This release represents UFO’s post-Schenker years on Chrysalis. And, yes, they are glorious. Five discs of pure hard rock bliss.
Lead guitarist replacement, Paul Chapman, always had to play in Michael Schenker’s shadow it seemed — unfortunate to follow such a popular member, because Chapman is a great guitarist in his own right. If you listen to the Chapman albums that follow the Schenker era — No Place to Run, The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent, Mechanix, Making Contact — you will be pleased. These are such quality hard rock albums. And out of all of these, The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent should be highlighted as one of UFO’s all-time best.
An important part of UFO’s success was their onstage presence, too. What makes this compilation release a must (even if you already own all the studio albums) are the tracks from a “previously unreleased on CD” 1980 BBC concert. It will remind you how much of a force the band was at this time. There are some damn good studio b-sides on this compilation as well.
The only thing that prevents a full five star rating is the inclusion of the less-than-stellar, AOR-attempt Misdemeanor — it was a good but not great release in 1986 that had too much of a dramatic line-up change (gone were the UFO fundamentals of Chapman, keyboardist Neil Carter and drummer Andy Parker).
Do yourself a favor, pick up UFO’s “Chrysalis Years 1980-1986″ and be enlightened to how much life there was after Michael Schenker.
Label: Chrysalis (here is the link to purchase).