on 20 July 2006
Consider this album a historic document. The lineup of founding vocalist Phil Mogg, founding bassist Pete Way, keyboardist/guitarist/backing vocalist Paul Raymond, new guitarist Vinnie Moore and new drummer Jason Bonham is already history, as Bonham has bowed out to join Foreigner full-time. In some ways I regret that because he brought a unique and energetic approach to some of the old, tired Michael Schenkar-era standards.
Bonham's replacement? None other than founding drummer Andy Parker. I guess this is good, but can Parker bring the same energy? Or will this slow down the band and cause it to become another one of those veteran classic rock acts doing tired versions of 30-year-old songs?
That's a debate for another day. Showtime has, for the most part, very good versions of stuff like Shoot, Shoot, Rock Bottom and Only You Can Rock Me. The new stuff, four or five tracks from You Are Here, comes off very well.
But, freed from Schenkar's wacked-out tyranny, the band could have dipped widely into its huge catalogue and presented a fascinating overview of its entire history. Sadly, that didn't happen. This album is a remake of 1979's groundbreaking Strangers In The Night live recording with four new songs. Not a single song is done from the criminally-underrated Paul Chapman era recordings and even the three albums where Schenkar rejoined in the 1990s are ignored. Why? Talk about a missed opportunity! Talk about going the safe route to satisfy nostalgia freaks!
on 18 January 2007
I hestated a long time before buying this DVD. Strangers and Obsession are still amongst my top 50 albums and I have many good memories of UFO from the 80's and 90's. I guess I feared that this DVD would be a disappointment and that would taint their earlier work. I bought the CD version first and really enjoyed it; this is particually impressive because the classic nature of the set demands comparisons with Strangers.
The DVD is better than the CD for me; the tempo and excitement noticeably increase during the set and you get drawn into that excitement; the guitar work is excellent and the speed and accuracy of VM's work is well captured by the camera; the drums and Jason Bonham's energy are far more obvious on DVD and drive the songs along whilst Phil Mogg is confident and in good voice. The overall sound is good, energetic and full of life; for me the feel of the DVD is much more Rush in Rio rather that Rush R30.
I had a big smile on my face by the middle of the set.
The studio DVD is also worthwhile and showcases playing skills whilst giving some neat variations on a variety of songs; Love to Love is especially good.
I only hope UFO manage to keep the energy now that Bonham has left, but in the meantime this DVD captures a great performance that is a credit to a fine group.
on 13 October 2006
Big UFO fan, yet tired of the same live songs over and over. However, this is the best live release/performance in over two decades.
Phil Mogg sounds awesome here... totally rennovated and inspired, plus changing his vocal style a bit from traditional past interpretations. Vinnie Moore plays his German predecessor's solos at perfection, especially respecting UFO's melodic trademark note-by-note, much to my surprise! (Just check his solo in Only You Can Rock Me). Pete Way rocks, as always! Paul Raymond has never sounded nor played better. Jason Bonham plays with such power and groove, but especially in a very musical way (a unique trait that only a few drummers can achieve).
UFO these days are having fun and it shows (even though the audience sounds as if it there were only 6 people!). Besides, the CD sound is awesome, courtesy of Tommy Newton (Elegy, Gamma Ray, Helloween). UFO today sounds as good as ever. My only complain: no Paul Chapman-era songs (there are some really great ones). This CD is a must for both old and new fans. Rock for the ages!
on 14 September 2009
Although it may seem that any UFO live recording cannot bring anything new to UFO songs, actually it does. Michael Schenker's replacement Vinnie Moore is also top guitar player. What this means is that we get different versions of same old songs despite the fact that some of them sound very similar to the way UFO has played them before. And those versions don't dissapoint.
One thing though. The record makes me think that Moore is too much of a virtuoso for UFO classic songs because at times his playing doesn't fit. It seems "only" technical lacking the "rock" side of it. "Rock Bottom" is an example. The guitar should have had better and bigger sound as well. However, this isn't the case with new songs that gel nicely. Songs that were new at the time of recoring only approve that UFO is still alive and well. Most of them are good. "Baby Blue" and "Mr.Freeze" come to my mind first.
All in all, this is UFO despite the fact that it takes some time to "identify" it and to get used to it.
on 23 February 2013
Excellent Video of one of Rocks Greatest Bands. Vinnie Moore, Paul Raymond, Pete Way, Jason Bonham and the greatest vocalist/lyracist of all time, Phil Mogg Rock it Out.