Friday, February 23, 2007

Lost Album Gem:--> "Phenomenon" - UFO (1974)


"Oh my, how the times are changed"
~ UFO ~

Whenever the discussion about unjustly forgotten rock albums from the '70s comes up...one would have to mention this offering by UFO..."Phenomenon" (1974).  From beginning to end, this 10 track guitar-laden album, filled with memorable solos and melodic melodies does not fail to disappoint. Not a second of filler is added on this must-own CD.

This album was first purchased by my dad when it was newly released based simply on the "coolness" of the cover. (The band...unknown). My folks' generation apparently took more financial chances on new albums back then.  And from the eclectic collection of music in my Dad's library..."sometimes you struck gold...sometimes you struck mud!"

"It's only just a moment / She's turning paranoid / That's not a situation for a nervous boy." (Doctor Doctor) is on every "best of" collection and rightly so. Ominous soft guitar runs lead up to a thunderous barrage of urgent jamming by the band.

"Doctor Doctor"


Did I forget to mention the guitar spankings are delivered by legendary Michael Schenker? And Phil Moog delivers solid vocals with a touch of cockney spark...and man, they can torch.

"Your teacher looks at me, all his envy growin" (Too Young To Know) opens the album with a cocksure swagger and confidence...served with a pointed tongue-in-cheek.

UFO slows the tempo down without any of the energy suffering. "Chrystal Light" is a song of regret and enlightenment..."Like a fool I hit that road / took my time to see / Life was only foolin' there." Gorgeous guitar slide on the break is a must hear.

"Chrystal Light"


And the achingly beautiful "Time On My Hands"...has Schenker's guitar dangling a thread of resignation like a surrendering carrot.

The bands'..."Ridin' The Storm Out"...anthem is their ass-kicking "Rock Bottom"... a six and a 1/2 minute guitar paddling.  Never less than twice that live.

"Oh My"


Well, I'm struttin' up and down
Tryin' to get my face in town
Wonderin' the hang where
To turn each time around
Look in your mirror just to see my face
Two way time, baby, it's no disgrace
Oh my, oh, how the times have changed
Oh my, oh, how the times have changed

Ladies used to dancin' but I move for real
Lookin' for reaction, something you can feel
When ya dance,
I move and they look me in the eye
Two way time, baby, it's no lie
Oh my, oh, how the times have changed
Oh my, oh, how the times have changed

All of these songs should be classic rock radio staples...but for much of the Midwest...UFO tends to reap little crop.  Too Bad. "Phenomenon" is a tasty bowl of rock-n-roll pudding.  
Must own.

Casey Chambers
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3 comments:

-tom said...

UFO doens't get any classic rock radio love here in the East either. Every once in a blue moon they might play the song "Easy Living" but that's about it.

Rodney H. said...

One of my all-time favorite rock and roll albums is Strangers in the Night, the live recordings or UFO in the seventies in Chicago: Strangers in the night

You are right. This group kicks @$$.

Casey said...

That's funny..."Rodney h" because a buddy called and told me I needed to check out "Strangers in the Night". He's going to drop it by later!
Thanks for the recommendation and post.
And "Tom" thanks for dropping a comment.