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The Best of a Decade

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Album Review

As evidenced by the album title and front-cover photo, the 2010 UFO compilation Best of a Decade is comprised of selections from albums released during the first decade of the 21st century. With tracks selected from such albums as 2004's You Are Here, 2005's Showtime, 2006's The Monkey Puzzle, and 2009's The Visitor, you'll quickly discover that aside from UFO's stellar late-'70s period, the early 21st century is certainly one of the group's most focused and inspired eras. Whereas the 1980s appeared to be about UFO trying to soften their sound for crossover success (and ultimately alienating their longhaired/leather-jacketed die-hard fans), this modern era was all about staying true to hard rock. Curiously, there are no tracks included from 2000's Covenant nor 2002's Sharks (which featured guitar wiz Michael Schenker) — only tracks from albums featuring guitarist Vinnie Moore are featured here. But even without Schenker in the fold, UFO are able to replicate the feel and sound of yesteryear, especially on such tracks as "The Wild One," "Daylight Goes to Town," and "Mr. Freeze." And you'll also find modern-day live renditions of such UFO classics as "Lights Out," "Too Hot to Handle," and "Doctor Doctor," all of which were plucked from the in-concert release Showtime. UFO from 1974 through 1979 were certainly the real deal in the realm of hard rock and heavy metal, but as far as the subsequent non-Schenker eras go, the early 21st century probably ranks second best, as proven by the material on Best of a Decade.

Biography

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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