UK outfit UFO were formed way back in 1969 by bassist Pete Way, guitarist Mick Bolton, drummer Andy Parker and vocalist Phil Mogg. Initially known as Hocus Pocus, they started out playing an excellent brand of spaced out progressive "boogie" rock. Their first three albums, released between 1971 and 1974, were only successful in Japan, where they had a fairly large and faithful following, although the band were also more popular in Germany than in their home country! Bolton left in 1974 and was r eplaced firstly by ex-Pink Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis and then Bernie M arsden (Babe Ruth) before the spot was filled by Michael Schenker, who'd been in The Scorpions. Their debut album for new record label Chrysalis, "Phenomenon", spawned two all-time heavy metal classics, "Rock Bottom" and" Doctor Doctor". A promotional tour followed and they were joined by second g uitarist Paul Chapman (Lone Star), although he left after the European section of the tour. Augmented by keyboard player Paul Raymond (ex-Savoy Brown, who r eplaced initial keyboard player, Danny Peyronel, previously with The Heavy M etal Kids), the new five piece UFO, continued to record what are probably best described as "low key" albums, mainly due to the fact that Schenker left in 1978 to rejoin The Scorpions before forming MSG (Michael Schenker Group) in1 980, and UFO's success and recognition they had with him in the band took a bit of a dive. Raymond also left to join MSG and was replaced by Neil Carter (previously with bassist Jimmy Bain's Wild Horses). The next major departure was bassist Way (who joined Fastway before forming Waysted in 1982), and his replacement was Paul Gray (ex- The Damned/ Eddie and the H ot Rods). The band unfortunately split in 1983 after releasing their "Making Contact" album that year. Mogg nevertheless revived UFO a few years later, together with Gray and the returned Raymond, together with ex-Magnum d rummer Jim Simpson and Japanese guitarist Atomic Tommy M. Success unfortunately continued to elude them and they split again in the late 80's, only to reform once again in 1991, with Mogg once again at the helm, together with ex-Wild Horses drummer Clive Edwards, ex-Grand Slam guitarist guitarist Lawrence Archer, with Way back in the band. Our featured album saw the "classic" UFO back together, with Schenker, Mogg, Raymond, Way and Parker and it was an absolute scorcher, with the band sounding as good as they ever did. A further good album, "Covenant", featuring Mogg, Schenker, Way and session d rummer Aynsley Dunbar, was released in 2000. They're still around today (although we've read few damning reviews about recent live concerts that give rise to the notion that UFO may finally have blown their bolt. We sincerely hope this isn't the case). Pete Way and Phil Mogg have also released two great albums under the title of "Mogg/Way". Schenker, of course, remains an extremely volatile but ridiculously talented guitarist and has released an umber of solo albums, as well as many under the MSG moniker over the years. 
  
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Biography by Jason Ankeny
Vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton, bassist Pete Way, and drummer Andy Parker formed the British space metal outfit UFO in 1969. Originally known as Hocus Pocus, the group, which took the name UFO in honor of a London club, debuted in 1971 with UFO 1. Both the album and its follow-up, the same year's Flying, found great success in Japan, France, and Germany, but went barely noticed in the band's native country; as a result, their third effort, 1972's Live, was released only in Japan.

In 1974, Bolton left the group; after brief trial runs with ex-Pink Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis and future Whitesnake member Bernie Marsden, former Scorpion Michael Schenker stepped in as a permanent replacement in time to record 1974's Phenomenon, which sported a harder-edged guitar sound. After 1975's Force It and 1976's No Heavy Petting brought UFO increased visibility with American audiences, keyboardist Paul Raymond joined for 1977's Lights Out. However, after 1978's Obsession, Schenker left the group, first to rejoin the Scorpions and later to form his own band. Despite the addition of guitarist Paul Chapman, the next UFO LP, No Place to Run, failed to match the success of its predecessors.

In 1982, the band released Mechanix, notching a minor U.S. hit with "Back into My Life"; later that year, Way exited to form Waysted and was replaced by ex-Eddie & the Hot Rods bassist Paul Gray. After 1983's Making Contact, UFO dissolved, only to re-form two years later for Misdemeanor; however, the album was met with little response, and they again called it quits. In 1993, the group's most popular lineup — Mogg, Schenker, Way, Raymond, and Parker — reunited and recorded the 1995 album Walk on Water; after a tour, the members yet again went their separate ways. Mogg and Way continued to work as Mogg/Way and released the albums Edge of the World (1997) and Chocolate Box (1999). Schenker rejoined in 2000 along with veteran drummer Aynsley Dunbar for the two-CD Covenant, which featured one disc of new studio recordings along with one disc of live recordings. Sharks came out in 2002; then Schenker and Dunbar departed and were replaced by Vinnie Moore and Jason Bonham respectively. This new band welcomed returning keyboardist Paul Raymond for 2004's You Are Here and 2005's live album Showtime. Bonham was the next to leave and was replaced by the band's original drummer, Andy Parker, for 2006's The Monkey Puzzle. 

 

Michael Schenker
Bernie Marsden
Mick Bolton
Neil Carter
Paul Gray
Phil Mogg
Andy Parker
Paul Raymond
Jim Simpson
Larry Wallis
Pete Way
Atomic Tommy M.
Paul Chapman

Dokken
Thin Lizzy
Ratt
Mötley Crüe
Kiss
Judas Priest
Iron Maiden
Alice Cooper
Motörhead
Fastway
Deep Purple
Rainbow
Blue Öyster Cult
Ritchie Blackmore
Y&T
Twisted Sister
AC/DC

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.

 

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UFO - 1971 - Flying - 3/5

UFO - 1971 - UFO 1 - 3/5

UFO - 1974 - Phenomenon - 2.5/5

UFO - 1975 - Force It - 3/5

UFO - 1976 - No Heavy Petting - 2.5/5

UFO - 1977 - Lights Out - 4/5

UFO - 1978 - Obsession - 3/5

UFO - 1980 - No Place to Run - 1.5/5

UFO - 1981 - The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent - 3/5

UFO - 1982 - Mechanix - 2.5/5

UFO - 1983 - Making contact - 2/5

UFO - 1985 - Misdemeanor - 2/5

UFO - 1988 - Ain't Misbehavin' - 2/5

UFO - 1995 - Walk on Water - 4/5

UFO - 1996 - High Stakes & Dangerous Men - 4/5

UFO - 1998 - On with the Action - 2/5

UFO - 1998 - X-Factor, Out There & Back - 4/5

UFO - 2000 - Covenant - 2.5/5

UFO - 2002 - Sharks - 3/5

UFO - 2004 - You Are Here - 2.5/5

UFO - 2006 - The Monkey Puzzle - 3.5/5

Rating

 

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