Hard Rock / Proto-Metal • United Kingdom
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Beginning (1969–1972):

Singer Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton, bassist Pete Way, and drummer Andy Parker formed the band in August 1969. Originally taking the name Hocus Pocus, the group changed their name in October 1969 to UFO in honour of the London club where they were spotted by Noel Moore, who signed them to his Beacon Records label. Their eponymously titled first album debuted in 1970 and was a typical example of early hard rock including a heavy version of the Eddie Cochran's classic "C'mon Everybody". Both UFO 1 and its follow-up UFO 2: Flying, were successful in Japan (especially the single "C'mon Everybody" which became a huge hit there) and Germany (the song "Boogie For George," also from the first album, reached #30 in German singles charts as well as "Prince Kajuku" from Flying reached #26), but generated poor interest in Britain and America. Consequently, their third effort, Live (later
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UFO Discography

UFO albums / top albums

UFO UFO 1 album cover 3.39 | 15 ratings
Proto-Metal 1970
UFO UFO II : Flying album cover 3.31 | 13 ratings
UFO II : Flying
Proto-Metal 1971
UFO Phenomenon album cover 3.90 | 28 ratings
Proto-Metal 1974
UFO Force It album cover 3.89 | 25 ratings
Force It
Proto-Metal 1975
UFO No Heavy Petting album cover 3.90 | 17 ratings
No Heavy Petting
Hard Rock 1976
UFO Lights Out album cover 4.11 | 25 ratings
Lights Out
Hard Rock 1977
UFO Obsession album cover 3.59 | 22 ratings
Hard Rock 1978
UFO No Place to Run album cover 3.18 | 13 ratings
No Place to Run
Hard Rock 1980
UFO The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent album cover 3.97 | 13 ratings
The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent
Hard Rock 1981
UFO Mechanix album cover 3.67 | 11 ratings
Hard Rock 1982
UFO Making Contact album cover 3.73 | 11 ratings
Making Contact
Hard Rock 1983
UFO Misdemeanor album cover 3.35 | 9 ratings
Hard Rock 1985
UFO High Stakes and Dangerous Men album cover 3.12 | 4 ratings
High Stakes and Dangerous Men
Hard Rock 1992
UFO Walk on Water album cover 3.93 | 10 ratings
Walk on Water
Hard Rock 1995
UFO Covenant album cover 3.59 | 7 ratings
Hard Rock 2000
UFO Sharks album cover 3.71 | 8 ratings
Hard Rock 2002
UFO You Are Here album cover 3.95 | 6 ratings
You Are Here
Hard Rock 2004
UFO The Monkey Puzzle album cover 3.83 | 5 ratings
The Monkey Puzzle
Hard Rock 2006
UFO The Visitor album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
The Visitor
Hard Rock 2009
UFO Seven Deadly album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Seven Deadly
Hard Rock 2012
UFO A Conspiracy Of Stars album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
A Conspiracy Of Stars
Hard Rock 2015
UFO The Salentino Cuts album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Salentino Cuts
Hard Rock 2017

UFO EPs & splits

UFO Ain't Misbehavin' album cover 3.81 | 4 ratings
Ain't Misbehavin'
Hard Rock 1988

UFO live albums

UFO UFO Live album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
UFO Live
Proto-Metal 1971
UFO Strangers in the Night album cover 4.56 | 21 ratings
Strangers in the Night
Hard Rock 1978
UFO Lights Out in Tokyo album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Lights Out in Tokyo
Hard Rock 1992
UFO Big Apple Encounters album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Big Apple Encounters
Hard Rock 2003
UFO Showtime album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Hard Rock 2005

UFO demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

UFO re-issues & compilations

UFO Headstone album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Hard Rock 1983
UFO The Best Of UFO album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of UFO
Hard Rock 1996
UFO The Best of A Decade album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of A Decade
Hard Rock 2010

UFO singles (0)

UFO movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Too Hot To Handle
Hard Rock 1992
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Misdemeanor Tour
Hard Rock 2001
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Legends of Rock
Hard Rock 2002
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live on Earth
Hard Rock 2003

UFO Reviews

UFO Force It

Album · 1975 · Proto-Metal
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I don’t know how I missed getting into this band! Maybe “Miss Demeanor” just didn’t attract me? If I had heard this album in the eighties, I would have been hooked for sure. Yet somehow, in spite of loving Pete Way’s band Waysted and having a couple of Michael Schenker albums, I never picked up UFO. I bought the debut a few years back solely because it was a hard rock album of 1970 and it’s an okay album. It has it’s moments. Later I bought “No Heavy Petting” because I heard that “Lights Out” was a great album, but listening to it on YouTube, I didn’t get a rush. The previous album sounded way better to me and I rather like it. So at last I got around to getting another UFO album and my choice was this one, “Force It”. What’s with all the faucets in the album art? Imagine “faucet” and “force it” being said in a British accent.

