sexta-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2021

UFO (UK) - Ain't Misbehavin' (Mini-LP, FM Records, 1988)


To be point-blank honest, UFO were already flogging a dead horse when "Misdemeanor" hit the shops in 1985, but they somehow managed to keep things going until 1989, maintaining a mostly very busy touring schedule and surviving through a carousel of personnel changes. The seven tracks that comprise this "Ain't Misbehavin'" mini-LP were actually recorded way back in 1986, soon after keyboardist / guitarist Paul Raymond decided that he had too much and left UFO behind for another number of years. Still, the recordings were temporarily shelved for some reason (have I heard someone whisper "label disinterest"?), while Phil Mogg and his cohorts kept the show on the road in order to make a living. Keyboardist David Jacobson is known to have joined the band soon after the recordings, but both him and bass player Paul Gray were no longer in the picture when the mini album actually came out in 1988: in fact, it transpires that Pete Way was back on duty by the time "Ain't Misbehavin'" hit the shelves, having been present in a handful of live performances a little time previously. Axeman Atomik Tommy M had also flown the coop by this juncture, and Myke Gray was handling the guitar in a few jaunts towards the end of 1987, though it seems he was no longer a member early next year too, having already left in order to form Jagged Edge. 

Yeah, I know, it's all quite confusing, and this strange sequence of events even puts the wisdom of releasing "Ain't Misbehavin'" into question - let's face it, even if it was a kick-ass record, it would still be hardly a good picture of the current state of affairs within the group. Recorded without a dedicated keyboardist, this one turns out to be a considerably more basic and intense affair than the sugar-coated "Misdemeanor", with some pretty healthy doses of heavy riffing here and there. In fact, more charitable listeners may even consider this mini-LP to be something of a return to form after their 1985 flop, as the lads are definitely rocking harder and showing a lot more conviction this time around. If you're partial with the 1980's aesthetics in general, this one may strike the right chord with you, so it's not like we're dealing with a worthless pile of garbage or anyhing like that.

Still, it leaves a lot to be desired in the songwriting side of things, as most songs are so formulaic that you can play Nostradamus and easily predict what is coming next. Despite some healthy doses of energy, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" has such a clichéd chorus that you probably already know how to sing it, even if you never heard it before - there's even the seemingly obligatory let's-pause-the-rest-of-the-band-and-leave-just-the-drums-doing-the-beat part towards the end. Tunes like "At War with the World" and "Rock Boyz, Rock" are way worse though, with terrible choruses, overwhelming backing vocals and a pop metal vibe that screams 'dated' with every single note. CD bonus "Lonely Cities (of the Heart)", on the other hand, is simply too nondescript to leave any lasting impression, a song that comes and goes without causing any perceivable emotion at all.

Personally speaking, the only song that really got me on this one is "Another Saturday Night", an intense semi-ballad with decent lyrics and some very imaginative melodies. Apart from this strong highlight, I guess "Hunger in the Night" and "Easy Money" (despite opening with a cringeworthy 'let's go, while we're young!' screaming that sounds as convincing as a flying saucer photo from Billy Meier) are acceptable, though a few lightyears away from any 'undiscovered classic' scenario, if you know what I mean. Nothing to write home abouth though, and just too little to make "Ain't Misbehavin'" a worthy addition to anyone but the most enthusiastic UFO fans.

Phil Mogg always mentioned the mini-LP in lighthearted terms on interviews, regarding it as little more than a collection of demos that he felt worthy of release - a version of events that seems a bit at odds with the busy production job in some songs, but never mind. There's no denying the singer and his partners in crime were trying their best to get a good thing going when this batch of song was recorded, but it was also clear for all to hear that they just didn't have enough in them as a unit to make it happen, unfortunately. If "Misdemeanor" was already a hopeless cause from the start, there was precisely zero chance of setting the world on fire the second time around.

