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Showtime (Live)

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Album Review

Most UFO fans consider the only real lineup to be when guitarist Michael Schenker decides to grace the band with his presence. And truth be told, this is a valid point — the group's best work seems to occur whenever the unpredictable guitarist is present, whether it was in the '70s (1977's Lights Out, 1979's exceptional Strangers in the Night) or his mid-'90s re-entry (1995's Walk on Water). But shortly after the dawn of the 21st century, Schenker decided to jump ship once more for his solo career, and the band was left with the decision of "to be or not to be." What resulted was probably UFO's most interesting and strongest non-Schenker lineup ever, consisting of mainstays Phil Mogg (vocals), Pete Way (bass), and Paul Raymond (keyboards, guitar), as well as such renowned "newcomers" as Vinnie Moore (guitar) and Jason Bonham (drums). 2005 saw the release of the zillionth UFO live set, Showtime, which does a fine job of showcasing this latter day lineup. The double-disc CD (which was also issued as a DVD under the same title) focuses primarily on the classics, including such standouts as "This Kids," "Love to Love," and "Lights Out" — despite a vocal flub by Mogg on the latter track. But the recent material included from 2004's You Are Here is surprisingly strong — "When Daylight Goes to Town" (which sounds quite similar to Van Halen's "Best of Both Worlds") and "The Wild One." While it's not, of course, going to top the aforementioned Strangers in the Night — a near impossible feat — Showtime proves that there may be life after Schenker after all.


Formed: 1968 in England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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 was barely noticed in the band's native country; as a result, their third effort, 1972's Live, was released only in Japan. In 1974,...
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Showtime (Live), UFO
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