UFO (speaking of Space Rock)

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    UFO (speaking of Space Rock)

    UFO, a British hard rock band, may possibly have had more success / popularity in Europe than it ever had in the US / North America, but either way ... do you know much about them or own any of their music?

    UFO, founded back ca. 1969, may also be one of those under-valued bands, especially in terms of their live albums.

    "Strangers in the Night" seems to be a true classic among classics; it was UFO's last concert performance with guitarist Michael Schenker (too bad he had a drinking problem ...).    The album is critcally aclaimed, and mentioned as one of the greatest live albums of all time, let alone in the era that it was recorded (1978).

    I just counted: there are 35 former members of this band, that span the timeline of the band.  That's a lot of musicians to go through.   And yet, they have persisted.   They've recorded a slew of albums and in 2011, EMI released a box set of 6 albums from the Michael Schenker era, "The Chrysalis Years, 1973-1979" ; they released their 20th studio album in 2012, "Seven Deadly."   

    The second box set, years 1980-1986, was not seen in as positive a light, as those years found the band in a deep decline.   

    Sadly, the band's descent ultimately came from a combination of factors including drugs, alcohol, personnel issues, and very pedestrian song writing.    Much of the material during their descent was a mixed bag, not all bad by any means, but a downfall from the heights where they once resided.  

    The band is thought to be under-valued, due to the uneven nature of its output.  

    Any thoughts?     They're still touring, but their turf does not seem to include North America.  

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    Re: UFO (speaking of Space Rock)

    Michael Schenker was the shining star of this oufit.

    Vocalist Phil Mogg was the mainstay, Pete Way was the other main man of the group.

    I can remember a couple of good songs, Rock Bottom and Doctor, Doctor.

    They never broke through to U.S. radio. Always kind of in the background, you would see the LPs in the bins at the record store, and wonder just who they were.

    I became a much bigger fan of Schenker, following his journey from UFO to part time stints in the Scorpions with his brother Rudolph, then on to his very under-rated solo career and his other group McCauley- Schenker ( aka MSG). I have a couple of compiltaions from UFO, they don't get played very often.

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    Re: UFO (speaking of Space Rock)

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:

    GREAT band.  Overlooked and under appreciated here.

    Except by Eddie Trunk and the good folks on TMS.

    Thanks, Greg (AND Zilla).  Pretty much what I thought.   They've been huge across Europe and South America, too.   Here?  Not so much.   Seems the fans they have are ardent -- there are just fewer of them.   

    They did one album, "No Place to Run" that was produced by *the* George Martin.   Right about the time Schenker left the group (nearly impossible to replace); supposedly, that album is one of their best.   

    The 80's weren't kind to the band, and maybe they were never able to recapture what they once had -- none the less, they're still recording, touring, and selling tickets.   So they must be doing something right.    Worth checking out for anyone looking for some decent hard rock.  

    FYI for Slash fans: he's stated that the live album mentioned above ("Strangers in the Night") is his favorite live album. 

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    Re: UFO (speaking of Space Rock)

    I had the 'Strangers in the Night' album.  Schenker is a great player and he was the main attraction for me, but Mogg did have a strong voice as well.

    In the curiosity department, I also owned an early album, called 'Flying' and subtitled 'One Hour Space Rock'. Laughing  This was before Schenker.  It was a fun record, a lot of instrumental noodling.  One weird thing was that they totally ripped off part of Deep Purple's 'Child in Time' at one point (the 'fanfare' part just before the guitar solo).

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    Re: UFO (speaking of Space Rock)

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    Re: UFO (speaking of Space Rock)

    A major inspiration in the Hard Rock/Metal genre.