There was an active line-up of UFO in mid 1988, with the duo of Mogg and Way being assisted by Fabio Del Rio (D) and a certain Rik Sanford on guitar. The 4-piece were supposed to record an album, but this particular project didn't last the distance, and there's strong indication that the material they were writing may have never even got to the demo stage. Guitarists Tony Glidewell and Erik Gamans also seem to have been there for a little while, but their contributions were probably very fleeting if that was really the case, and I wouldn't be surprise if that was just a case of musicians being auditioned rather than a more serious commitment. Whatever the case, this can't even be described as a transitional period for UFO, as the group weren't really going anywhere for the concept of a transition to make sense. In the summer of 1989, UFO was pretty much dormant, and it stayed mostly that way until 1991, when ex-Stampede and Grand Slam stalwart Laurence Archer assumed the difficult guitar position, pointing to a minor (but very worthwhile) resurgence in the band's career.

Phil Mogg (V), Tommy 'Atomik Tommy M' McClendon (G), Paul Gray (B), Jim Simpson (D).

01. Between a Rock and a Hard Place (McClendon, Mogg) 3:37
02. Another Saturday Night (Gray, Mogg) 4:39
03. At War with the World (McClendon, Mogg) 3:03
04. Hunger in the Night (McClendon, Gray, Mogg) 4:10
05. Easy Money (McClendon, Mogg) 3:37
06. Rock Boyz, Rock (McClendon, Gray, Simpson, Mogg) 3:19
07. Lonely Cities (of the Heart) (McClendon, Mogg) 4:16

Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me ( and let me know!

domingo, 7 de fevereiro de 2021

UFO (UK) - Misdemeanor (LP, Chrysalis, 1985)


As UFO themselves would put it (in the lyrics of their minor 80s hit "Let it Rain"), some kinds of love can only last so long. There was always a certain level of friction going on among the band members during most of the 70s, culminating in the acrimonious break-up with axeman Michael Schenker in 1978 - and a similar scenario was going on roughly by the time "Making Contact" hit the shops in 1983, with many stories about bandmembers reaching for each other's necks on a weekly basis. After a disastrous performance in Greece (when, according to then stand-in bassist Billy Sheehan, Phil Mogg was inebriated to the point he could barely sing, and Sheehan himself sustained injuries when the audience started throwing stuff towards the stage), it was clear for all involved that the off-the-rails lifestyle often associated with the band had just gone too far, degenerating into something ugly, embarassing and plain unprofessional. After fulfilling their touring obligations in the UK, all members went their sepparate ways, and this long-serving flying saucer was laid to rest for a while.

But not for long, though. Perhaps unconvinced that disbanding UFO was the right move (or else simply bored with doing nothing special after relocating to Los Angeles), Phil Mogg would soon start recruiting a new set of accomplices in late 1984, allegedly to create an all-new musical entity. After listening to a few songs written for a band called Sing Sing, Mogg felt that Paul Gray (who performed bass duties during the very last shows  of the "Making Contact" tour) could be a good songwriting partner after all, and swiftly recruited him for the new project. After enjoying stints with the Michael Schenker Group and Waysted, old time keyboardist / guitarist Paul Raymond was more than happy to join Mogg in the fun, and a nearly unknown (but clearly very talented) axeman named Tommy McClendon seemed the perfect choice for the lead guitar. Following a brief period of experimentation with Diamond Head's Robbie France, the drumstool would be occupied by Jim Simpson (ex-Magnum) to complete the line-up. The 5-piece toyed with The Great Outdoors moniker for a while (a hopeless choice, to be honest), but a few conversations with influential people in the business convinced Phil Mogg that it would be better to bring the well-known UFO name and logo back for good - a wise move indeed, as soon Chrysalis would offer the lads a much welcome one-album deal.

