on 28 December 2012
While they may be best known for their chrome-plated metal albums of the '70s & '80s, UFO were spawned by the heady psychedelic era, a time when the band would play on...and on.
During their pre-metal days, UFO played a heavy brand of psychedelic rock with a distinct, spaced-out, stoner vibe that had more to do with Hawkwind (minus the synths), than with Black Sabbath - heavy though it was.
This excellent compilation from the ever-reliable Repertoire will tell you all you need to know about UFO's days as heavy, psychedelic warriors.
The two-disc format allows for the complete inclusion of the band's two studio albums from this period - UFO1 (1970) & UFO2 (1971) - as well as a sizeable chunk of the 'Live' album - recorded in Japan - which originally came-out overseas, not to mention the rounding-up of various non-album singles.
Disc 1 features the shorter, more accessible tracks which see the band take on from where the likes of Blue Cheer left-off, as unsung guitar hero Mick Bolton (who left soon after the first two albums) churns out a series of zoned-out stoner riffs, not to mention a mean solo - proving that there WAS life before Schenker...and then some.
Disc 2 features the drawn-out 'space-rock' tracks which were the hallmark of any post-Woodstock gang of stoners, consisting of lengthy, sprawling psychedelic-blues jams which were very much in vogue at the time, although younger listeners may consider them a tad excessive compared to post-punk bands.
This definitive compilation will prove, once and for all, that the original UFO were a great band of their time - and deserve to be thought of as such regardless of what followed.
The informative sleevenotes, not to mention the music, make a strong case for the 'forgotten' UFO to be re-examined and recognised as an early '70s cult legend that has been unfairly cast aside for too long. Try it.