic section is rather remarkable. But this apply to the whole of this fantastic album. No compromise with this song : the mould is 100% hard-rock. Of the best one.

After such an album, one needs a few minutes to understand what has going on since the start of it some forty-one minutes ago. The Heep even released an expanded version of this masterpiece to prolonged the extasy a bit longer. I can only rate this great album with five stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#112580)
Posted Sunday, February 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Uriah Heep is probably one of the most underrated bands in history and "Look at Yourself" is their most underrated album, in that time Uriah Heep was doing prog' rock with the pioneers of the genre. But still some prog' pages refuse to take them seriously, i wonder why. The first 5 albums are all prog, than in the mid '70 they changed in some boogie hard, and in the '80 to hard rock. Talking about the band, here on Look at yourself, they bring another drummer, the forth in 3 years, but with all that still a masterpiece of the early '70. Uriah heep here finding their real sense and direction. All the tracks are excellent, July Morning, one of the most known tracks in prog world, and in Uriah Heep history, and epitomize best heep sound for years and albums to come with great dramatics. I always liked them so without hesitation i give 5 stars. I was shocked how less reviews has this band in comparation with others, because between '70 and '75 they were at the top of their careere. Highly recommended album.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#124591)
Posted Monday, June 04, 2007 | Review Permalink
febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
5 stars BACK TO THE ROOTS; AN ALL-TIME CLASSIC HARD ROCK ALBUM

I guess when it was time to go back to the studio, URIAH HEEP made its choice of going back to straight hard rock; no more orchestra and trumpets! just let's rock!

LOOK AT YOURSELF is one of the most energetic, violent ,mean album URIAH HEEP (BYRON era)would record .It sounds like the 5 members came back with a vengeance, angry at everybody (maybe the rock journalists who usually couldn't stand the band) MICK BOX and KEN HENSLEY especially play like demons who have been possessed by mad wizards (ouh-la-la; poor me)

The first 2 tracks are pure hard-rock mayhem, especially the title track with furious guitar and hammond and a screaming DAVID BYRON. Things go slower with the following track, one of their most enduring anthem: the 10mn epic JULY MORNING which is to URIAH HEEP what CHILD IN TIME is to DEEP PURPLE. This is the most ''proggish'' track of the album , one of the wonder of the HEEP catalogue, still played live by the band (or what's left) nowadays. Great guitar theme, great hammond, great vocals of course by BYRON and a moog solo from ..MANFRED MANN. A true classic.

I would give to these 3 songs that made the side 1 of the original LP 6 stars if i could; it sounds so good, still after all those years; i will never get tired to listen to these gems all my life.

Difficult to keep the same quality on -then- side 2?? not really! we still have some great music coming. Everything stays very hard rocking with ''TEARS IN MY EYES'' or ''SHADOWS OF GRIEF, then quites down with the beautiful ballad ''WHAT SHOULD BE DONE '' And for desert, we are treated to another HEEP classic , the great ''LOVE MACHINE''.

. URIAH HEEP has found its definitive sound they will carry throughout their carreer ( sadly, not always at this high level): Hard rock, yes but with a twist! A LOT of hammond, a lot of falsetto vocals, quite a few prog elements and yes ,KEN HENSLEY knew how to compose great songs with strong melodies perfectly suited for the vocal abilities of DAVID BYRON.

A must have album for any ROCK and PROG lover: as good as any best LED ZEP or DEEP PURPLE album. Nothing less!

5 STARS!

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#130570)
Posted Saturday, July 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Review 48, Look At Yourself, Uriah Heep, 1971

StarStarStarStar (objectively +Star)

The development from the potent Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble to this album is obvious, but nonetheless astonishing. It is one of my most-listened albums, as it has no obvious points where it's unpleasant to listen to. Most of the issues from the debut are fixed, and replaced by a masterful use of David Byron's exceptional voice. Even the harmonies are very much in place. The band has clearly taken a more oddball and artistic (or even, you could say, progressive) direction, with the inclusion of excellent drumming from members of Osibisa on one track, as well as Manfred Mann's moog on a couple of others. Still, despite these eclectic touches, it is definitely a rock album, and a damn fine rock album at that. For anyone who's looking for sophisticated, well-played hard rock with a hammond organ or a really strong vocalist, this is essential listening.

Look At Yourself kicks off the album with a stunning rocker, combining an insistent and deliberate rhythm section with a powerful lead Hammond organ. David Byron's vocals are sublime and lively, and the harmonies do seem to be directed and timed properly. Mick Box's guitarwork is very well-incorporated, jumping into focus with verve and speed. On the concluding section, dominated by the rhythm part, additional percussionists provide an interesting addition to the Hammond's inexorable drive to a conclusion. Seriously wow music.

I Wanna Be Free follows this quite strongly, with a lead harmony, tapping percussion and careful organ leading to a hard-rocking guitar riff. Mick Box takes an interesting solo (maybe a duo). The song does take off amazing with Byron's wailing 'I wanna be free', Paul Newton's blipping bass (I can't find a better way to describe it) and the guitar breaking out in full force. Overall, a very nice song.