If "Misdemeanor" would have been more adequately presented under another guise is something that is open to debate. Personally speaking, I guess it wouldn't have made that much of a difference after all: on one hand, the material herein doesn't sound that different from what UFO were doing in the early 1980s, and it's also not strong enough to propel any newly-christened acts to immediate superstardom, if you know what I mean. Now embracing 1980s commercial rock music in no uncertain terms, UFO recorded an album filled with the very same pop-tinged hard rock attempted by so many bands (mostly to no avail) roughly at the same time. Listening to "Misdemeanor" while comparing it to earlier UFO releases may be a frustrating experience, but it's also educational in a way, as it shows how much hard/heavy music as a whole abandoned most of its psychedelic and bluesy roots from the mid-1970s onwards, in order to embrace a more "modern" and straightforward outlook and sound -  a crossroads that ultimately led either to extreme music (as death/thrash metal and many variants would happily testify) or else to unashamed commercialism, UFO being one of many examples in that regard. 

I really don't feel like talking in depth about the musical merits of "Misdemeanor", to be honest - not because I think it is a despicable record (I honestly don't), but mostly due to the fact that it is hopelessly dated and lacks any relevance for the general metal scene whatsoever. Granted, it does have its moments: "Night Run" is charming, a song that wouldn't be out of place in any UFO album from the early 80s, and tunes like "Heaven's Gate" and "This Time" are perfectly listenable too. Most of the package is totally innofensive though, with riffs that are little more than sequences of chords and puerile lyrics about love and heartbreak that Mogg probably came up with in a few hours at most (believe me, he can do so much better than this). The production stylizes the whole thing to a great extent, with overwhelming keyboards, a near-robotic drum sound and featherweight guitars that never threaten to get intense, let alone heavy. McClendon (here assuming the nickname Atomik Tommy M for some reason), despite being undeniably a gifted guitarist, sums it all perfectly BTW: his shredding was probably very impressive in 1985, but I seriously doubt it could raise any eyebrows today, and it's significantly dwarfed when compared to what Michael Schenker and even Paul Chapman did before him.

I know I have used the word 'hopeless' before, but allow me to repeat myself, as I think it's the perfect way to say it: "Misdemeanor" is a hopeless album. Not an unashamed cash grab, or a half-hearted effort from musicians that could not care less - just an LP that screams 'middle of the road' from start to finish, a product that tries so hard to be acceptable for its time that it turns out to be completely devoid of any distinctive and/or memorable features. In fact, it's hard to fathom what plan (if any) those involved with this project had in mind for it, as I seriously doubt radio stations were falling over themselves to give it airplay, and I'm sure MTV wasn't really impressed either. It gets a two-star rating because the musicianship is very competent and the results are professional as a whole, but you don't need it in your collection unless you are a UFO completist, believe me. Some bands from the 70s did way worse, that's for sure, but that is not to say that UFO should be proud of this record.

Phil Mogg (V), Tommy "Atomik Tommy M" McClendon (G), Paul Raymond (K/G), Paul Gray (B), Jim Simpson (D).

01. This Time (Gray, Mogg) 4:36
02. One Heart (Gray, McClendon, Mogg) 4:09
03. Night Run (Gray, McClendon, Mogg) 4:32
04. The Only Ones (Gray, Mogg) 5:16
05. Meanstreets (McClendon, Mogg) 4:17
06. Name of Love (McClendon, Mogg) 4:37
07. Blue (Gray, Mogg) 5:18
08. Dream the Dream (Raymond, Mogg) 4:32
09. Heaven's Gate (McClendon, Mogg) 4:15
10. Wreckless (McClendon, Mogg) 4:59

Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me ( and let me know!

sábado, 6 de fevereiro de 2021

UFO (UK) - Making Contact (LP, Chrysalis, 1983)


