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Look At Yourself

Reissue Liner Notes

The third album to be recorded by Uriah Heep was Look At Yourself. Recorded at Lansdowne studios in London's Holland park, it was the final album to use 8-track as a recording process. With the last album Salisbury released in February of 1971, Uriah Heep were about to embark on their first American tour. This trip, however, had started with a band member change in the drumming position. Ian Clarke (ex Cressida) was recruited as a replacement to Keith Baker.

That first US tour, the first of many, threw the band straight into the deep end, playing 20,000 seat arenas with Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night. Although as Mick Box said, "Playing with Three Dog Night was all wrong musically...", it was to prove an invaluable experience for the band. Once the US tour was complete, work was started back at the band's second home, Lansdowne studios, on Look At Yourself.

Gerry Bron had completed his Philips/Vertigo deal and was free to start up his own label, in fact the first two releases on the newly formed BRONZE Record Co., were Uriah Heep's two albums to date, Very 'Eavy Very 'Umble and Salisbury.

Recording was performed for Look At Yourself during the summer months of 1971. Most connoisseurs of the band would agree with Gerry Bron that "Look At Yourself was the point in time when the band really found a solid musical direction."

Look At Yourself had definitely given the band an album that displayed a unified sound and direction. The epic July Morning was easily in the class of Deep Purple's Child In Time and Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven. The UK record buying public also acknowledged this unification by purchasing enough of the vinyl slivers to take it to number 39, making Look At Yourself Uriah Heep's first chart album. The album quickly went silver in the USA as well.

Uriah Heep were on a roll with success in Germany, other parts of Europe, North America and even Britain. Things were obviously going to get better as long as the band could contain the turmoil that was beginning to show internally.

The band, never the favoured bunch by the critics, could not be ignored for much longer. A growing army of fans, packed audiences and improving record sales were to make sure of that. This was the band the press loved to hate and little did they know at this time it was something they would have to endure throughout their career.

With the completion of Look At Yourself, career changes for some members of the band were imminent. First to go was Paul Newton, the bass player, followed by Ian Clarke, the drummer. Newton was replaced by Mark Clarke (yes another Clarke!). mark Clarke was previously of Colosseum and label-mate band Tempest. Mark Clarke's tenure was also short lived however, and three months after his joining the band he departed, being replaced by Gary Thain, a New Zealander who had previously played with the Keef Hartley Band. mark Clarke was to reappear in the Heep arena a few years later when he contributed to Ken Hensley's second solo effort, Eager To Please.

Ian Clarke (no, not Mark!) who had held the drumming position on Look At Yourself was replaced by Lee Kerslake. Kerslake had previously played in The Gods with both Ken Hensley and Paul Newton.

With Kerslake and Thain in the fold the band were to hit the big time as Uriah Heep Mk. 6, (this band were fast becoming used to the musical chair phenomena of the rock and roll business).

It was this version of the band that recorded the album that was to take Uriah Heep to the top of the charts. That album was album numer 4, Demons and Wizards.

The bonus track What's Within My Heart was an out-take from the Look At Yourself sessions and was first released in 1993 on - The Lansdowne Tapes. The song was occasionally played live as part of an acoustic set the band performed early on in their career. This preceeded MTV's unplugged sessions by only 20 years or so!

The bonus track of Look At Yourself is an edited version of the title track and was to become the band's first UK single. It was also backed by Simon The Bullet Freak.

© 1991, 1995 Robert M. Corich

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