July Morning is an example of the band moving between softer and harder sections, and fully exhibits David Byron's status as a rock vocalist. He handles the softer bands with emotion, and the harder parts with determination. His handling of the non-lyrical sections, twisting off on various 'la's into a completely different style is completely impressive. The harmonies and romantic vocals fit in perfectly. The music is equally amazing, with Ken Hensley's organ moving between soft and potent without pause or issue. His backing piano is subtly and well handled. The acoustic guitars and heavy guitars are switched without an inch of awkwardness. Newton's bass provides a connection between all the various elements, and Ian Clarke on drums manages a number of different moods unflinchingly, whether martial or mollified. Last, but certainly not least, Manfred Mann provides a moog solo par excellence, spinning, slipping, sliding, whirling with a whinnying sound. Astounding, and a nice break from the weight of the first two.

Tears In My Eyes is initially a bit of a listening effort relaxation, being heavily riff based, heavy and with a repeated chorus, as well as rather more generic lyrics. It does, however, include an excellent instrumental break, with acoustics dropped in, a sort of throbbing force underneath the soft harmony and the slightly more punchy acoustic bursts are neatly handled, a guitar duo is neatly handled, and the moog makes another appearance. David Byron's vocals are, as always, to die for. Essentially, a great, fun rock song.

Shadows Of Grief is probably the heaviest and darkest section of the album with a swelling organ complimented by Ian Clarke's percussion moving onto a killer organ riff, which is taken up by the guitar and extended bass notes. David Byron provides a frantic vocal. Ascending rock guitar and whirly Hensley organ bursts out throughout the piece, and Ian Clarke really does let loose on the percussion. A dark, reverent break with a low aa-ah aa-ah harmony, full percussion ideas, and a steady bass features, leading us up to a smashing return of the verses. A second intensely dark section includes what must be one of the weirdest guitar parts ever, and leads up to a cathartic release of the tension and force.

What Should Be Done is a fairly nice piece, with the band taking a break from all the weight of the previous pieces. David Byron's softer side again comes into play, accompanied by good, if fairly simple, piano-and-organ work. On the entrance of the second verse, the harmony vocals, odd guitar and percussion come in. An interesting example of structuring a song around one riff part, and pulling it off perfectly.

The jumpy rocker Love Machine rounds off the album, with an uplifting force, typical Byron vocals-of-sheer-jaw-dropping-greatness, heavy guitars, twinning Box's soloing with Hensley's rhythm hard rock stuff. As is always the case on this album, the rhythm section is superb, especially Newton, who manages to drop in some bursts of bass into the lead area without a hitch. Ken Hensley throws in organ soloing for fun value. The piece is ended with a winding-down effect.

Naturally this combination of consistently excellent tracks, superb playing and nice, artsy touches merits at least a four star rating, and the variety of the album matches its sheer force. The weird choices compliment the hard rock sections perfectly, and the group is able to find variety and innovative and interesting options within a distinctly rock sound, without resorting to bringing in dozens of extra musicians. Essential listening, to say the least. Not exactly a masterpiece for me, since I tend to get my biggest kicks out of more spacious, atmospheric and lyrically driven music, but I can't make a single criticism, and it is one of my most-listened albums. Not to be missed. Those who call it a masterpiece are objectively spot on.

Rating: Four Stars (objectively, I think it might earn a five, but only those closest to home should really have that rating)

Favourite Track: Look At Yourself

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Send comments to TGM: Orb (BETA) | Report this review (#173288)
Posted Sunday, June 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is clearly a transitional album for Uriah Heep. It does contain at least two classics: the beautiful July Morning and one of my favorites, Tears In My Eyes (great slide guitar work done by Hensley and a very fine acoustic guitar break in the second part). The title track is another highlight. The other tracks are not as good, though. Once Ken Hensley told in an interview that Heep´s three first LPs were basicly tentatives, for they were still trying to find their sound (and the right musicians). And Look At Yourself, with all the power of the three aforementioned tracks, sounds just like it. Shadows of Grief is like a krautrock band of the time, something like Eloy, I guess. What Should Be Done is too plain and does not really fit, while I Wanna Be Free mix pop sensibilities to some hard rock. The vocals on the other side are strong, sharp and gutsy as ever and made all the difference. One personal note: I was always intrigued by the fact the name of the drummer was not mentioned anywhere in the album.

The band would find their way soon after, but this album still lacks some direction. On the other side, the strong tracks are so powerful they even up the weaker tunes.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#176452)
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is quite a nice album, but I would say it's 25% prog and 75% rock. The overall album reminded me very much of deep purple

The title track is quite stunning, and has it's nice instrumental pieces. The vocals are magnificent.

I wanna be free is not a very impressive song. The melodies are a bit too predictable to me, but their are great dynamics here.

