Though this is the same UFO hard rock fans know and love, they were a very different beast in the very early 70’s, this is one sludgy, dark and depressing debut record, it was 1970 after all.
Written by: Eric
ALBUM: UFO 1
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Mick Bolton – guitar * Phil Moog – vocals * Andy Parker – drums * Pete Way – bass
TRACK LISTING: 01 Unidentified Flying Object * 02 Boogie (For George) * 03 C’mon Everybody * 04 Shake It About * 05 (Come Away) Melinda * 06 Timothy * 07 Follow You Home * 08 Treacle People * 09 Who Do You Love
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Formerly Hocus Pocus from North London, UFO went on to become one of the most influential hard rock groups of our time, but mention the band’s first three albums in mixed company and things can get a little testy.
Indeed, UFO was a very different beast in the very early 70’s, but not necessarily out of the ordinary. 1970 was the year The Beatles split and the hazy psychedelic swirl of London counterculture, in particular, the Notting Hill/Ladbroke Grove area, was in full cosmic swing.
Numerous bands including Hawkwind, Quintessence and Mighty Baby found a hip, shaggy and out of its mind audience for their tripped out jams. It was in this head numbing atmosphere that UFO took shape, naming themselves after the club that made Pink Floyd famous while adopting a greasy space rock image which the Germans and Japanese found far more entertaining than American and British audiences.
Not sure what kind of alien spell was hanging over the land of the Rising Sun or Deutschland but believe me, this is one sludgy, dark and depressing record. It sounds like someone threw the boys a sound effects record, buckets of downers and a second-hand tape recorder while locking the door to a bottom heavy dimly lit dungeon, letting them at it, damned if they could play or not.
Turn of the decade heaviness of the hippie variety with volume, especially the bass, on eleven and ‘UFO 1’ backfires while throwing off a shitload of cosmic debris. Highlights and lowlights and I’m still shocked four singles were pulled from the record with the cover of Eddie Cochran‘s ‘C’mon Everybody’ becoming a hit in Japan.
Uriah Heep covered ‘(Come Away) Melinda’ and did better with it although ‘Timothy’ and Pete Way’s rumbling bass-boogie saves the day from using the album as a dinner platter. Finally, the whacked out and incoherent version of ‘Who Do You Love’ goes on way longer than it should, and sums up an album with one or two barely passable tracks and a whole lot of space junk.
Following a tour of Japan, UFO lost guitarist Mick Bolton to underground faves Pink Fairies. After a few non-starters and while sandwiched between Chicken Shack and Scorpions on yet another Euro jaunt, the band lured goofball guitar genius Michael Schenker to the fold and the rest is history. Dropping the hippie vibe, UFO morphed and moved at warp speed to become a bright and shiny hard rock monster.