I guess no one would regard the early 1980's as a hugely successful period in UFO's career, but they were keeping things on track, you see, recovering from the very weak "No Place to Run" with two perfectly listenable slices of heavy rock music in the shape of "The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent" and "Mechanix". But, just after the good result in sales and the successful tour to promote the latter, UFO were hit by a major blow when bassist and founding member Pete Way decided to pack it up and go (pun intended, sorry) in late 1982, seemingly unhappy with the band's musical direction and tempted by the chance to join ex-Motörhead's "Fast" Eddie Clark in a new venture cunningly called Fastway. It's fair to say that, although he never really took the helms of the band as Phil Mogg did, his wild man lifestyle never (up to that point, at least) stood in the way of recording sessions or touring commitments, and his personality and vision seems to have been a more important cog in the machine than many would perhaps have expected. If surviving the absence of Michael Schenker was a hard task (and it took them a while to recover, mind you), moving forward without their much-loved bassist would be a more intricate puzzle to solve - one that they simply didn't manage to handle in the short run.

Already working on the pre-production for a new album, UFO decided to make things simple, with ever-dependable multi-instrumentalist Neil Carter and guitarist Paul Chapman both assuming bass duties in the recording sessions of what would become "Making Contact". Now, Phil Mogg and Andy Parker were the only original members still in the act, and the singer found in Neil Carter a fruitful songwriting partnership, the pair dividing credits in almost all songs here featured. Their collaboration had shown many signs of promise on "Mechanix", and some of those are fulfilled here, at least to some extent - but it seems the task of making a full album on short notice and pretty much on their own, added to the pressures of a market leaning towards more accessible waters, turned out to be a bit too much for those involved, a state of affairs that gives "Making Contact" a pop-metal outlook that was significantly different from (and less interesting than) its predecessors.

Now, I don't want to be rude and say this record is a piece of crap, because it surely isn't. I even dare to say it's better than "No Place to Run", for instance: at least they were trying to get something going here, while they sound like they couldn't care less in their 1980 minor fiasco. Maybe releasing "Making Contact" was little more than a contractual obligation to UFO, but I'd say they made a very serious effort to fulfill it with considerable finesse, rather than just churn out some substandard drivel to get rid of it as soon as possible. In fact, things get to a reasonably powerful start with "Blinded By a Lie", and following track "Diesel in the Dust" is my favorite tune here by far, with very effective instrumentation and poignant lyrics about a small town petty criminal who meets his end in a pick-up truck. If every so-called pop metal had such depth and energy, I would never say a bad word about it, you know. Things keep going well with the more restrained, very melodic "A Fool for Love" - a song that reminds me of Thin Lizzy, which is never a bad sign at all.

But perhaps it would have been better to keep this record as an EP or maxi-single, as things get perilously out of steam from this point onwards, with perhaps only "The Way the Wild Wind Blows" and "All Over You" coming to the (very moderate) rescue. "You and Me" is a very poor ballad that even sounds half-finished, and supposedly upbeat songs like "Call My Name" and "No Getaway" (some tasteless lyrics about a stalker on this one BTW) sound tired even before they get going properly, which is hardly the intended effect, I'm afraid. "When it's Time to Rock" is a poorly resolved song that never gets off the ground properly, and final track "Push, It's Love" is an extremely clichéd 'high-energy' rocker that sound as legitimate as a 6-dollar bill, if you ask me. The attempt to coat these half-baked tunes with layers of sugary keyboards does little in the way of making them more palatable: instead, it renders the album even more difficult to listen to in one sitting - a bit like those children's parties, you know, when you already had too much candy and there's still half a cake to go.

Whatever way you choose to look at it, "Making Contact" was a clear indication that UFO's ability to create magic was rapidly fading out. The reception to the record was underwhelming, to say the least, and the European tour that followed (with Billy Sheehan, then still a feature on Talas, assuming bass duties) was something of a disaster, with lots of internal friction and some poor perfomances to match. After a serious brawl with the audience in Athens, Greece, the rest of the jaunt was quickly cancelled, and UFO were pretty much falling apart on their return to England. They somehow kept it together enough to fulfill a tour on England, with Paul Gray (an old associate to Eddie and the Hot Rods and lately involved with The Damned) assuming as a bassist, but it was clear for all to see that the road had come (at least temporarily) to an end.