July morning is marvelous, the song builds up to a marvelous moog solo and has nice vocals, riffs and solo's.

Shadows of grief is the most progressive song on the album, which sounds great. The only song with time signature changes. The hammond is great here

What should be done is quite different from the rest, but not very stunning. It's really a song song.

Love machine is a magnificent rocksong, but I wouldn't call it prog.

Look at Yourself is a great album, but more of a hardrock album than a heavy progalbum. Three stars

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Send comments to Foolsdrummer (BETA) | Report this review (#177591)
Posted Monday, July 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Incredible,masterpiece,unique and so on!Probably the best Uriah Heep album with so much energy.Every moment follows completely the previous one.Despite made before the classic line-up and without Gary Thain and Lee Kerslake,it's rocks you terrific!All of the songs are landmarks of Uriah Heep career.Perfect songwriting and musicianship!The first song,Look at Yourself,is virtuous piece of hard rock with elements of frequent changes of the tempo.I Wanna Be Free is outburst of completely mastered energy.July Morning...I don't have any words about this song.In my country - Bulgaria - this song is a religion!We have a tradition and we celebrate on the beach on 1st of July.Sometimes,there are some of the heepsters with us - Ken Hensley or John Lawton!This is the only country that celebrate this tradition.July Morning is unique with its folk,hard and progressive sound.The song is constructed on some different levels.The beginning is slow and gradually the tempo goes faster and faster until it reach its peak at the end of the song,where the dramatical feelings are at the top of you.Exceptional song!Tears In My Eyes has big rock & roll influence with crazy guitar solos.Shadows of Grief is constructed in the same way like July Morning,with frequent tempo changes and theatrical style.What Should Be Done make some changes on the album because of its dark and slow blues style!The vocals preformed by David Byron reveal that he is one of the best rock vocals of all time!Love Machine carries the mood of Tears In My Eyes with cult guitar solos and hard rock & roll!Everywhere on the album you can feel dungeon keyboard sound,typical for Uriah Heep!I wish you nice listening to this great album!

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#181625)
Posted Wednesday, September 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Today I was in the mood for some heavy stuff, so I put Look at Yourself in the CD player. It was an album that never really clicked on me (I didn't find anything outstanding in there). So I played it loud, and the thing changed completely, it blew my head apart from the hammond driven Look At Yourself to the great rockin' Love Machine.

Overall, Uriah Heep is a band that reminds me of Deep Purple, but with more work in voices, an amazing vocalist (RIP Byron), and great choirs. Heavy guitars (damn, this was a HEAVY - with capital letters- album in that time: 1971!), great riffs, solos, solid bass and drumming, and an oustanding vocalist with reminiscence of the great Freddie (What Should be Done, Shadows Of Grief, and the great mid tempo ballad July Morning, the best track on the album. Five stars with no regrets.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Send comments to Barla (BETA) | Report this review (#181925)
Posted Sunday, September 07, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars After the interesting and very progressive Salisbury, Uriah Heep went in a distinct Deep Purple direction with this album. The distorted Hammond organ is omnipresent and this creates a heavy and loud wall of sound on most of the songs. Only the piano-based ballad What Should Be Done gives the listener a chance to finally catch her breath between the similarly-sounding hard rock numbers.

On Salisbury the influences included Folk (Lady In Black), Jazz (The Park) and Classical (the title track). Look At Yourself, on the other hand, presents us with a rather straightforward Deep Purple-style hard rock based primarily on electric guitars, bass, drums, organ and vocals. July Morning is supposed to be the progressive track of the album and it is a decent one. However, the Moog solo at the end is truly awful! I cannot believe that it is Manfred Mann playing! It is even out of tune and is very unpleasant to these ears. Mann could easily play this solo with his toes.

The lyrics are quite alright here on most songs as opposed to on many later albums. The lyrics to July Morning are quite simple and naďve, though.

If you are looking for progressive rock you should stick with Salisbury. But if you are looking for decent Hammond-heavy hard rock with slight progressive touches, then this is for you.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#195207)
Posted Saturday, December 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Part of what makes this album so unbearable for me is the screeching, and the lead singer employs way too much vibrato. The organist (and the lead guitarist, to a lesser extent) keeps this album from hitting rock bottom for me. That said, I fail to see why it is a cornerstone of heavy progressive rock music.

"Look at Yourself" The title track is also the first. It mixes simple chord progressions, a bouncy rhythm, and interesting guitar licks. There's a lot of interesting musicianship in the middle, not the least of which is the organ, which will be a reliable staple throughout the album. The vocals during the instrumental section are annoying (annoying vocals also being a staple of the album), and the guitar part does not fail to please. The build of the final minute relies on a gradual rise in tempo until the band is playing at a frantic pace.

"I Wanna Be Free" With heavy blasts of chords from an electric guitar, this one reminds me of The Who, but suddenly gives way to two vocals over a quiet organ. There's a some fair lead guitar work halfway in, but otherwise, this is a fairly forgettable song. The screeching vocals competing with the lead guitar toward the end are irritating if anything.

