Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Scratches the surface
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.