When I was a teenager, I thought the logo for Michael Schenker Group looked real cool. Years later, I bought the “highly regarded” 1982 live MSG album One Night At Budokan and found it thoroughly underwhelming. I really did see what all the fuss was about and thought Michael Schenker was over-rated. My impression of Schenker changed lately. A few months ago, I happened to be in HMV Records, and while looking through their discount / bargain bin, I found a cheap $40 UFO greatest hits compilation.
Although a German, Michael Schenker shot to fame when he began playing for the British hard rock band UFO. Schenker had previously played in The Scorpions, but left in 1974 to join UFO and would go on to record a handful of classic rockers. Listening to UFO’s hits today, I found them not particularly heavy or hard. As opposed to today’s hard rock or metal bands who put on a serious or brooding front, you could even say UFO delivers groovy rockers that sound fun and even uplifting. I suppose you could say they rock hard in a more naive and life-celebrating kind of way.
After listening to Schenker’s fretwork on the UFO CD, I went out and immediately bought The Scorpions’ 1979 Lovedrive, which featured Schenker as guest on lead guitar. Sadly, the music pales in comparison with the UFO compilation. Lovedrive really isn’t a bad album as such, there are standout tracks, but even the best songs lack the sheer energy of the lesser songs on the UFO compilation. Oh, and I think the album cover was banned in a few countries too.
Standout tracks on The Best Of UFO : #1 Doctor Doctor, #2 Only You Can Rock Me, #7 Rock Bottom, #12 Hot And Ready
Verdict : UFO is essential 70s rock. In fact, I prefer UFO to AC/DC .