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UFO: Showtime

Capturing the performance of UFO recorded at "Pumpwerk" in Wilhelmshaven Germany this CD comes to use as the direct companion to the DVD bearing the same name. The band had toured extensively for the SPV Records release of You Are Here which was a solid Rock And Roll album full of classy hooks and soulful vocals. Truly the lineup with Mogg, Way, and Raymond from the original band was brought to an even tighter level with the help of new members Jason Bonham and Vinnie Moore. With Moore and Bonham handling the guitar and drums the band seemed to be at a great level as Moore is a guitar players dream in his own right and Bonham holds the legacy of Led Zeppelin's famous skin pounder John. Phil Mogg's voice has not changed all that much over the years and when a band continues after many lineup changes that same presence makes sure that it holds a level of consistency and doesn't lose their audience. This consistency shows profoundly on legendary songs such as "Too Hot Too Handle", "Lights Out", and "Only You Can Rock Me". These are not only my favored tracks on the recording but my favorite UFO songs altogether. Fans of the group will find a sufficient amount of the classic material present on this CD as well as new songs from the album. A nice mix all around and an excellent production that allows you to feel as if the band is present should you set the volume just right. Fans who have not heard Moore in the live sense or at all will definitely appreciate how well he handles the Schenker era material as well. The entire groove of the live show is held together by the very solid drumming of Jason who really has come a long way in his playing. He also helps out on the vocals.

An eight page color booklet loaded with photos is enclosed along with an extensive essay by Mattias Mineur that brings you up to date on the history of the group. Given this is the first recording of a live show in 26 years it makes for good reading. Given that there is a companion DVD to this I would have to say that this CD is really something I would only buy if you are a completist. I was fine with the DVD but I personally prefer a concert video as opposed to an album of it. The music is quality but I enjoyed the overall presentation on the DVD so much that this did not hold my interest as much as I had expected. Fans who like the audio versus the video more so will lean to this or perhaps those that just want a great selection of Rock classics to keep in the car for those jaunts about town. Either way UFO does not disappoint.

Track Listing CD 1 & CD 2
1. Mother Mary
2. When Daylight Goes To Town
3. Let It Roll
4. I'm A Loser
5. This Kids
6. The Wild One
7. Fighting Man
8. Only You Can Rock Me
9. Baby Blue
10. Mr. Freeze
11. Love To Love
12. Too Hot Too Handle
13. Lights Out
14. Rock Bottom
15. Doctor Doctor
16. Shoot Shoot

Added: November 19th 2005
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: UFO Website
Hits: 3119
Language: english

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UFO: Showtime
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-11-21 18:46:12
My Score:

Mixing in plenty of old classics with some of the best of 2004's You Are Here, UFO's new live album will not make you forget 1979's Strangers in the Night, but it's still a strong live statement from a still formidable band. New members Vinnie Moore and Jason Bonham (who has since left the band, replaced by original drummer Andy Parker) injected some new life into these British veterans, who seemingly remain ageless and are able to continually come up with solid hard rock time and time again. With 2 CD's, there's plenty of material here, and the surprise is hearing how well Vinnie Moore has settled into the guitar slot, mixing his trademark neo-classical sound with plenty of muscular and bluesy riffs. The guitarist soars on UFO staples like "Mother Mary", "Love to Love", "Lights Out" and of course "Rock Bottom", where he also goes off into Schenker inspired waters with an extended solo. Phil Moog, the guy with the voice that never wavers, sounds better than ever, and rips through new numbers like "When Daylight Goes to Town" (also featuring some great backing vocals from Bonham), and "Mr. Freeze" with plenty of swagger and youthful vigor. He gets downright nasty on the classic numbers "Doctor Doctor", "Only You Can Rock Me", and the steamrolling "Let It Roll", which also features a tasty solo from Moore that again recalls classic 70's Schenker. Mr. Mogg has always been one of the more underappreciated lead singers in all of hard rock, and he shows here that even in his 50's he can still belt it out with the best of them-check out his melodic pipes on the anthem "I'm A Loser", just a great song from the UFO back catalog, and a great vehicle for Mogg. Paul Raymond's keyboards have plenty of fire in them on this set (it's nice to actually hear him, as he was all but silent on the studio album) and Pete Way's bass is rumbling as always.

This is a highly recommended live set from a legendary band of the hard rock wars that still has plenty of life in their tank. Check it out, and get the DVD too while you are at it so you can actually see the guys in action.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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