“The Best Of UFO (1974-1983)” by UFO

Artist: UFO
Title: “The Best Of UFO (1974-1983)”
Label: EMI Music
Release Date: 4/15/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

The name of the band UFO probably comes up as inspiring more bands than you could easily count if you were a study of the groups that were a part of the NWOBHM movement. It’s easy to see why this would be the case once you sink your teeth into this tasty compilation of some of their finest numbers. Formed in 1969, there is a strong melodic Hard Rock base to their sound that is often cited as one of the forerunners to some of the roots which became Heavy Metal music and to this very day their biggest hits hold the same power that they did so long ago. The band was formed by Phil Mogg and Peter Way and together they eventually brought Scorpions’ guitarist Michael Schenker into greater prominence before he went on to form the Michael Schenker Group. As a compilation this collection works out very well for what it sets out to do and in my opinion that is to once again call your attention to the group. You see, while famous in some circles and inspiring bands that are now legends in their own right, the guys in UFO seem to be more of a band with a cult level status and following. If this wasn’t the case they would be headlining major arenas around the world consistently as opposed to certain regions smaller clubs and venues. You can’t go wrong as a Metal and Hard Rock fan with any of the number of tracks here and my own favorites are the bands branded classics “Lights Out”, “Only You Can Rock Me” and “Doctor Doctor”. I was also rather fond of “Let It Rain” from “Mechanix” and was happy to see that one considered good enough to be on the compilation.

Another winner for me was “We Belong To The Night” and this is such a driving number that I am sure it will become a favorite of yours as well. While the band first came off as a little bit of a Space Rock outfit, we don’t get any of that kind of material presented here and instead find the contents coming from their first album “Phenomenon” (1974) and carrying us all the way until “First Contact” (1983). Let’s view it as their most inspirational Hard Rock years for lack of a better tagline. The UFO hard core fans are very tough to please and this is probably considered a collection that leaves out too much essential material and being the devil’s advocate it really could have been released as a double disc anthology to win a few more people over to it. Yet despite any reservations of this kind I still love the way that this one was delivered.

The release is very easy to sit and listen to straight through and comes with a nice historical bit of liner notes care of Geoff Barton from Classic Rock magazine and this should inform and educate the listeners who might know only a little or need a full biography about the band and their beginnings. In 2008, UFO still tours with original members Phil Mogg (vocals) who is now sixty and still sounding great, Peter Way (bassist) and Andy Parker (drums) along with Paul Raymond and Vinny Moore. They are not only still releasing albums but will be the proud parents of their back catalog remastered editions that are being issued over the course of 2008-2009. All of these releases are reported to include bonus tracks so if you own any of them it looks like you get an upgrade. Should you be one of those listeners who has only heard the name and never done anything more about it, here is your chance to get into what some of the bands that you follow with great interest found their inspiration in. There isn’t a bad tune on the release and that is a pleasant change from many other best of collections. UFO is also very good in concert so should you see dates listed in your region be sure to take the chance and go. You will not regret the decision.

Track Listing:
1. Rock Bottom
2. Oh My
3. Let It Roll
4. Shoot Shoot
5. Can You Roll Her
6. I’m A Loser
7. Natural Thing
8. Lights Out
9. Love To Love
10. Too Hot To Handle
11. Only You Can Rock Me
12. Doctor Doctor (live)
13. Lettin’ Go
14. Young Blood
15. Lonely Heart
16. Chains Chains
17. Let It Rain
18. We Belong To The Night
19. When Its Time To Rock

Official Website: http://www.ufo-music.info

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