"July Morning" Pleasant organ begins the third track just before the bass, drums, and some fine guitar playing enter. Subtle acoustic guitar exists during the first part of the verses, but the sound is fuller during the second part. The organ solo is enjoyable, maintaining a good tone and a simple structure. The polyphonic interplay of instruments during the second half is intriguing, although not quite as sophisticated as that of the heavier symphonic acts like Kansas. The wild electronic noises during the last two minutes are too loud, all over the place, and downright irritating- the track should have faded out well before that.

"Tears in My Eyes" A rocker with sloppy slide guitar at first and a fairly simple but catchy rhythm at first, but the more atmospheric section with acoustic guitar is far superior, even if the vocals and the lead instrument that comes in later are completely annoying. The slide guitar solo is refreshing and better than what was performed in the very beginning.

"Shadows of Grief" Creative organ work is almost marred by silly-sounding voices. Guitar through a wah pedal played over a basic chord progression, interrupted by drums occasionally, dominates the middle section. For once, the choir-like vocals are not irksome, but do lend to the overall "shadowy" atmosphere (even though I still care not for the shrieking). More organ work follows, and it's quite exceptional. There's some stimulating experimentation towards the end until the absolutely ridiculous vocals ruin what would have been a perfectly great ending.

"What Should Be Done" This soft piano-based song has the organ in the backdrop and sounds a lot like Three Dog Night. It's a fairly conventional song.

"Love Machine" Moving briefly back into the realm of progressive rock, Uriah Heep's organist experiments with the sound a bit. After that, it's more of a blues-rock song, with a George Thorogood sound, which is to say, plenty of slide guitar. The ending returns to some more experimental business.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#201735)
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars ''Heavy Metal thunder''

Look at Yourself, in my humble opinion, is the rise of early Heavy Prog, together with albums like In Rock by Deep Purple and Death Walks Behind You by Atomic Rooster, as well as Sabbath's debut, though I find Look at Yourself to have much more resemblence with In Rock and Sabbath's debut than Rooster's, due to the rawness and heaviness.

Look at Yourself is, well actually Uriah Heep is, a full-blown Heavy Rock, and when I mean Heavy, I really mean it. This album, specifically shows how fierceful and in your-face this band can be, with the screeching vocals which are hard to surpass(in both senses), the mammothic hammond organ chords, and the invincible wah-wah solos, are all what make Uriah Heep one of it's own, as well as give the answer to why they could never reach stardom as contemporaries like the already mentioned Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin, since all these aspects are not as accesible nor as catchy from first listen like the others.

This album leaves the experimentation with orchestras(Salisbury) completely, directing all to heaviness with the exception of one of the highlights, which is quite famous by the way, this is July Morning, which is lovely, yet featuring power and agression from Mick's guitar and Ken's organ, as well as some clever chord progressions, signs of early Heavy Prog. The other highlight is the other long song in the album, Shadows of Grief, which belongs to the in-your-face heavy monstrousity songs from the album. It's heavy, it's powerful, it's agressive, it's well-thought, what else you want from a Heavy Rock band?!

The rest of the album is composed by heavy tunes, which are in the standards of previous released hard rock tunes like Gypsy from their debut and Time to Live from Salisbury, just that this time heavier, with the exception of What Should Be Done, which is a sweet piano lead song, with David's irresistible voice, and a great climax created by Mick's wah-wah guitar.

Look at Yourself, really implies on looking at yourself after having heard this album, you'll surely have half of your face melted, especially having ended with the powerful Love Machine, with it's addictive hammond-riff, and mind-blowing organ solo at the end.

Totally a must for Heavy Rock fans, as well as Heavy Proggers, and finally those who are looking for the first traces of Heavy Metal. It might be a bit of a rough album to start with, but in the end you'll enjoy it as much as the other classics.

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Send comments to The Quiet One (BETA) | Report this review (#215051)
Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Look at Yourself is my ultimate Heep experience. After the symphonic experiments of Salisbury, they got their hard rock act together again and concentrated on heavy rock songs with an occasional proggy excursion. The album doesn't offer much that they hadn't done on the preceding albums but in many ways it perfeced their earlier ambitions.

The title track is just perfect. Five minutes of sweeping organ, wahwah and inciting percussion. It's the first Heep song that I have heard and it has always remained the yardstick to measure any other Heep song against. I Wanne be Free, Tears in My Eyes and Love Machine are all a outstanding hard rock songs and What Should be Done a mandatory but satisfactory ballad.

For prog fans July Morning and Shadows of Grief will probably be of major interest. Especially July Morning with its dramatic onset and crescendo structure, layering waves of Hammond organ and synths into a dramatic climax. It's one of Heep's finest moments. Shadows of Grief is particularly appealing for its gothic atmospheres.