From what I have heard, this might just be UFO’s most rock out album of the seventies. Later albums seem to lean on melody more than punch unless I've just not heard the right songs. On this album, I think we have some of the best rockers and riffs not only in the UFO catalogue but stand out tracks from the seventies hard rock scene.

“Let It Roll” is a great start. It’s remarkable how much Michael Schenker’s guitar reminds me of the Scorpions considering that he’d only played on the debut album. The melodic part is a nice touch. Perhaps it’s too soon to go pretty but the hard rocking music returns. It even gets rather heavy in parts!

“Shoot Shoot” is a fun rock song that has one awesome riff that crops up after the chorus. Again, very Scorpions in style but with a great groove to it. Damn that’s a good one, that riff!

The third track has to be the ballad. It’s almost predictable on some seventies albums. “High Flyer” is very pretty but it makes me think that this is a song a fictional band might play in a movie, the song where the girlfriend looks lovingly at her boyfriend on the stage. Then we get another kick ass rocker with “Love Lost Love”. It’s a melodic hard rock song with Schenker really exercising those lead guitar breaks. Holy tube socks but this is really good hard rock!

The album was produced by Leo Lyons of Ten Years After, and for “Out in the Street” he brings in band mate Chick Churchill to play some electric organ. I think it works great with UFO’s sound, the softer organ sound contrasting with the crunchy guitar. Phil Moog shows he’s got power and finesse in his vocals. And then we get another power house hard rocker with “Mother Mary”. I can’t get over this guitar sound! Schenker is really a key to the power behind this band.

There's more great hard rock with “Too Much of Nothing” and "Dance Your Life Away". The final track, "The Kids'", doesn't slow down and slips in some nice piano work between the power chords. But then the track curiously goes into a melodic and atmospheric instrumental called “Between the Walls”. It’s an unexpected way to end an album of kick ass rockers. Once more, I'm hearing a Scorpions guitar. It's interesting to think that so much of the Scorpions sound may have come from the younger Schenker brother who left after one album!

I think the selling point for me on this album is clearly the guitar sound and Michael Schenker’s playing. His solos and his riffs are fantastic! The rest of the band are great. Phil Moog is a stand out vocalist and perfect for that kind of hard rock with strong melodies and ballads. But if they’d had a lesser guitarist they wouldn’t have sounded so awesome on this album. You can thank Leo Lyons too for his great work.

This has become one of my new favourite old albums!

UFO Obsession

Album · 1978 · Hard Rock
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UFO's Obsession is competent enough in terms of performance and production, but in terms of its aesthetic and composition it feels rather bland and generic. Perhaps it's more meaningful to hardcore UFO fans, but for my part I don't see much to distinguish them from any other hard rock band of the era. Maybe this is a case where a sound that was once archetypal has now simply become generic through mass imitation, but in this particular form it isn't a sound that especially excites me in any case. For instance, the lead guitar parts and Phil Mogg's vocal performance are both competently done, but there's not much to distinguish them from what others were doing at the same time.


Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal
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Before UFO ever snaffued Michael Schenker from the Scorpions, leaving the band to temporarily fold until their rebirth with Uli Jon Roth, the British heavy guitar rock band were four young musicians full of vigor and eager to play loud.

Vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton, bassist Pete Way, and drummer Andy Parker released their debut in 1970. Not entirely confident in writing their own material, the album included covers by Eddie Cochrane ("C'mon Everybody"), the blues classic covered earlier by the Yardbirds, "Who Do You Love", and the sentimental postwar-themed tune "(Come Away) Melinda" which appear on Uriah Heep's debut in the same year. And though "Follow You Home" is credited to Way, the "You Really Got Me" similarities prompted another band member to reflect years later "He wanted to sound like the Kinks".

The construct of the album is fairly simple: heavy blues and heavy psychedelic music, loud guitar distortion for most songs and frequent wah-wah pedal, bass mixed loudly on some tracks, especially "(Come Away) Melinda", and busy psychedelic-style drumming. Phil Mogg's vocals have a good heavy blues edge to them but hadn't matured into a distinct style yet. A cursory listen and this album sounds like a typical contemporary American heavy guitar rock album in spite of the band's British nationality.

I've said that the album's basic construct is simple but that does not mean that there isn't variety or any surprises. In particular, the bluesy "Who Do You Love" features some heavy psych guitar similar to the best of Iron Butterfly's free form solos of the sixties. "Timothy" is a very heavy guitar rocker and it's my pick for most metal song off the album. "Evil", as you would expect, also is pretty heavy and musically reminds me of Sainte Anthony's Fyre. It's interesting to look over the album history and read that the band wanted to cover an Eddie Cochrane tune but not "Summertime Blues" because "everyone had done it". I say interesting because their version of "C'mon Everybody" has the same heavy galloping bass and loud distortion approach as Blue Cheer's cover of "Summertime Blues". Admittedly, Blue Cheer are heavier but not by that much. UFO still leave The Who trampled in the dust when it comes to heavy covers of Eddie Cochrane.

