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Album Review

The best-known version of UFO included German guitar master Michael Schenker from the mid- to the late '70s, and issued such all-time rock/metal classics as Lights Out and Strangers in the Night. But there was indeed a UFO before Schenker signed on, and it's this era that the 2009 release Beginnings focuses on. Sporting a cover that looks straight out of the "Planet Hoth" sequence of The Empire Strikes Back, this double-disc set contains UFO's first three albums in their entirety — 1971's self-titled debut and Flying, as well as 1972's Live. If you're a fan of the band looking for high-energy rock à la the two aforementioned Schenker-era releases, you'll be a tad disappointed, as UFO started off as a part bluesy, part spacy rock band (especially such tracks as "Boogie for George," "Star Storm," and "Prince Kajuku"). And original guitarist Mick Bolton was more of a direct disciple of Cream and the Yardbirds with his playing than the shredding Schenker would be on later UFO albums. While most UFO fans would agree that it wasn't until Schenker arrived that the band truly gelled, UFO early on were certainly capable of whipping up some worthy (albeit derivative) rock & roll, as proven throughout Beginnings.


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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Beginnings, UFO
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