06 September 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 83

UFO: Phenomenon: "Rock Bottom" [mp3]

So, I was at Best Buy earlier this week, on a futile search for a Pig Destroyer CD, when I noticed that the UFO bin was stocked full of their recently re-issued albums from their most creatively-fertile era, 1974-1979, when Michael Schenker was the lead guitarist.

This album, Phenomenon, is from 1974, and is Schenker's first with the group. He was only 17 at the time of the recording, and had already been a member of the Scorpions since the age of 14, when he made the move from Germany to the UK and joined UFO.

Now, I was a pretty big UFO fan at the age of 12 or so...Their biggest album, Lights Out, was my introduction to the band, and eventually, I accumulated all their albums featuring Michael Schenker, who I was amazed by because of his skill level at such a young age. I mean, he wrote and recorded this particular song, "Rock Bottom", when he was 16-17 years old. Talk about a phenomenon.

Otherwise, there isn't really much more to say except that UFO were definitely one of the most important links between "Hard Rock" and "Heavy Metal", and aside from a couple of hits here in the US, they never quite got their due, although they certainly enjoyed great success in their homeland. In a different world, they would already be in the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame, which doesn't really mean anything, except for me to say that they deserve far more acclaim than they've ever been credited with...Plus, I always thought Phil Mogg was a great singer.

Hotcha! Hank

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