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Steamer - 1980 Look At Me Now




ARTIST: Steamer
ALBUM: Look At Me Now
LABEL: Intercan
SERIAL: IC 1005
YEAR: 1980

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Gordon Henderson - vocals, piano * Mike Hilliard - guitars * Ed Hilliard - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Say Goodbye * 02 Don't Give Up * 03 Bitter Sweet * 04 Fight To Survive * 05 Laura * 06 Still In Love With You * 07 Every Bit Of Love * 08 Ode To A Housewife * 09 So Long * 10 Look At Me Now


Background
All of the songs were written by Gordon Henderson. A talented guy but his vocals are an acquired taste, and his preference for ballads is not entirely a good idea. The fact that this album see-saws its way between ballads and rockers is a bit disconcerting. Steamer it seems did release a second album entitled 'Steamer' for RCA during 1982, but I've never seen it or heard it, but I would be interested to see what transition they made between this album and the next. I doubt this album will seriously interest the harder rocking punters out there, but for those with a penchant for sweeping orchestral passages played out over a bunch of mellow ballads and the occasional 'rock out', then Steamer might be worth investigating, but you are forewarned.


The Songs
The lead off track 'Don't Say Goodbye' was the bands single lifted from the album, and unfortunately it's quite a tepid ballad bordering on the wishy washy. Surely they could've picked the next track 'Don't Give Up' which is far superior. In fact, I'll go so far as saying it's the best song on the album. The piano laced track is heavied up with some harder guitar lines, and a strong chorus - ripe for a hit single me thinks! 'Bitter Sweet' is one for all the Barry Manilow fans out there - a poor selection, which is all sugary sweet (excuse the pun) and completely lacking in balls.. The sax solo will put you to sleep.. lol! This album lurches from ballads to rock tracks like an undulating biorhythm. 'Fight To Survive' sounds tougher, in fact it's a mix of Electric Light Orchestra and Sniff N The Tears. The band take us down the ballad road again for the pairing of 'Laura' and 'Still In Love With You', neither of which strike a chord with me. 'Every Bit Of Love' is a bit of a boogie rant, with the piano getting a good workout. Poor old Mike Hilliard must be wondering when he can get a guitar solo in - he does on this track.. finally! Two more soppy ballads grace us once again. I skipped over 'Ode To A Housewife' and 'So Long' and moved to the last track, the title track 'Look At Me Now', an energetic 70's rocker with standout harmony vocals.


In Summary
All of the songs were written by Gordon Henderson. A talented guy but his vocals are an acquired taste, and his preference for ballads is not entirely a good idea. The fact that this album see-saws its way between ballads and rockers is a bit disconcerting. Steamer it seems did release a second album entitled 'Steamer' for RCA during 1982, but I've never seen it or heard it, but I would be interested to see what transition they made between this album and the next. I doubt this album will seriously interest the harder rocking punters out there, but for those with a penchant for sweeping orchestral passages played out over a bunch of mellow ballads and the occasional 'rock out', then Steamer might be worth investigating, but you are forewarned.


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Comments

#1 | Eric on April 08 2009 17:14:12
Nice to see this here since I'm a big fanboy of orchestral pop type stuff. I've never seen the RCA album either-a myth?hmm!

Not to be confused with the U.S. band Steamer, from Louisiana I believe who released an EP around the same time...
#2 | MHilliard on May 07 2009 20:01:44
Excellent review. It's almost like you were there! There was a second album BTW, and it was a little less fluff and a bit more RandR (way more guitar solos). If you want to impress somebody, try to find the 3rd album. It's really hard to find.
BTW - I really enjoy the site in general.clap
#3 | gdazegod on May 08 2009 00:49:12
Nice to see you here Mike. Certainly interested in trying to find albums 2 and 3. I hope Gordon doesn't give me a hard time about this review.. Shock.. Cheers!
#4 | E Hilliard on May 18 2009 18:35:14
A great site, and I enjoyed the review. Like Mike said, the 2nd and 3rd albums are more hard edged. Keep up the great work!
#5 | gdazegod on January 19 2010 13:08:25
Mike, Ed, you guys are killing me with suspense. Where can I getta hold of albums #2 and the extremely rare #3?
#6 | gdazegod on December 31 2012 08:29:15
Found some further info on Steamer at: http://www.mocm.c...Only=False

This is an interesting website for sure.. Museum Of Canadian Music..
#7 | super80boy on June 30 2013 21:31:47
Too many slow songs. There's nothing wrong with 1 or 2, but not half the album. They should have stuck with more uptempo songs as the ones they have on this album are all good. Agree, worth the investigation.
#8 | gdazegod on January 26 2017 22:39:56
Here is a copy for sale on Ebay, of the rare 1983 'Steamer', on the Canadian Talent Library label. This is the rare LP which Mike Hilliard refers to above..

http://www.ebay.c...SwXshWqn8V

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