We all come from a place of individuality formed by the personal experiences that make us who we are, but I think there's one thing we can agree upon: UFO is the most underrated heavy-metal band in the history of the genre. Even during the depths of my depressive heavy-metal youth, their place in music history was murky to me. I don't think they got the big PR push in the States that other British bands received and we had no Internets back in those olden days. It was my time of musical ignorance (which would be repeated over and over again); right during the peak social awkwardness of adolescence, when you DARE not admit you know nothing about a band.
KVHS, our high-school radio station, had only UFO's live album, "Strangers in the Night" in its library. So my initial concept of the band was of echoing, concert-hall reverb with a screaming, maniacal fanbase. Still the record's big, big sound featured the best of UFO, including Rock Bottom, Too Hot to Handle, and everyone's favorite, Lights Out. I must have listened to more UFO songs from the personal libraries of my music-savvy metal friends, because whenever I hear one of UFO's minor hits, like Doctor, Doctor, I think, "Heaaaay, I remember this song..." My dad played a lot of Tchaikovsky when I was a toddler, so I have the same feeling of musical déjà vu when I hear a tune from "Swan Lake."
Let's revel in the line-up of guitar prodigy Michael Schenker on the Flying V, Phil Mogg and his tight pants thankfully singing without too much posturing, fantastically attired bassman, Pete Way, and solid, back-beat drum-god Andy Parker. This is probably Lights Out of 1978. Who knows? They played about seven million shows in the 70s.
I'm gonna keep going! Because the guys are skinny, their pants are tight, and the music's all right (and the German audience appears to be on 'shrooms): Rock Bottom, 1973 (Sorry--I can't embed here. Please link to see Pete Way's pants!)
Too Hot to Handle
If you have nine minutes to spare, check out this 2005 live-studio version of Love to Love, with Pete, Phil, Paul Raymond on keyboards, Vinnie Moore on guitar, and Jason Bonham on drums, plus a good-sized string section, hearkening back to my Tchaikovsky reference (see above.) Epic!