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2002

August 2002

UFO

CLASSIC ROCK and Beyond, copyright

Sharks Review:

The flying object gets predatory beautiful to defy those trying to write the band off.

Where's that wishing well that UFO spring from? Slide guitar shuffle sets the time machine back to the '70s, to the group's finest hour, but there's much more swagger in Phil Mogg's vocals now when, in "Outlaw Man" and "Someone's Gotta Have To Pay" mighty boogie, he throws himself in the reminiscences of how it all began, namechecking Sonny Boy Williamson, The Fabs, Elvis and other heroes who got that spaceship flying so high.

It's been a long time since they last delivered such a perfect balance of pain and romanticism as in "Serenity" but that's a groovy ride, Pete Way's bass and Aynsley Dunbar's cymbals dragging "Quicksilver Rider" on old cosmic trails, and even Michael Schenker seems happy to funk "Sea Of Faith" up and cool it down with an exquisite acoustic solo.

Lyrically, "Dead Man Walking" is as far from depicting the ensemble's attitude as can be, while musically this typical UFO rocker just sums it up. Equally, thunderous "Fighting Man" could have easily belonged to the past yet it's as viable today. They're still have the force, these geezers, their teeth are still as sharp.

*****

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2002 Road Crew - Issue 45

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The history of Rock, Hard, Heavy and of the music in general would not be the same if in 1969 Phil Mogg (vocal) and Pete Way (bass) had not created UFO. Most of the bands, mainly, the English that appeared in the decades after, have UFO as main influence. A good example of that, is the bassist Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), that has Pete Way as one of his heroes. After UFO was formed, they signed with the Nova Beacon Records, and they released three albums, UFO 1 (1970), UFO 2 - Flying One Hour Space Rock (1971) and UFO Live (1972). But the things really began to happen when they signed with Chrysalis Records and recruited the guitarist Michael Schenker, that integrated the not very well-known German band The Scorpions. Since that, the things could not be better, and the success increased album to album, Phenomenon (1974), Force It (1975), In Heavy Petting (1976), Lights Out (1977), Obsession (1978) and Strangers In The Night (1979). The decade of 80 began without Michael Schenker, that left the band and proceeded in the solo career, MSG. After that, UFO was not the same any more. The following albums, In Place To Run (1980), The Wild The Willing And The Innocent (1981), Mechanix (1982), Making Contact (1983), Misdemeanor (1985), Aint' Misbehavin' (1988) and High Stakes And Dangerous Men (1992), are very good, but they didn't manage to maintain the whole evidence of the band, that seemed more and more forgotten. But, in 1993, the band negotiated and made possible a meeting of the classic formation: Phil Mogg (vocal), Michael Schenker (guitar), Paul Raymond (guitarra/teclado), Pete Way (bass) and Andy Parker (drums). The result of this meeting was the acclaimed Walk On Water (1995 in Japan and 1997 for the remaining of the world). But, Michael left the band again during a presentation in Japan, in 1998, and the worst of this time is that UFO could not continue without him; during the negotiations of the meeting, was made an agreement that the name UFO could only be used if Michael and Phil were together! Contesting the unbelievers, the band met in 2000 again, this time counting just with Phil, Michael, Pete and the drummer Ansley Dunbar (that played with Jeff Beck, David Bowie, Michael Chapman, Whitesnake, Journey, Frank Zappa and many others), and the excellent Covenant was released, that contains live music and a bonus live CD. Finally, in 2002, the band releases an excellent new album, Sharks, by SPV Records. Check everything through Phil Mogg's words.

 


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