This IS, in my opinion, the BEST Hard Rock studio album of all time (although the Wild, The Willing, And The Innocent, runs it fairly close).
Everything came together at the right time, and this is a band at the height of it's powers. The performance, the songs (every one is great, no "fillers"), the arrangements (the strings on tracks like "Looking Out For Number 1" are done to perfection), and the production are all perfect!
Although this album, and the "Strangers In The Night" live album to follow, would be the last to feature Michael Schenker on guitar because of the friction in the band, you wouldn't know it to listen to this masterpiece!
Any young guitar player, could do no better than to listen to this as an example of how to play great rock guitar within the context of a band, both rhythmically, and melodically. Schenker's playing, particularly on this album, was a massive influence on my own playing.
Schenker is "ON FIRE" on this, and would cement his position as one of the most exciting and talented rock guitarists ever. He sprinkles his "golden haired genius" all over this album, from the power rock of "Only You Can Rock Me" (one of their best ever tracks, in my opinion) to the melancholic brilliance of "Born to Lose", he plays like a man possessed, but then do the whole band.
Phil Mogg never sounded better, and Pete Way has a strong influence on the writing. One writer described UFO many years ago, as a perfect blend of "muscle and melody", and that describes this album to a tee. I've been listening to it regularly for over 30 years, and it still sounds "fresh' and "exciting" to me, the years (it was released in 1978) have not "dulled it's powers".
Although the band would continue after Schenker's departure, it would never be quite the same again.
People claim that the band should have been "huge", and never quite reached their full potential, and that's probably true. Success is all "relative" anyway, and you could say that was also true of another favorite band of mine, Thin Lizzy.
However, if you are going to be remembered as a "truly great" band, even years down the road, it might as well be for peaking with this perfect album, and the live one that was to follow. That's not a bad legacy in my book!
I'd give it 10 STARS if I could, it's THAT good!!!!