Uriah Heep never managed to equal this album, let alone top it. It serves as a perfect introduction to the band and stands as the most essential Uriah Heep album in my collection. 4.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#237682)
Posted Sunday, September 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Classic Uriah Heep album. To be honest, I prefer their debut because of heavy Hammond keyboards and common heavier sound. There they demosntarte all they 're doing good : nice melodies, multi layer vocals, heavy drumming. Still plenty of keyboards,for sure.

But for me this album has the same minus,as all their classic albums: there always are two- three strong tracks, and all other are fillers. I think it's a reason why during all their history critics hated UH. Another reason - their music is simplistic, working more on emotional level, then musicanship high technique standard.

All in all, album is classic example of their music and has it's own aura. But year after year become more historical value,than pleasant one for listening.For sure, the reason of that my point of view could be based on my love to original energetic music. In case of UH, their debut album mas much more interesting for me, there in "Look At Yourself" I hear much more sweety ballads and pop-oriented soft rounded keyboards I hate. So, for sure, it question of taste as well.

I own 2003 expanded de-luxe edition with some bonus tracks. Again, I prefer 2003 Casle re- realise of UH debut album with crystal sound and interesting bonuses. There in "Look at Yourself" re-release sound isn't so perfect, and bonuses mainly consist of boring LP out-takes and B-sides).

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#241809)
Posted Monday, September 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Look at Yourself is the third full-length studio album by UK progressive hard rock act Uriah Heep. After the excursion into progressive territory with Salisbury (1971), Uriah Heep returned with a more hard rock oriented album. Look at Yourself still has enough progressive elements to be called a progressive hard rock album in my book though.

The trademark organ and guitar driven hard rock with progressive elements is still the order of the day on Look at Yourself. There are some great hard rock songs on the album. Just take a listen to the title track. One of the most known Uriah Heep songs is probably the 10:36 minute long and progressive July Morning though. The great epic ending to the song with the organ motifs by Ken Hensley and the moog themes played by guest musician Manfred Mann. The musicianship is as always excellent. I really enjoy the vocals and the vocal harmonies which I feel is one of the greatest assets on the album.

Allthough Look at Yourself doesn´t add that much new to Uriah Heep´s sound it´s an excellent album by the band fully deserving a 4 star rating. While Salisbury saw the band experiment with different sounds and styles ( that album is arguably the band´s most progressive effort), Look at Yourself is more a consolidation that Uriah Heep is first and foremost a hard rock act and then a semi-progressive one.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#247255)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars When this rocks, LOOK AT YOURSELF does itself wonders. Songs like the title track, ''Tears in My Eyes'' and ''Love Machine'' are pure fist-pumping feats of greatness showcasing the power of the Hammond organ. However, the proggier aspects of the album kind of confuse me.

''Shadows of Grief'' and ''July Morning'' are those prog bouts here. The former has a rock base but goes through this climactic build in the middle complete with David Byron's high pitched shrieking that only Geddy Lee could match. Unfortunately for ''July Morning'', I can't get into it despite having an interesting theme. It just runs too long and the Moog solo at the end doesn't excite me even if it's Manfred Mann.

There's also two softer tracks in ''I Wanna Be Free'' and ''What Should Be Done''; soft rock isn't really my thing. This to me is very good hard rock; the prog about it is up for debate. I say that these guys have as much prog as do Wishbone Ash, but Wishbone Ash has a different approach to prog rock, one more to my liking. It's a nice effort, so no lower than three stars.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#252343)
Posted Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is one of their best, and is one of their more underrated albums. One of the most heavy metal of all progressive rock albums, and it really shows. Two extended songs, and all the other songs just plain out rock. The basslines are simply strong, drums forceful, and some nice guitar parts. David Byron is singing absolutly amazingly, it's amazing. This album should be up there with the rest of the progressive rock albums that have earned top marks.