Paul Chapman relocated to USA to form DOA (he would soon join forces with Pete Way on Waysted, though), while Neil Carter joined Gary Moore and Andy Parker also decided to move to USA and form a venture called Scarlett. Only singer Phil Mogg seemed to be uncomfortable with putting the good name of UFO to rest, and, after a necessary break in order to get himself together, he would soon be making tentative plans for a new lift-off of his much loved flying saucer. As for "Making Contact", it's one for dedicated fans, that's for sure, though these may find it more appealing than my somewhat cynical review seems to suggest. There's no reason to bother if you're a more casual listener, though, as it's not an underrated classic by any stretch of the imagination.

Phil Mogg (V), Paul Chapman (G/B), Neil Carter (G/B/K/BV), Andy Parker (D).

01. Blinded By a Lie (Carter, Mogg) 3:58
02. Diesel in the Dust (Carter, Mogg) 4:29
03. A Fool for Love (Carter, Mogg) 3:57
04. You and Me (Carter, Mogg) 3:20
05. When It's Time to Rock (Chapman, Mogg) 5:27
06. The Way the Wild Wind Blows (Carter, Chapman, Mogg) 4:14
07. Call My Name (Carter, Mogg) 3:14
08. All Over You (Carter, Mogg) 4:24
09. No Getaway (Carter, Chapman, Mogg) 3:32
10. Push, It's Love (Carter, Mogg) 3:16

Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me ( and let me know!

UFO (UK) - Mechanix (LP, Chrysalis, 1982)


Oh man, this one brings back some memories. Not that I was around when it first came out in 1982 - actually, I was less than two years old, being raised by a loving family in the southernmost Brazil, so it's not like I was playing an imaginary guitar at some UFO concert in England or anything like that. But "Mechanix" is actually the first album I bought from UFO: a japanese CD reissue by Chrysalis, which I guess was pressed in the early 1990s and cost me some serious money (well, for a cash-strapped adolescent like myself, anything more expensive than a pastry and a Coke would qualify as 'serious money' at the time). I took it home with no more than a vague idea of its contents; I was curious about UFO for ages, and the simple (but eye-catching) front cover really excited my curiosity, but I had never heard any full songs from them up to that point. I bought it on a Friday afternoon, but only got a chance to listen to it on early Saturday morning - and I couldn't crank it up, you see, or else my family would be disrupted in their sleep.

It was... different from what I expected. In my mind, a band with the name UFO was supposed to be heavier, and the use of keyboards and saxophones really caught me off guard. But I liked it. I really did. And I still do, nearly 25 years later. I still have the same CD, by the way. 

Now that I'm thinking of it, I remember the record store owner telling me that "Mechanix" was a good record, but I should take "The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent" instead, because it was way better (there was no other UFO albums in stock, unfortunately). But I didn't like WW&I's front cover or something, and opted to buy that hand with a guitar turning into a monkey-wrench - like it was a piece of art worthy of the Tate Gallery or something, but never mind. And it's a choice I still make to this day: nearly everyone seems to consider WW&I a more accomplished album in comparison (and I totally understand the reasoning, I really do), but "Mechanix" still touches a soft spot in my soul, and I like it better to this day. It's like my mind knows I'm wrong, but my heart just won't let go!

New boy Neil Carter seems way more confident this time around: not much more than a support musician in the previous LP, he comes out as a talented composer on "Mechanix", his input resulting in a number of very interesting pieces of music. With the 5-piece finally reaching some stability after a few years of internal turmoil, and adding Carter's many ideas into their songwriting cauldron, UFO were strong and focused enough to capture much of the spirit of the hard/heavy scene in those days, walking the thin line between intense and radio-friendly with mostly very effective results.

