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Uriah Heep - "Look At Yourself, 1971 (re-release)"
Sanctuary Records 2003

We got another bunch of remasters on the horizon. And this time (in my opinion), from the greatest wizards that world of rock has probably ever seen. I'll try to get all those remasters and serve to you reviews as soon as possible. I still didn't get "Very 'eavy Very 'umble" and "Salisbury", so I'm forced to start with "Look At Yourself". Opening title track follows the Bird Of Prey directions from Salisbury and is, if you aloud me to use metal expression a real "headbanger" with what become later a band's classic trademark, riding lead rhythm accompanied with power riffing chords. I got to be fully surrounded with air bags, 'cause this song's intense power tunes, always wants me to start an Indian war dance. Entire album captures a great musical climax that is balanced on every step they take. Instruments are lying in fantastic symbiosis, none of them overdoes. And that heavy riffing action just continues through next pieces: I Wanna Be Free, Tears In My Eyes and closes the album with pulsatile Love Machine with David's remarkable singing performance.

In comparison with "Salisbury", "Look At Yourself" is much more heavy oriented album that spits out even more energy, and is somehow a record where Uriah Heep seventies musical unique standards were set. This is an album that sets the crystal clear pathway of band's further musical development of that era.

Hensley's great massive Hammond organ lines are in center spot of masterpiece July Morning that captures sad and mystical atmosphere on a best possible way. Byron's strong emotional vocals are tastefully covered with Hensley's great back vocal lines. High atmosphere reaches its peak in fade out that is driven through psychedelic vein with appearance of Manfred Mann's moog solo adding a great contrast to the guitar/Hammond harmonies. July Morning really forces you to cry out all your tears. Every single day of life, you find that you're always on your own, no matter what happens. The second atmospheric fantasy is complex structured Shadow Of A Grief with phenomenal conversation of keyboards and guitar through entire piece, full of dramatic turnovers that leave a slightly darker face of a band's musical expression.

Bonus track Why was recorded for the first time during "Look At Yourself" studio sessions. And Why sends to me a direct question, about why this high on emotions track was ever left to find its place on full length album? Try to find this out from rich liner notes that inhabits a new booklet. With David's soulful approach, another excellent Hensley keyboard work and Mick's phenomenal wah-wah guitar outbursts, we got another memorable track here. Just dream on while listening and try to look at yourself. Kill the dragon and let your soul fly free into eternity.

Oh, by the way, bonuses are not the same as those included on '96 remastered version, so don't sell your old collection. Don't even think about it.

Author:   Aleš

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