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Music / UFO (Band)

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The classic late 70s lineup. Left to right: Phil Mogg, Michael Schenker, Paul Raymond, Pete Way, Andy Parker.

UFO is an English Hard Rock band that was formed in London in 1968. The group was founded by lead vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton, bassist Pete Way, and drummer Andy Parker. After releasing two unsuccessful Psychedelic Rock albums, Bolton was sacked and the band recruited Michael Schenker, who had recently left Scorpions, in 1974. With this line-up, later joined by keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond, the band recorded their most successful material. In 1979, however, just after the recording of their iconic live album Strangers in the Night, Schenker left the band.

The band currently consists of Mogg, Parker, keyboardist Neil Carter, guitarist Vinnie Moore, and bassist Rob De Luca. Raymond died in 2019, just days after performing his last show with the band. Founding bassist Pete Way died in 2020 from injuries sustained in an accident. UFO are a highly influential band, being a heavy influence on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and Hard Rock all around the world.

Studio discography:

  • UFO 1 (1970)
  • Flying (1971)
  • Phenomenon (1974)
  • Force It (1975)
  • No Heavy Petting (1976)
  • Lights Out (1977)
  • Obsession (1978)
  • No Place to Run (1980)
  • The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent (1981)
  • Mechanix (1982)
  • Making Contact (1983)
  • Misdemeanor (1985)
  • Ain't Misbehavin' (1988)
  • High Stakes & Dangerous Men (1992)
  • Walk on Water (1995)
  • Covenant (2000)
  • Sharks (2002)
  • You Are Here (2004)
  • The Monkey Puzzle (2006)
  • The Visitor (2009)
  • Seven Deadly (2012)
  • A Conspiracy of Stars (2015)
  • The Salentino Cuts (2017)note 

"Only You Can Trope Me":

  • The Band Minus the Face: The band became this after losing their most famous member, Michael Schenker. While he has returned a couple of times, all of them were relatively short-lived.
  • Big Rock Ending: "Rock Bottom".
  • Catchphrase: Most of the tracks on Strangers in the Night are introduced by Mogg saying "This is something called X". Other live versions from the 70s era feature him saying the same thing.
  • City Shout Outs: The band invariably gets a huge cheer in their performance of "Lights Out" by substituting the name of the night's venue for "London" at a set point in the song.
    Lights out, lights out, Chicago!
  • Cover Version: Several, scattered throughout their albums.
    • UFO 1: "C'mon Everybody" (Eddie Cochran), "Who Do You Love" (Bo Diddley), "Come Away, Melinda" (Folk Music standard)
    • Phenomenon: "Built for Comfort" (Willie Dixon)
      • Phenomenon Live At The Electric Ballroom, Atlanta, GA, USA, 5th November 1974 (a bonus disc with the 2019 reissue of Phenomenon): "Cold Turkey" (John Lennon)
    • No Heavy Petting: "A Fool in Love" (Frankie Miller Band)
    • Lights Out: "Alone Again Or" (Love)
    • No Place to Run: "Mystery Train" (Junior Parker song popularized by Elvis Presley)
    • Mechanix: "Somethin' Else" (Eddie Cochran again)
    • The Salentino Cuts is a full-fledged Cover Album.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first two records released by the band are closer to Psychedelic Rock than the Hard Rock they later became known for.
  • Epic Rocking: UFO's longest songs both come from their second album Flying, with "Star Storm" being 19 minutes, and the Title Track being 26. Their most famous Epic Rocker, however, is fan favorite "Rock Bottom", which lasts 6 and a half minutes in its studio form, and twelve minutes live. "Love to Love" is also an example, reaching 8 minutes total.
  • Hard Rock: The band's primary genre.
  • Heavy Metal: A heavy influence on the genre.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Michael Schenker is one of the most infamously self-destructive individuals in rock, and the degree to which his own chaotic and self-sabotaging nature has limited his career is the stuff of legend. Between his longtime struggles with addiction, the many, many ugly falling-outs and revolving door relationships with others brought on by his mercurial moods and tendency to flip on people at the drop of a hat, terrible business decisions, and equally terrible personal choices, Schenker has historically been the biggest thing keeping him from having the success that his sheer level of influence should have granted him.
  • Intercourse with You: Plenty, but the most blatant is "Natural Thing" off of No Heavy Petting.
  • Live Album: A zillion of 'em, including the band's magnum opus, Strangers in the Night.
  • One-Woman Song: "Cherry"
  • Revolving Door Band: Vocalist Phil Mogg is the only constant member, and the band has had 12 guitarists, 3 bassists, 8 drummers, and 5 keyboardists. Keep in mind the vast majority of these members have had more than one stint in the band.
  • Space Rock: In their early years.
  • Title Track: The albums Flying and Lights Out each have one.
  • Visual Pun:
    • The cover of Force It is full of faucets.
    • The album title High Stakes & Dangerous Men might seem to be a reference to gambling; however, the album cover depicts a different kind of "high stakes".

Alternative Title(s): UFO