UFO
Phenomenon


4.0
excellent

Review

by Gigglesdemon USER (31 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2011 | 22 replies | 8,640 views


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of early heavy metal’s greatest triumphs.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Another day, another underrated classic rock band. The band of the day is UFO, an influential early heavy metal/hard rock band. Formed in 1969, coming out around the time the great Black Sabbath started. Whereas Sabbath took a doomy, dark, depressive approach to their music, UFO infused their music with the party spirit of rock n’ roll, but with more aggression and speed than most bands of the time. Think of The Scorpions, and you’re on the right track. Another reason to compare UFO to The Scorpions is that they shared a guitarist, Michael Schenker, who joined UFO on this album. UFO is:

Phil Mogg- Vocals
Andy Parker- Drums
Michael Schenker- Guitar
Pete Way- Bass

And UFO is launched into the outer atmosphere with the inclusion of Michael Schenker. Before, they were kinda spacey, a little bit blues, but here, on Phenomenon, they are pure heavy metal. Michael Schenker’s guitar work really helps UFO, with some great melodies, and these really help turn some of these songs into hits. Listen to “Doctor, Doctor” or “Rock Bottom,” can you really imagine these songs being nearly as good if not for the guitar playing? Michael’s melodic guitar work really shines on the closer of the album though, “Queen of the Deep.” This slow paced song has a fantastic guitar solo, which manages to be energizing and disturbing at the same time.

The vocals on this album are hit and miss. Phil Mogg’s delivery is standard most of the time and sometimes stellar, like on the aforementioned “Queen of the Deep” and “Doctor, Doctor.” While he services well, never really detracting from the song, I really wish his delivery shined out more often, like on the tracks I mentioned.

The rhythm section does its job, with Pete Way rumbling along on bass, and Andy Parker hitting the drums in time with the song, and has some fairly cool drum parts along the way. But I really like Pete Way’s bass. It is consistently heard, and sometimes, it is more prominent that the guitar, which is pretty cool. Any fan of great bass lines should check this album out just for Pete Way’s bass playing.

While an overall pretty awesome album, there are just a few rough spots that I wish could have been worked on a little more. Phil Mogg can clearly be a great vocalist, as he displays on several songs. However, most of the time, he just seems like a standard classic hard rock vocalist. Also, the pacing is a little off on the album. It starts out with several hard hitting, pump-your-fist hard rock tracks, but abruptly slows down to “Space Child” with almost no transition. It then goes back into the hard rock arena, but then transitions (well) into the slow closing track “Queen of the Deep.” The transition to “Space Child” is rather jarring, and takes away from an excellent song, and I wish they maybe could have transitioned it a little better.

Overall, this is a great album, worthy of any early heavy metal fans collections. While there are a few problems, the greatness of several songs easily outweighs these few issues.

Pros:
-Great guitar playing
-Awesome bass lines
-“Doctor, Doctor”

Cons:
-Jarring transition to “Space Child.”
-Some fairly standard vocals on most tracks

Recommended Tracks:
Doctor, Doctor
Queen of the Deep
Rock Bottom
Oh My



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user ratings (110)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2011



16126 Comments


Props for reviewing this. Criminally overlooked 70s proto-metal band.

DoubtGin
February 2nd 2011



6687 Comments


they also initiated one of my favourite genres

might check this out

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2011



18270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, Doctor, Doctor and Rock Bottom are great songs. My favourite UFO album is their live album Strangers in the Night, that has an execellent extended version of Rock Bottom.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

BigHans
February 3rd 2011



26455 Comments


Iron Maiden used to come out onstage to Doctor Doctor I believe. UFO rules.

Detritivore
February 3rd 2011



260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album, Schenker´s work is the reason. The only problem with this is the "standard classic hard rock " vocals, but overall is a real gem.

DrGunther
February 4th 2011



172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Funny, was just looking at the band's page the other day and surprised to see no reviews yet - until now. Been looking to listen to this band and this seems a pretty good place to start.

Digging: Sungrazer - Sungrazer

DrGunther
February 8th 2011



172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not bad at all after first couple of listens! Some of the tracks are a bit too 'southern rock' style for my liking, but the harder tracks are class, especially 'Rock Bottom' and 'Doctor Doctor'.

The Willie Dixon cover ('Built For Comfort') is very fucking cool as well.

Any other recommended tracks similar to Rock Bottom from the other albums?

Gigglesdemon
February 8th 2011



187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would suggest get the albums Obsession, No Heavy Petting, Force It, and Lights Out. Those four are the other really good UFO albums.

acorncheese
February 8th 2011



7115 Comments


Lol. This is my dad's favorite band. I've probably heard Lights Out (live in Chicago version) over 400 times in my life.

BigHans
May 25th 2011



26455 Comments


Havent heard this whole album but Doctor Doctor and Rock Bottom fucking slay

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2011



16126 Comments


Yeah, this is a badass album.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2011



16126 Comments


Track of the day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yO7l6TmIRI

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 26th 2011



18270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album.

BigHans
May 26th 2011



26455 Comments


True story Doctor Doctor used to be Maiden's entrance music at their shows, badass

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 26th 2011



18270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's pretty cool.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2012



18270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ROCK BOTTOM m/

MaidenUFO
May 3rd 2012



153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The first album by UFO with Shenker on guitar...Amazing album, songs like "Doctor Doctor", "Rock Bottom" and "Too young to know" are so classic...

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 16th 2012



18270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So good.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2013



18631 Comments


the guy above me has good taste. jamming this right now oh my how the times have changed!

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

MrSirLordGentleman
September 3rd 2013



2312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rock Bottom is like the perfect classic heavy metal song

Digging: Nektar - A Tab in the Ocean



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