"Look at Yourself" is one of the best openers ever. It's is so heavy and so pumping, that it's really hard to turn it off. The vocals are simply amazing, David singing at his best. Mick Box's guitar playing is rather simple for this track, just about two chords, but he really rocks it out with his awesome solo. Ken Hensley's organ is always powerful, as are the drums being as fierce as ever. "I wanna be Free" isn't has hard rock or as heavy as some of the other tracks, but it's still pretty nice. The vocals are doubled and are very nice. David's singing has never failed to impress me with his amazing voice. The bassline is just awesome, nice and deep low end, not much high end though. The lyrics are pretty nice, not the best, but not bad at all. "July Morning" is Uriah Heep's stable for classic rock radio, along with 2112 from Rush and Stairway to Heaven from Led Zeppelin, this is rocking. It's not their most heavy metal song, but it's got some harder parts. The organ intro is really awesome, as is the guitar solo in the beginning after the hammond organ intro. The bass playing is very good and very melodic on this track. The quiet organ as the soft part goes into effect, right before David starts to sing is nice. The lyrics are not very well though out, but they do have some meaning, finding the right love. The acoustic guitar in the soft part is awesome as well, nicely played, of course, only the best from Mick Box. The "la la la la" part is so memorable, and honestly, I can never get it out of my head once I hear it once. This song is simply amazing, a true classic. "Tears in My Eyes" is a pretty good track, though not my favorite. It sounds a little bit too blues rock, but it's a nice track. The guitar is excellent, I can really get into the that. Basslines are really pumping, and David is singing very well, as usual. Lyrics are alright, but probably the worst of the album. The little scream is nice, the vocal harmonies rock. "Shadows of Grief" is the other extended track, and is a lot less known as July Morning, their ten minute epic track. The organ is really rocking, and it shows some nice playing by Ken Hensley, the hammond organ master himself. The vocal harmonies are very nice, and the whole song just has a very rocking and atmospheric feeling to it. It really dosen't drag too much, not many Uriah Heep songs drag that much though. The lyrics are okay for the most part, but not very well though out, like the other epic on this album. But a top cut from the album. "What Should Be Done" is very nice, great piano balland kind of sound that I am getting from this song. The lyrics are stunning on this track to me, and is one of my personal favorite tracks on the album. "Love Machine" is one of the best closers to put on the album. It's the most rocking of all, with it's intense hammond organ, this song just has that escense of being loving all that good stuff. The lyrics are about loving someone, and it's just nice. The guitar solo's throughout the song are really nice.

Though this album has some odd lyrics, the musicianship from everyone who is playing is simply stunning. Some stuff might be filler, not not much. This song is excellent, and might the most underrated in the Heep catalouge. 5 stars for being a flawed masterpiece.

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Send comments to Rushlover13 (BETA) | Report this review (#254200)
Posted Thursday, December 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Uriah Heep's follow-up to Salisbury was an even better release entitled Look At Yourself. This is my highest rated Uriah Heep album due to the fact that the 10 minute mini-epic July Morning is quite an extraordinary track that should definitely be experienced by all fans of heavy prog genre.

Having said that, I still don't consider this album all that spectacular. Judging from everything I've heard so far by Uriah Heep, the band has never released a solid album and so what this album has in comparison to their other works are the high tops that make up for all the lesser material. This is what makes this album even stronger than then more popular Demons And Wizards.

In conclusion Look At Yourself might not be a great progressive rock masterpiece nor even such by the Heavy Prog standard but there is definitely enough great moments here to make is an excellent album. Everyone who wants to get a acquainted with this band should, in my opinion, skip Demons And Wizards and go straight for this release!

***** star songs: Look At Yourself (5:07) July Morning (10:36)

**** star songs: I Wanna Be Free (3:59) Shadows Of Grief (8:40) What Should Be Done (4:13)

*** star songs: Tears In My Eyes (5:02) Love Machine (3:37)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#259074)
Posted Sunday, January 03, 2010 | Review Permalink
seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RPI
3 stars Look At Yourself was the first Uriah Heep album to enter the UK chart on its release in 1971. This album saw Ken Hensley's emergence as the dominant songwriter, but also marked the end of bass player Paul Newton's association with the band.

The title track opens the album in energetic fashion with a forceful guitar and Hammond riff that features Box and Hensley playing in unison during the transitions between verses. Mick Box displays great wah wah pedal technique in his solo, before Osibisa add percussions to the runaway mine-train ending. I Wanna Be Free is a straightforward melodic rocker that has Byron's voice and Box's guitar shrieking to a noisy climax. What can I add to previous descriptions of the following track, July Morning? It's a 10-minute Hammond-driven tour de force that should tick all the boxes for Heep fans: Fine David Byron vocals, from quietly reflective to intensely emotional; Tidal waves of Hammond organ and wah wah guitar; Great melody and varied dynamics. It even features a guest appearance by Manfred Mann, whose Mini-Moog duels with Mick Box's wah wah for the closing minutes of the song. Epic!

Tears In My Eyes is another rocker, this one featuring slide guitar and more Mini-Moog. Midway through the song there's an acoustic interlude that gradually builds to a guitar solo before returning to the main riff. Shadows Of Grief is the most complex piece on the album and contains ominous, brooding sections that alternate with hard, aggressive riffs. Some ghostly-sounding vocal effects add to the threatening atmosphere of this song. Track 6, What Should Be Done, mainly features piano and organ and sounds like the kind of song that would feature on Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf. Unfortunately it's nowhere near as good as anything on the Hensley solo album and even manages to end up sounding like a Kiki Dee cover (sorry Ken!). The first few distant strains of Hammond on Love Machine precipitate the classic Circle Of Hands. Thereafter it's another rocker featuring more of Hensley's slide guitar along with Mick Box's trademark wah wah.

Look At Yourself is another fine album that cemented the classic Heep sound. It features several songs that would become live favourites, but conversely there are no acoustic ballads in the vein of The Park from the Salisbury album. So, a collection that has some excellent songs but is possibly lacking in variety and subtlety, and which contains one duffer in What Should Be Done. All things considered I'd place it on a par with Salisbury, therefore I'll give it 3 stars.

