This is the 1975 album from the great British rockers UFO, described by many as one of their best.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Force It
SERIAL: CHR 1074
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Phil Mogg – vocals * Michael Schenker – guitars * Pete Way – bass * Andy Parker – drums
Additional Musicians: Chick Churchill – keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 Let It Roll * 02 Shoot Shoot * 03 High Flyer * 04 Love Lost Love * 05 Out In The Street * 06 Mother Mary * 07 Too Much Of Nothing * 08 Dance Your Life Away * 09 This Kids
WEBLINKS: Site Link
This is the 1975 album from the great British rockers UFO, described by many as one of their best. Bringing in Leo Lyons from Ten Years After to produce the LP, ‘Force It’ was notable for maximising and extending the guitar solos first heard on the previous album ‘Phenomenon’, and the inclusion for the first time of German guitarist Michael Schenker.
Now settled into his role as the six-string specialist, he is given more room to spread out on the album’s songs. The band also utilised the services of Chick Churchill who filled in on keyboards. Five of the songs would appear on the 1979 classic live album ‘Strangers In The Night’, so in a way, that suggests how strong the material on this album actually was.
Kicking off with the wailing feedback intro for ‘Let It Roll’, this one chugs away with no remorse. It’s quite an organic sounding version too, with some similarity to what Thin Lizzy were doing during the same timeframe, especially the double-tracked guitar lines from Schenker resembling the twin guitars of Lizzy.
‘Shoot Shoot’ is another UFO classic, and would make the set-list of UFO’s many live concerts in the years to come. ‘High Flyer’ is an elegant acoustic ballad, something the band excelled at, the quite beautiful solo from Schenker adds the icing on the cake.
Probably the most underrated song on the album would be ‘Love Lost Love’, it sounds the most complete on the album for mine. The intro keyboards to ‘Out In The Street’ is a familiar welcoming, and tends to provide the subtle backwash for the most part, acting as the perfect foil for Michael’s guitarwork.
The highlight for me is the epic ‘Mother Mary’, with some storming solo work. This is one of the band’s most famous songs, alongside the staple ‘Lights Out’. ‘Too Much Of Nothing’ also endears, with its chorus ‘Well the whole world keeps on turning, I’ll just roll along..’ being repeated often during the song.
The change up track of the album is the funky ‘Dance Your Life Away’, sounding like many of the American bands plying this style during this era. The album ends with the intense workout of ‘This Kids’, the stop/start musical stagger is the equivalent of an HM hustle. Again, this is one of the ‘famous five’ songs that was mentioned before.
There are a couple of observations for me on this album. Firstly the album cover. Classic Hipgnosis work yet again. As for the music, I didn’t think too much of the production from Leo Lyons to be honest.
The drum mix is not the best, nor the backing vocals, which sounds pretty rough. I’m listening to the 2008 remastered version of this album, and I’m guessing the techniques used back in 1975 are being exposed for what they are after being giving a sonic and digital dusting.
Still, ‘Force It’ is a big advancement on ‘Phenomenon’ with UFO’s hard rock setting now well and truly in place, their space rock adventures of their earlier albums now jettisoned out beyond the solar system. More changes would eventuate on their next album, 1976’s ‘No Heavy Petting’.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)