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Popoff, Martin: UFO-Shoot Out the Lights (book)

The first ever book written about the legendary British hard rock/metal band UFO has been written by none other than Martin Popoff. Fresh off his intriguing books on Rush and Blue Oyster Cult, Shoot Out the Lights sees Popoff shedding all sorts of knowledge and insight into this horribly underrated band, who are now 30+ years into their existence. The book is formatted very much like the two mentioned above, as it starts early in the bands career and talks about each album and the songs contained within, with interviews with the various band members giving insight into the creation of each album, the songs, and the state of the band at the time. Popoff also lovingly adds a great deal of his own personal feelings about many of these songs and albums, and it's great to read content that you can tell was written with passion about the subject matter. Of course, the stuff that's really juicy are the backstage stories of what went on during the Michael Schenker years, the fights, the drunken brawls, the drug abuse, the mental breakdowns, the revolving door of band members, the successes and the's all here. Hearing things first hand from Phil Mogg, Pete Way, Michael Schenker, Paul Chapman, Neil Carter, Paul Raymond, Danny Peyronel, Atomic Tommy M, and many others, adds to the legitimacy and enjoyment of this tome. The only drawback here is the ommission of vintage shots of the band-the one on the cover is all you get folks!

In short, this is essential reading for UFO fans. Halfway through it, you'll find yourself reaching into your CD collection and pulling out Lights Out, Obsession, Force It, Covenant, You are Here, Strangers in the Night, and any other UFO CD you own. I know I did!

Added: June 26th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Martin Popoff Website
Hits: 3266
Language: english

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Popoff, Martin: UFO-Shoot Out the Lights (book)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-06-26 17:25:47
My Score:

Martin Popoff has again delivered a well arranged and enjoyable tome about a bands history for the fans of such literary works. This time around he gives us the scoop on the legendary UFO. For decades this group has been referenced by band after band as a source of inspiration to their own careers. It's very easy to see how this was the case as UFO gave us some killer rock anthems in their early years. Among the numbers include "Rock Bottom", "Doctor Doctor", "Lights Out" and many, many more. This band not only had the warm vocals of Phil Mogg, but also the guitar wizardry of Michael Schenker. Add the skills and creativity of Pete Way and you get the picture. As you will find when reading the book; UFO has had many different lineups over the course of their existence. Yet in most cases that allowed the material to grow and change along with the times.

Popoff uses the same format as he did with his Rush and Blue Oyster Cult history by setting each chapter after the bands individual albums and also referring to songs recorded as well. He pulls many statements from interviews across the years and when placed together give you a solid piece. The album/chapter idea is unique for instance with the section for "Phenomenon" we find as much of the story at that stage of band life while "Force It" continues along from there. When I had read his Rush history I was a bit confused by this layout but as it went along I realized how much it worked. It gives the fan/reader an easy means to reference a point in time or simply focus on their favorite album and absorb more details on that aspect. It is also very comprehensive as bands like Mogg/Way and Michael Schenker Group are discussed, and it take you right until the latest release from the band which is 2004's "You Are Here".

While I cannot claim to be a diehard regarding UFO and their contributions to music I can definitely say that this book really increased my appreciation of their life as a legendary act. My only real criticism of the book is the lack of any color photography throughout. Perhaps it was a budget concern, but I think it would have added to it. At 251 pages, it is an enjoyable read nonetheless. I recommend all fans of UFO and the splinter groups formed around them to pick this up.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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