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Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#260581)
Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Awesome album. Not perfect, but darn close. I remember I had the original album with the mirrored cover- tres' cool! "Look at Yourself", "I Wanna be Free", "July Morning", "Tears in my Eyes", and "What Should be Done", are all wonderful tracks deserving of their praises. The rest are not as good, but nothing is really bad. My least favorite is the ender, "Love Machine" which is a more straightforward rocker without prog tendencies. This album ranks in my taste as one of the top 3 Uriah Heep along with MAGICIANS BIRTHDAY and DEMONS AND WIZARDS. (I would have included SALISBURY, I think, but I don't own it and am relying on old memories of vinyl). A great slice of 70s Hard Prog. 4 stars

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#432864)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
baz91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With 'Look At Yourself', Uriah Heep would continue the streak of excellent albums that began with 'Salisbury'. While the band would never write a track as long as Salisbury again, their third album would still be recorded in the prog spirit. Originally adorned with a mirrored sleeve to enhance the title of the album, this was the album that defined Heep's musical direction.

The opening track, Look At Yourself is a heavy anthemic rocker. To me this track spells Uriah Heep, and would be one of the best tracks to represent the band. The band employ the sensational percussion skills of the legendary Ghanaian band Osibisa to help build up to an explosive climax.

I Wanna Be Free is a less satisfactory song, with little to keep the prog ear interested.

One of the highlights of the album is the ten-minute monster track July Morning. This is a very dramatic song with good lyrics and long instrumental sections. This song was originally crafted from three seperate songs, according to the sleeve notes. The outro consists of 4 minutes based around a repeating theme on the organ, rather like the outro to Starship Trooper or I Want You (She's So Heavy), and guest star Manfred Mann appears on Moog here.

Side 2 opens with the 5-minute Tears In My Eyes. The first verse doesn't give you much hope for the song, but when you realise that the instrumental is almost 3 minutes long, it doesn't seem like such a bad track after all. Unfortunately, this would be the best quality to expect from the band's songs in a few years to come.

The best track for my money is Shadows of Grief, Uriah Heep's most progressive number. At almost 9 minutes, this track is wild, complex and unpredictable. This experimental piece feels like around 5 songs shoved together, and it sounds great.

What Should Be Done is a piano-based piece which is remarkable in that it was recorded before it was three hours old. Unfortunately, that seems to be the only remarkable thing about it.

Love Machine reminds me greatly of a similar track on the band's debut, Real Turned On. As well as having a bluesy rhythm, the cringeworthy lyrics have returned: 'Lovely little lady / You've got me on the run / You're a love machine / And you say that I'm your gun'. To be honest, I don't really understand the 'Love Machine' analogy because I cannot think of a machine that requires a gun. The lyric 'The only time she's happy / Is when the bullets fly' doesn't help. Rather than have a proper finale, this album groans to a halt at the end of this track, a peculiar way to finish.

Along with 'Salisbury' and 'Demons and Wizards' this is definitely one of the recommended Heep albums for beginners. Most Heep fans agree that the bands true sound started here, and with so many great moments, this is about as enjoyable as Heep gets!

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Send comments to baz91 (BETA) | Report this review (#523137)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Look At Yourself" was definitely the most "hard rocking" album Uriah Heep released, especially for the hard-hitting title track and its heavy guitars on "I Wanna Be Free". "July Morning" also enters progressive territory, although not in the same epic way that "Salisbury" did. The above mentioned tracks are among the most solid on the album for sure. There is plenty of great Hammond organ from Hensley and Mick Box delivers some brilliant lead guitar on the album as well. It is regarded by many fans as the band's finest, although for me it comes as third best after "Salisbury" and "Demons And Wizards". But it isn't lIke either of those albums! This one is particularly good to play loud!

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#607743)
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars "Look at Yourself" features incredible heavy Hammond and guitar riffing excellence on one of Uriah Heep's most consistent albums. The front cover is a mirror that many who owned the vinyl would have spent hours watching the reflective surface shine patterns on the roof. The music on the album also reflects the band, the power of progressive symphonic meets heavy rock.

The title track, 'Look at Yourself' is a definitive rocker with trademark driving guitar and organ with a pounding bassline. Mick Box's lead break crunches with incredible staccato Hammond of Ken Hensley and phased guitar. The vocals of David Byron are excellent with a straight clean performance and vibrato. There are so many brilliant tracks on the album that many found their way to best of compilations and concerts. The first 3 are Uriah Heep at their best.

On 'I Wanna Be Free' the harmonies are terrific and the riff is patented crunching guitar blasts similar to 'Gypsy' and 'Lady In Black'. Another great track on the album.

'July Morning' is captivating with quiet passages of serenity and loud majestic music crescendos. The verses are a lighters-in-the-air sway-along melodic ballad, and this is balanced with an outbreak of Hensley's Hammond smashes and Box's vibrant lead guitar. Crunching staccato Hammond blasts and a memorable guitar motif make this a progressive classic.