There's a hell of a lot of keys in here (I even reckon it was the more keyboard-oriented UFO album so far), but I don't consider it to be obnoxious or obstrusive, as Carter is mostly rocking along with the rest of the band rather than trying to soften the whole thing. The excellent "Doing it All for You" is a prime example: there are multiple keyboard layers, but they sound intense, even (yeah, I know how strange it sounds, but it's all true) HEAVY towards the end. The saxophones on "The Writer" (playing along with a riff that wouldn't be too out of place in a late 80's Black Sabbath album, which is hardly a well-worn formula if you ask me) and the cover of Eddie Cochran's "Something Else" may be hard to digest for some, but I think the results are mostly charming, though the wisdom of opening the record with these two tunes in sequence may be called into question.

There's a bit for everyone's tastes here, from the NWOBHM-standard-approved drive of "We Belong to the Night" and "Dreaming" (the latter a truly excellent song, perhaps my favorite from the entire record) to some concessions to balladry ("Back Into My Life"), including some pinches of radio-friendly rock (in the shape of the very competent "Let it Rain") and all-out hard rock ("You'll Get Love"), all being pretty serviceable most of the time. Actually, both sides of the original LP are quite formulaic when you take a close look at it: a forceful semi-metal number opens proceedings, then an easy-listening rocker comes in, followed by a ballad, a no-frills hard-rocking tune and a slightly more adventurous track to round things off. The aforementioned "Something Else" is actually one of the least interesting recordings of the lot: this classic rock and roll song is a lot of fun of course, but the addition of multiple unnecessary layers in the mix ended up rendering the track a mess, if we're to be honest here. Similarly, "Terri" is the one instance when the keys get a bit on the listener's nerves, harming what would perhaps have been a nice heavy ballad under different circumstances, and "Feel it" is a brain-dead hard rocker that really doesn't get anywhere. Apart from this, though, "Mechanix" is mostly a secure and funny ride, carried along by efficient instrumentation and a nice, powerful performance from Phil Mogg - his voice really shines in tunes like "Dreaming", "Back Into My Life" and "The Writer", believe me.

The release was a remarkable success for UFO in their native UK, reaching number 8 on the charts - their best-selling LP of all time in the country, no less. "Let it Rain" was a minor hit as well, and it's fair to say the group were rejuvenated enough to hold their own amongst the iron maidens, saxons and def leppards of those very competitive days. Still, "Mechanix" was the harbinger of decadence, rather than renewed relevance: let's face it (and I'm saying this mostly to myself), it's simply not in the same league with "Lights Out" or "Force It", and you can't compare this reasonably stable period in UFO's career with the resounding success that happened to Judas Priest (or, to a lesser extent, Motörhead) roughly at the same time. In fact, hard times were just around the corner for the lads, and this LP may as well be seen as the last decent moment they would enjoy for the best part of a decade. As a record, just take it for what it is (a fairly enjoyable collection of songs from a band trying to keep their thing together and not much else), and you'll probably get the best out of it.

Phil Mogg (V), Paul Chapman (G), Neil Carter (G/K/BV/sax), Pete Way (B), Andy Parker (D).

01. The Writer (Chapman, Carter, Mogg) 4:12
02. Something Else (E.Cochran, S.Sheeley) 3:21
03. Back Into My Life (Way, Mogg) 4:59
04. You'll Get Love (Carter, Chapman, Mogg) 3:10
05. Doing it All for You (Way, Chapman, Carter, Mogg) 5:02
06. We Belong to the Night (Way, Carter, Mogg) 3:57
07. Let it Rain (Way, Carter, Mogg) 4:01
08. Terri (Chapman, Mogg) 3:53
09. Feel it (Way, Mogg) 4:07
10. Dreaming (Carter, Mogg) 3:57

Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me ( and let me know!

sexta-feira, 5 de fevereiro de 2021

UFO (UK) - The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent (LP, Chrysalis, 1981)


Though far from being an unmitigated disaster (some people actually seem to like it quite a lot, which is all right I guess), fact is that "No Place to Run" was hardly a world beater, and the worrying signs of impeding decadente were all over the place. To make things worse, more changes in personnel were around the corner, with Paul Raymond deciding to pack his bags to pursue a seductive offer to join none other than Michael Schenker and his Group. If UFO wanted to survive the turn of the 1980's (and be a respectable entity in the NWOBHM days they had a strong role in inspiring), they seriously needed some new and talented blood running into their system, not to mention a much stronger batch of new songs. Fortunately for the lads, "The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent" is a marked step in the right direction, a record that did strike the right chord with the renewed hard/metal scene of those days and created some much welcomed momentum for the outfit.

