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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 26 February 2014
If you're looking for the gory details of the Excess and Debauchery that followed UFO tours from the 70's and probably beyond, this is perhaps not the book you are looking for - You'll have to wait until Phil OR Pete tell their story! However, as a book lovingly compiled by a Mega fan, it focuses on what most people forget - How Fantastic the Music was, so on that level this is a great read and it sent me back to rediscover UFO classic music that had been long forgotten about. It's not Rose coloured spectacles either: Phil Mogg doesn't become Mother Teresa; Misdemeanour doesn't become a 'Classic Album' so it's realistic enough to recognise the flawed genius that epitomises UFO. It's a great read for any fan of the band, or for those who've heard a bit and want to find more.
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on 9 January 2014
The positives first: there aren't many books available on UFO which is a real shame as the group is worthy of this - in terms of quality of music and a story worth telling. I did learn plenty of things I didn't previously know too. Clearly referenced, but that makes it feel almost like a dissertation.

What didn't hit the mark for me...well, it's not an official release so there's no direct input from any of the main UFO members specifically for this book, quotes fro magazines etc but that's not enough really. No road stories, the highs and lows of touring and recording...nothing to really get your teeth into. Neil Daniels (and readers) would no doubt have liked the participation of the group (especially the Strangers in the Night lineup), and that's the book which needs writing on UFO. Written slightly too much as an enthusiastic fan...a book like this reads better when the author writes in a completely impartial way. I have seen UFO 3 times and have most of their catalogue but do you care what I think? Quite.

In truth, many UFO albums have been inconsistent since the original departure of Schenker, and not much has really been a 'return to form' (a term a little over-used in this book). UFO are a little confusing in this respect as the benchmark this implies is the Strangers in the night era, and, let's be honest, nothing has touched this since, as good as some songs have been since then. However, if the book acknowledged this it might tail off a little quicker than it already does reflecting UFOs very slow decline from one of our absolute top hard rock groups to where they are now, a group which appears to receive very little interest in the press (even the guitar magazines, which Vinnie Moore might expect to hold some interest for). A few more pictures, tour tickets, t-shirts, import record sleeves etc would have really enhanced this book too (see Martin Popoff's book on Judas Priest for a glorious example of how to do this).

Overall then, worth owning if you are a UFO fan, and Neil Daniels had the right intentions with this book. Not essential, but there's almost nothing to recommend as an alternative. Needs more content to fully satisfy the reader, and those who need to provide that content aren't available for comment here.
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on 19 September 2014
A pretty good read, neil daniels takes most of his stories and anecdotes from the various music press around at the time and collates it in chronological order. It is quite informative and does answer questions you may have been wondering about.
The only thing that could probably outdo this book would be written by Mogg and Way in their own definitive words, warts and all..
One criticism, photos are o.k but would of like to seen a few more.
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on 23 January 2015
I've been over generous with the star rating because they are my favourite band. The book is okay, it's the early Schenker years I'm interested in and their is not much meat on the bones here. This stems from not much information being kept on the band in those years apart from some interviews, snippets which are presented here. Most of the book concentrates on the later Chapman years which is interesting......all the bands albums are reviewed but not in great detail....so all in all a fairly okay 'scrapbook' type book....
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on 6 July 2015
This is a good book. It starts badly, because it starts with a foreword by Eddie Trunk, who is as phony as a heavy metal/hard rock specialist as a three dollars bill.

Also, one must remember that, in the recent rock biography bandwagon, writer Neil Daniels is way below other writers Mick Wall, Joel McIver, Stephen Davis, etc., both in writing capability/style, as well as sources.

But for this UFO book he upped his game. He interviewed directly for the book a lot of people involved with the band one time or another: keyboardist Danny Peyronel, producers Leo Lyons, Nevison, Glossop, Tauber; bassist Paul Gray, drummer Clive Edwards.

Also, the book has a good flow of chronological happenings, as well as the virtue of not dwindling too much in unverified gossips.

While reading the book, however, I did have the impression that, under the surface, almost like a "hidden" message", that one of the causes of this band never reaching real stardom was that Phil Mogg (and, to a lesser extent, Pete Way) were absolute pricks, obnoxious men, when they were drunk (which was like... always).

Anyway, while Mogg himself (or Way, or Schenker) do not write their own official books, I think this may be the best book available trying to biographic UFO.

P.S."Shoot Out The LIghts" by Martin Popoff is also good, but it focus on an album-by-album analysis.
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on 26 May 2015
This is a difficult review to write. I grew up on UFO's music and I was keen to read this book. As a kid, my parents vaguely knew Phil Mogg's mother Ada! I remember seeing Phil walking past our house when I was about 11 and thinking he was the coolest bloke I had ever seen. UFO at The Roundhouse and the marquee and the Hammy O -- I did them all. The guy that wrote this book is a big fan as well, and that is fine. He's also not afraid to criticize UFO, which is good. Unfortunately he doesn't tell us anything about the band that I didn't already know, and the writing style is very very weak. Sorry to the author because I wanted to love this book. This books should have been written by a proper professional music journalist, not a fan.
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on 13 June 2015
Not the most interesting read, especially once you pass the Schenker era. The author's love of UFO is clear but it all gets a bit bogged down in album reviews and track listings. Despite the bands colourful history this doesn't flow into the book. And why was Peter Makowski used to write and Afterword. Peter, I know you and that awful magazine (Classic Rock) hate Schenker but perhaps he deserves a mention in your dreary Afterword!
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on 31 January 2014
High Stakes & Dangerous Men is the first biography of UFO not including Martin Popoff's equally good book which focuses more on the albums and songs. There's been some complaints that this is a cut and paste effort. Sure, the author doesn't include interviews with the band and so it is not official, but he's gone into depth on the stories behind the albums especially High Stakes with interviews with Kit Woolven, Laurence Archer and Clive Edwards. Daniels has interviewed ex members and producers and has written a detailed yet compact book on the history of the band going back to 1969. he obviously loves the music and the band but he is objective in his account. I've read some of Daniels' other books, including his excellent tomes on Judas Priest and Journey, and this is probably better. It makes a nifty companion to Popoff's own book.
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on 11 September 2014
The simple fact that there are so few books about one of the greatest rock bands to never have been properly recognised, deserves 5 stars from me. The book is described from the outset as being an unofficial auto-biography, so I never expected it to cover interviews etc. I've only just started reading it, and no doubt there might be some errors but to me it doesn't matter - having been a proper fan for 40 years I know quite a bit about the group line ups and have seen each of those line ups on stage at various locations home and abroad, but already I am learning new little snippets about the band - so I know the book will be worthwhile to me.
Anyone who can put a script together like this, especially about UFO gets my thumbs up. Hopefully someone will do the same about Yngwie, Vinne Moore (before UFO), Jason Becker and the almighty Paul Gilbert.
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on 12 August 2014
Disappointing.. Light on detail, too many errors.. Lacking insight into the actual music ... If you want to read a decent book on this great band search out the Martin Popoff book..
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