Other songs on the album have their charm points when it comes to the music and guitar. There's no real pop chart single and no acoustic work or sappy love songs. No matter how a song begins you can expect some raucous guitar and vigorous rhythm work. The only true weak point that strikes me is the song writing. It hasn't matured yet. Neither has the band's sound but they make up for their greeness with energy and drive. The next album would venture into lengthy space rock compositions (two tracks taking up 45 minutes!) and then the new UFO with Schenker would come to be.

For a very raw album with simple production and loud guitar, this is not a bad little effort to pick up.

UFO Phenomenon

Album · 1974 · Proto-Metal
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If you want troo Heavy Metal from the early 1970s, it don't come much truer than this.

The addition of ex-Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker in 1973 to UFO served to supercharge a rather dull Krautrock-style jam band into one of the first bona fide heavy metal acts - if not THE first. Schenker was chosen above Larry Wallis, ex Pink-Fairies guitarist, who would go on to join the earliest incarnation of Motorhead.

True, there had been Black Sabbath and the hordes of imitators, and there had also been some wonderful acts in the Krautrock scene, Ladbroke Grove in London - as well as across the globe in various guises - but none had produced an album which was 100% heavy metal in form, style or attitude, with the exception of Sabbath.

Sabbath, however, represent a different branch of metal, one that would not resurface for almost a decade - but when it did, all metaldom went ballistic and paid maximum homage.

What UFO brought to the table was everything about metal that Sabbath weren't. Sabbath were the dark, doomy side - but as everyone knows, metal has it's melodic side, there are swathes of bands that focus on the technical aspects, and some may hate the radio-friendly side of metal, but it's no less metal than the really unlistenable hardcore stuff.

It's also true that Phenomenon isn't 100% metal - especially in its latter half, when it kinda kicks back a little and puts its metaphorical feet up - maybe saving energy for the ultimate climax. "Queen of the Deep" contains some of the best soloing you will ever hear - but more of that later.

Musically, Phenomenon lives up to its title, with really strong songwriting and dazzling guitar soloing - the pentatonic noodly rubbish favoured by so many bands has been chucked away in favour of Schenker's trademark encyclopaedia of metal licks, based on a wide variety of scales and influences - but always with a diamond-sharp edge.

This album is the perfect answer to dandruff - simply crank it up as loud as it'll go and hey presto! In no time, you'll be banging your head so hard that the white stuff'll have no chance whatsoever.

We dive straight in to the pounding "Oh My", take a little breather with "Crystal Light" (watch out as you hold that lighter above your head - you don't want to set fire to the room above), then it's Classic time. If you don't already know "Doctor Doctor", what planet have you been living on?

Another mellifluous ballad follows, and it is such as Journey would base an entire career on, albeit a very welcome showcase for Schenker's amazing feel for extended melody.

There then follows the other track that you NEED to know, which is another Schenker showcase, and I won't insult anyone by naming it. Suffice to say that the title is the exact opposite of the music.

Side 2 is devoid of classics, infused instead with a slightly countrified air, and begins with the rather average "Too Young To Know". It's no slouch, however, with the gorgeous "Time on My Hand", the driving cover of the Willie Dixon tune, "Built For Comfort", the classically inspired "Lipstick Traces", which is a foundation stone of the Malmsteen style, and "Queen of The Deep", a metal classic that never was.

Herein lies some of Schenker's finest soloing work - an almost unplundered library of licks well worth stealing, some tasty breakdown riffs - and the single most annoying fadeout I've ever heard - it's far too early!

Phenomenon is quite simply essential listening.

UFO UFO II : Flying

Album · 1971 · Proto-Metal
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For their second album, UFO decided to stick to the formula of the first, ie "heavy" psych rock, based around a small collection of rather unadventurous riff patterns.

An album for fans only, there's little to get excited about in here;

The opener, "Flying" is a somewhat dull jam - indeed, there's not much "psych" about it. There are a few tasty licks among the neverending noodle - Mick Bolton is no Michael Schenker for sure, and is the weak link in the jigsaw puzzle, as Pete Way and Andy Parker serve up a solid but ultimately boring backdrop that only serves to hint tantalisingly at the superb songs they were later to pen. Phil Mogg's voice has also yet to find its feet, so to speak, so this is not the UFO of "Phenomenon".

After several listens, I still find it fairly difficult to differentiate the pieces - they're all much of a muchness, although not quite as crushingly dull as some of the more mundane Krautrock from which this album undoubtedly springs - there is an emphasis on the sound of the crashing rhythm chords that suggests some thought has gone into the structuring.

Turning up the volume doesn't fix this, and neither, I've discovered, does beer. The (literally) monotonous vocals of "Star Storm" are not the soaring masterpieces that the band would come to write, and do not come up to the kneecaps of their peers.

The incessant wailing of the over-effected guitar really gets old quite quickly - and there are 3 tracks to go, which, for better or worse, sound exactly the same, except the notes are in different orders.

Avoid unless you're desparate to hear what UFO were like before they were amazing.

One and a half stars - really it's a half star album, musically and metally - but Way, Parker and Mogg are at least there, and solid. Nothing to dislike there.

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