The vacant slot left by Raymond was aptly filled by Neil Carter, a very talented multi-instrumentalist who was previously doing the rounds with Wild Horses. Not only the versatile side of UFO's music would be retained to a great degree, but Carter also showed himself to be a worthy addition to the songwriting side of things as time progressed, recapturing some of the magic lost when iconic (and difficult) virtuoso Michael Schenker was no longer allowed to walk in from the door. With guitarist Paul Chapman seemingly more confident of his role in the band, and with both Andy Parker and Pete Way doing a fine job throughout, the instrumental side of things sounds a lot more tight, dynamic and lively than in its lacklustre predecessor - and we all know Mr. Phil Mogg is someone you can trust when it comes to singing, so the casual listener can get happily ready for a good thing coming this time around.

I read many reviews pointing out how different this record is from the earlier release with Chapman on guitar, but I beg to differ: the only thing that makes "No Place to Run" a "pop" record and "The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent" to be a "hard" record is a newfound sense of energy, as the compositions are not really that dissimilar - although WW&I is better on this regard too, no doubt about that, with songs more carefully crafted and surely focused on rocking hard rather than plodding along. It's not a impeccable record though, and some cuts seems to have been included as something of a last-minute decision, like they just didn't have the time to finish enough good songs for a full album. It's mostly a winner, no doubt about that - it's just that it is not a flawless victory, if you know what I mean. 

They hit the nail right on the head in "Long Gone", an immensely capable union of heavy energy and songwriting subleties that is easily one of their best tunes from all of the 80s - and one of my favorite songs from all of their catalogue, and I mean it. Other great moments come with the nice opener "Chains Chains", "Lonely Heart" (a minor hit in the UK, a hard rocker with nice melodic parts in all the right places) and "Profession of Violence", that seems to recycle ideas from previous ballads like "Try Me" and "Belladonna", but with arguably even better results. Contrastingly, "It's Killing Me" is so confusing that it even seems to be half-finished, whereas "Couldn't Get it Right" is your typical not-bad-but-also-not-really-good filler that would hardly make it to a single B-side under different circumstances. It's fair to point out that "Makin' Moves" and the title track are songs that work nicely in the album's running order, not disrupting the flow in any sense - but I'm afraid both lack the charm to shine by their own merits, being pretty nondescript if taken out of the LP's context.

All things considered, it's not like UFO took the world by storm with "The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent", but it was the right record at the right time for them, and it sure helped to relocate the band into the very center of the Heavy Metal scene. And it's an album that didn't aged that bad either, as at least half of the songs here featured are good enough to captivate fans of hard/heavy music even today. To be honest, I even consider it to be a more accomplished record than, say, "Obsession" - yeah, kind of a polemic take here, but it comes to show just how much of a worthy addition this album can be to any respectable collection.

Phil Mogg (V), Paul Chapman (G), Neil Carter (G/K/BV/saxophone on "Lonely Heart"), Pete Way (B), Andy Parker (D).

01. Chains Chains (Way, Mogg) 3:24
02. Long Gone (Chapman, Mogg) 5:17
03. The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent (Chapman, Mogg) 4:57
04. It's Killing Me (Way, Mogg) 4:29
05. Makin' Moves (Chapman, Mogg) 4:43
06. Lonely Heart (Chapman, Way, Mogg) 5:00
07. Couldn't Get it Right (Chapman, Way, Mogg) 4:33
08. Profession of Violence (Chapman, Mogg) 4:22

Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me ( and let me know!