The descending riff is awesome on the proggy 'Shadows of Grief'. Some excellent Hammond answers and trade offs leading to a vibrant lead break. The organ shimmers on this and the musicianship overall is some of the best from the band. The quiet ending sounds like Pink Floyd's Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' as it is very psychedelic, building gradually with powerful high harmonies, very much like Deep Purple in some ways. The weird ending is the shimmering Hammond sound heard in the middle of 'Gypsy'.

'What Should Be Done' is next and we have a grand piano intro and Byron's very gentle vocals. This is the Heep ballad that is added to every album. It's okay but I prefer when they are in full flight and hammering hard. The wah-wah guitar break of Box is quite beautiful.

'Love Machine' ends the vinyl album on a powerful note. Tons of Hammond and a riff that motors along with a quick tempo are the dominant sounds. Byron's vocals are fantastic on this. It sounds a bit like Rainbow's 'Starstruck' in melody. The lead break is terrific and caps this album off on a high note.

The bonus tracks are great, a single edited hard rocking version of the title track, and 'What's Within My Heart'. This second track features some banter prior to the song by the band as they count in the sparse twin acoustic guitars. It is a forgettable soft ballad, with minimalist acoustics, and feels like a demo track. It is lovely the way the bass comes in though, and the vocals are well performed.

In conclusion, "Look at Yourself" is one of the best Heep albums without a doubt. It features some fabulous Hammond and is a real proto-metal rocker. The tracks are all excellent with a few patchy sections, and not as proggy as some others, but this album is still very consistent quality rock.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#608783)
Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Uriah Heep's answer to Deep Purple's In Rock?

Uriah Heep is placed in the heavy prog category, but I should have placed them in the prog related, because I think about these guys as hard-rockers with a keyboard and guitar base. This record shows some mayor hit's like Look at Yourself and July Morning and became therefor quiet popular.

The titletrack shows some typical Uriah Heep bass rhythm, which is seen before by this band and also has been seen on. Love Machine has likewise rhythms. The record is full of multiple powervocals, which could be a copy of Vanilla Fudge. July Morning looks to me as an answer to Deep Purple's Child in Time. Both have a song progression from ballad to hard-rock and have a triple bass note in the couplet and some long solo's in the end. This song is not just a copy, but could be influenced by those fellow hardrockers. In my opinion July Morning is the best song of the record. It has some great guitarmelodies, which was one of the first melodies I played on guitar, but this was really hard for me then. The keyboard solo's on top are actually the greatest part of the song and are a bit mesmerising.

My main complain is that this record is not so steady. The second side has no real highlights and also "I wanna be free" of the first side reaches just average quality. In total the record is worth about 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to the philosopher (BETA) | Report this review (#663671)
Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Look at Yourself finds Uriah Heep swinging back to the hard rocking side of their sound after indulging their progressive side more on Salisbury. That isn't to say the prog angle to their music is entirely gone - just as the hard rock side never entirely disappears on their more proggy albums, their progressive angle is still apparent here and there, particularly on July Morning. But by and large, the material here is likely to be more palatable if you already dig organ-heavy proto-metal stuff like Deep Purple or Atomic Rooster - if you come with those expectations, you'll find Look at Yourself to be a more than credible contribution to that particular sound.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#861692)
Posted Sunday, November 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars 'Look At Yourself' (yes, with the mirror on the sleeve so that the punter can literally look at themselves) shows the band with some of their strongest ever songs. The title cut opens the album and is still in the stage set nearly thirty years later. Driven by the Hammond of Ken Hensley, Mick Box takes quite a back seat on this number, but the 'operatic' backing vocals on the chorus manage to lift this onto another plane. "July Morning" has a long introduction, again dominated by Ken, but the song itself turns into a delicate ballad, again with some great vocals. This album showed a band that while still a hard rock band at heart (listen to closer "Love Machine") were much more 'progressive' than many critics would give them credit for.

Originally appeared in Feedback #62, May 01

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#968557)
Posted Saturday, June 01, 2013 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is heavy prog at its best and where the heep's signature sound was forged. Certainly one of the band's best and most powerful albums, intense and having a rushing hammond organ thrust.

No filler tracks and two highlights: the rapid pace title track with the guest appearance of the percussionist of OSIBISA and the immortal "July Morning" (UH's ultimate and melodic epic), with a memorable moog solo by MANFRED MANN and the unforgettable operatic vocals of David Byron.

Riffs, screams, keys, superb rhythm session, anger and sweetness. No negative remark except for the fact that it stands between two giant albums ("Salisbury" and "Demons and Wizards") so it may appear smaller in comparison. I was going to rate it with 4 stars but it would be unfair. It deserves at least a half star more, so I will give it the maximum scores.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#1227171)
Posted Thursday, July 31, 2014 | Review Permalink

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