July 9, 2008
By David Huff
UFO - Rocklahoma 2008 - July 9-13
Stands The Test Of Time
True rock legends distinguish themselves simply by creating several classic recordings that stand the test of time. Not only do they keep their artistic output consistently high, and in this case we’re talking a 40-year span, they perform at the same intense level as well. UFO has indeed had its share of classics. Albums such as Phenomenon, Force It and No Heavy Pettin’, saw the band clock up one success after another during the ‘70s. The beginning of the new millennium finds Pete Way, Andy Parker, Paul Raymond and Phil Mogg inspired and creative as ever. Legendary American guitarist Vinnie Moore, who joined the fold five years ago, has proven his metal to the band and stabilized a guitar position that sorely needed it over the years.
Any band that has been in the music business going on five decades are bound to have some bumps and bruises along the way, coupled of course, by some dazzling moments of brilliance. UFO’s story began in London way back in 1969, when vocalist Phil Mogg, drummer Andy Parker, bassist Pete Way and guitarist Mick Bolton formed the group, borrowing the band name from a legendary London music club. In the early ‘70s, the band distinguished themselves early by developing an unmistakable style of playing. Albums like UFO 1, Flying and UFO Live featured crowd favorites like “Prince Kajuku”, “Follow You Home” and “C’mon Everybody” that touched a nerve among their growing number of fans.
The global breakthrough arrived when 16-year old German guitarist, Michael Schenker, joined the fold in 1973, leaving his brother’s band, the Scorpions, to accept the UFO offer. Schenker’s legend as a guitarist would by launched with the release of three UFO classics, Phenomenon (1974), Force It (1975) and No Heavy Pettin’ (1976). These albums featured the rock anthems “Doctor Doctor”, “Shoot, Shoot” and “Rock Bottom”. Following the arrival of keyboard / rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond, UFO released the studio albums Lights Out (1977) and Obsession (1978) that included the hits “Too Hot to Handle”, “Lights Out” and “Only You Can Rock Me”. Their live cut, Strangers in the Night was released in 1979, and is considered by many in music circles around the world to be one of the finest live recordings of all-time. It also signaled the end of the Mogg, Schenker, Way, Parker and Raymond line-up.
Over the years, UFO would go through many lineup changes. To everyone’s surprise in the music industry, autumn 1993 saw the former line-up reunite. This edition of Moog, Schenker, Way, Parker and Raymond would release Walk on Water, their first musical offering together in 15 years. The unpredictable Schenker however, would bolt from the group again during the Walk on Water tour to reignite his own band, MSG. Schenker would go on to record two more UFO albums Covenant (2000) and Sharks (2002). After the moody guitarist left again, he was replaced by the talented Vinnie Moore, who remains with them to this day. Unfortunately, Pete Way was denied a working visa for the current U.S. tour supposedly due to him overstaying his visa during the ‘90s. He has been replaced by Rob DeLuca, who was playing bass for Sebastian Bach’s band .
Phil Mogg - vocals
Vinnie Moore - guitar
Paul Raymond - keyboards, guitar
Pete Way - bass
Andy Parker - drums
Record Label: Chrysalis Records