Look at Yourself is the third album by British rock band Uriah Heep, released in 1971 by Bronze Records in the UK and Mercury Records in the US.
Characterized as heavy metal and progressive rock, the album has come to be viewed as a highpoint in the band’s career, and is today regarded by many fans and critics as Uriah Heep’s finest album along with Demons and Wizards, released the following year. The title track and “July Morning” were released as singles in the UK and North America in 1971 and 1973, respectively.
The original cover art on the LP featured a single sleeve with a die-cut opening on the front through which a reflective foil “mirror” was seen, conveying a distorted image of the person viewing it. The idea, by guitarist Mick Box, was for the cover to directly reflect the album title, and this theme is carried through the band photos on the rear of the LP sleeve, which have also been distorted. The LP itself was housed in a heavy-duty card inner, complete with lyrics.
The song “July Morning” become the inspiration for a Bulgarian hippie tradition, known eponymously as July Morning.
The album was mentioned in the David Sedaris book Barrel Fever, in “Don’s Story”.
Alternate front + backcover
The third time proved to be the charm for Uriah Heep: on Look at Yourself, the group perfects its fusion of heavy metal power and prog rock majesty, and the result is one of the best albums in the Heep catalog. The gauntlet is thrown down on the title track, a powerful rocker that layers its relentless hard rock attack with ornate vocal harmonies and quicksilver organ runs before climaxing with a tribal-sounding drum jam. The remainder of Look at Yourself presents an effective blend of gutsy guitar rock and organ-fueled prog excursions. In the rock arena, the gems are “Tears in My Eyes,” a powerful rocker driven by an almost rockabilly-style riff that stops midway for a surprising vocal harmony break supported by smooth wah-wah guitar, and “Love Machine,” a short, punchy slice of hard rock built on an infectious, stomping rhythm. However, the best track on the album is one of the more prog-oriented ones: “July Morning” starts with a pastoral organ riff, then builds into a heavy yet symphonic rock tune that divides its time between gentle acoustic verses and emotional, organ-fueled choruses before climaxing in a monstrous jam dominated by a swirling Moog synthesizer lead. Special note should also be taken of David Byron’s vocal performance; his multi-octave, operatic style was no doubt an influence on later metal vocalists like Rob Halford. All in all, Look at Yourself is both one of Uriah Heep’s finest, most cohesive albums and a high point of 1970s heavy metal. (by Donald A. Guarisco)
Mick Box (guitar)
David Byron (vocals)
Iain Clark (drums)
Ken Hensley (keyboards, vocals on 01., guitar, background vocals)
Paul Newton (bass)
Manfred Mann (synthesizer (on 03.)
The percussion section of Osibisa (on 01.):
Ted Osei – Mac Tontoh – Loughty Amao
01. Look At Yourself (Hensley) 5.09
02. I Wanna Be Free (Hensley) 4.00
03. July Morning (Byron/Hensley) 10.32
04. Tears In My Eyes (Hensley) 5.01
05. Shadows Of Grief (Byron/Hensley) 8.39
06. What Should Be Done (Hensley) 4.15
07. Love Machine (Box/Byron/Hensley) 3.37
08. What’s Within My Heart (out-take) (Hensley) 5.23
09. Why (early version) (Box,/Byron) 11.18
10. Look At Yourself (single edit) (Hensley) 3.19
11. Tears In My Eyes (extended mix) (Hensley) 5.38
12. What Should Be Done (alternate version) (Hensley) 4.26
13. Look At Yourself (live at the BBC) (Hensley) 4.32
14. What Should Be Done (live at the BBC) (Hensley) 3.26