Sunday, May 25, 2014

Rick Friel's 365 Albums: UFO's 'Strangers in the Night'





I have not re-posted any of Rick's record stories for a few months and how fitting that when I go to look, the first one that catches my eye is the UFO album. Why, you ask? Well I'll tell you why! Rick just wrapped up his part in the 12th Annual Flight to Mars Benefit, a yearly show put on by Mike McCready and friends to support the agencies and charities he supports: CCFA - Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. The band is a UFO tribute band. And let me tell you they are pretty darn awesome! 

Please enjoy a video from the show! Followed by Rick's memoirs of the album Strangers in the Night 



You know, I don't remember the first time I heard Phil Mogg sing. It was probably hearing "Rock Bottom" on the radio. But I remember thinking I like it. Chris got Strangers In The Night a few days later. That's UFO's best album. No question. It's a band captured in a magic moment on stage where everything is working. They know it & the nuts in Chicago knew it. As a musician I can tell you, it doesn't happen that often. But when it does, you just go with it. I fell in love with this album. I've heard it so much in my life that, like Kiss Alive! or Foghat Live or Live at Budokan, I hardly play it anymore. But I know it inside & out. I loved the way Pete Way swings with Andy Parker, especially on "Shoot Shoot" & "I'm A Loser." Pete became a bass hero of mine that year ('79?) & like anyone who heard it, I became a Michael Schenker fan. Those solos. No one plays like him. Paul Raymond adds so much to the sound. Most of my favorite singers, you hear the influence -- Beatles, Zep -- but I can't detect anything in Phil Mogg. He's just him. "Natural Thing," "This Kids," & my favorite UFO song still, "Love To Love." Phil Mogg is a true original. Funny, frank, racy lyrics & a voice all his own. Perfect album. OK, I'll put it on. 






Rolling Stone fun facts~~ Only one of the greatest live albums ever. In 1999 it was made even better with two bonus tracks and now resequenced as well, and it now makes more sense, especially some of the stuff Phil Mogg talks about. 

Track after track of genius. When a band decides to record and put out a live album, it really has to be at the right point in their career -- you need the interest to be there, and have enough good songs to make it like a greatest hits album but be live; it needs to have great performances and be well produced. This has it all. An absolute classic and the essential UFO album. 




You can find out more about Flight to Mars and how to donate your time or more at this link: 







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