UFO - The Best Of A Decade

How does a group that formed over forty years ago still find the desire to perform live and record new studio albums? That UFO continue to do both is testament to the spirit within the band. Phil Mogg (vocals), Pete Way (bass) and Andy Parker (drums) are three of the four founding members from way, way back in 1969. Michael Schenker (guitar) joined in 1973 and Paul Raymond (keyboards and guitar) in 1976 to complete the line-up that crystallised the pre-metal sound of British rock.

New release Best Of A Decade sees a compilation of ten tracks from recent studio albums interspersed with six live classics. The title is misleading as there is nothing on here from the two albums recorded in the early 2000s with Schenker before he left to be replaced by Vinnie Moore. There will be those who say that UFO aren’t as good without Schenker and, whilst he and Mogg have written some epics over the years, Moore is a fine guitarist in his own right and has clicked with Mogg to create songs that leave as much of an impression as anything Schenker co-wrote.

The band’s greatest strength has been their musical breadth and that is evidenced in the selection here: Mogg’s crisp, clear vocals and Moore’s beautifully phrased fretwork are the lynchpins of tunes that span a wide range of rock styles. You can hear shades of Thin Lizzy ('Shout Shout'), Aerosmith ('Hell Driver'), Jethro Tull ('Mr Freeze'), The Who ('Black And Blue'), AC/DC ('Daylight Goes To Town') and even the guilty pleasures of Status Quo ('Hard Being Me'). The stand out, though, is 'Baby Blue' which is startlingly different to anything else on this collection; Vinnie’s sumptuous acoustic picking and harmonics coupled with Phil’s lovelorn crooning rank right up there with 'Profession of Violence'.

The record doesn’t break any new ground or introduce any new tracks that die-hard collectors won’t already have. What it does do, though, is showcase a craft in song writing and the sheer thrill of great live shows. If you don’t already own a UFO album, or haven’t bought one for years, you’ll be more than happy if you pick this one up.

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 23/06/2018 15:32:51

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