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UFO (band)

UFO at the Hamburg Harley Days 2015
Background information
Origin London, England
Years active 1969–present
Associated acts
Website UFO's official website
Members Phil Mogg
Andy Parker
Paul Raymond
Vinnie Moore
Rob De Luca
Past members See: Former members section

UFO are an English heavy metal and hard rock band that was formed in 1969.[2] UFO became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. UFO were ranked No. 84 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".[3]


  • History 1
    • Beginning (1969–72) 1.1
    • International success (1973–78) 1.2
    • Schenker's departure (1978) 1.3
    • Post-Schenker years (1979–90) 1.4
    • The reunion(s) (1991–2003) 1.5
    • Vinnie Moore and a return to chart success (2004–present) 1.6
  • Band members 2
    • Current members 2.1
    • Current touring members 2.2
    • Former members 2.3
    • Timeline 2.4
  • Discography 3
  • Videography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Beginning (1969–72)

Flying reached No. 26), but generated poor interest in Britain and America. Consequently, their third effort, Live (later re-issued as UFO Lands In Tokyo), was originally only released in Japan in 1971.

Part of UFO's early work was strongly influenced by space rock (their second album, including a 26-minute title track and a 19-minute-long opus "Star Storm", was subtitled One Hour Space Rock) that was modestly popular at the time, but the band soon realised the style was somewhat limited. In January 1972, Mick Bolton left the group, and UFO set out to find a guitarist who could provide the band with a more standard rock sound.

International success (1973–78)

After brief trial runs with Larry Wallis (February - October 1972) and Bernie Marsden (he toured with UFO in Europe and recorded a pair of demos, "Oh My" and "Sixteen") the band recruited Michael Schenker from Scorpions in June 1973. Schenker was only 18 at the time but was already a well-respected guitarist. On a new label, Chrysalis Records, the revamped UFO recorded a non-LP single in 1973, "Give Her The Gun" and "Sweet Little Thing" with producer Derek Lawrence. In 1974 and with a new producer, Leo Lyons (formerly of Ten Years After), UFO recorded Phenomenon, which highlighted the band's harder-edged guitar sound. Phenomenon contains many fan favorites such as "Doctor Doctor" (later a minor hit single as a live track) and "Rock Bottom" (which was extended live to provide a showcase for Schenker). By the time of the Phenomenon tour, ex-Skid Row guitarist Paul Chapman joined the group, but he left in January 1975 to form Lone Star.

Two later albums, Force It (July 1975) and No Heavy Petting (May 1976) (the last was recorded with a regular keyboardist, Danny Peyronel as well as harmony vocalist and also songwriter), and extensive touring brought UFO increased visibility with American audiences and increased their following in the UK. Song Belladonna from No Heavy Petting was very popular in USSR (and then became popular in Russia) after the cover version of Alexander Barykin.

In July 1976, the band recruited keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond from Savoy Brown to make 1977's Lights Out. This album was the pinnacle of UFO's studio career containing songs such as "Too Hot To Handle," "Lights Out," and the 7-minute opus "Love To Love." With Lights Out, the band received substantial critical acclaim. With their new-found success, the band went back into the studio to record Obsession in 1978. Later that year, the band went on tour in the USA and recorded a live album, Strangers In The Night, which was released in January 1979. Strangers was a critical and commercial success, reaching Number 8 in the UK Albums Chart in February 1979.

Schenker's departure (1978)

Along with Michael Schenker's increasing alcohol abuse, tensions had begun to grow between Mogg and Schenker in the late 1970s. Soon after UFO's final US show in Palo Alto, California in October 1978 Schenker left the band. He made a brief return to the Scorpions before going on to form his own Michael Schenker Group.[4]

Post-Schenker years (1979–90)

After Schenker's exit, UFO rehired Paul "Tonka" Chapman on guitar who brought over unused track ideas from Uriah Heep for a couple of months and then by former Wild Horses guitarist and keyboardist Neil Carter, who helped fill the void in the songwriting left by Schenker's departure. Carter debuted with UFO on stage at the three-day Reading Festival on 23 August 1980, when the band played as the Saturday night headline act.[5] At the beginning of the following year, UFO released the self-produced The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent, which had a lighter pop rock sound, which was popular at the time. The album achieved mild success in the UK, reaching the UK Top 20, and the single "Lonely Heart" was released.

In February 1982 the band released Mechanix. It was very successful in the UK, where it reached No.8, the band's highest ever placing. Later that year, founding member Pete Way left the band to form Fastway with Motörhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and then his own band, Waysted. He was replaced by Talas bassist, Billy Sheehan. UFO released Making Contact in 1983, but the album was a critical and commercial failure. Thus, that March, UFO decided to disband.[6] The band played a UK farewell tour with Paul Gray (ex Eddie and the Hot Rods and The Damned bassist). However, there was a hint that this might not be permanent, when UFO released a compilation album featuring songs by UFO (as well as other groups featuring ex-members of UFO) entitled Headstone, the sleeve of which showed a headstone, denoting UFO with their formation date but an incomplete end date.

This proved to be a short hiatus as, just short of two years later, in late 1984, Mogg assembled a new UFO line-up, featuring Paul Gray on bass again, ex- Diamond Head drummer Robbie France (replaced in 1985 by former Magnum drummer Jim Simpson), and Atomic Tommy M (Tommy Mc Clendon), a former roadie who also wrote lyrics for Loudness, on guitar, with Paul Raymond rejoining shortly after[7] and released Misdemeanor. This was followed by the 1988 EP Ain't Misbehavin. Despite the renewed activity of the band, neither release was financially successful and they officially disbanded again in 1989 after a string of guitarists replacing McClendon: Myke Gray of Jagged Edge in late 1987,[8] in 1988 former Legs Diamond guitarist Rik Sanford and Tony Glidewell, while Pete Way rejoined on bass, and finally in 1989 future Cold Sweat guitarist Erik Gamans.[9]

The reunion(s) (1991–2003)

In 1991, Mogg and Way decided to put a new UFO line-up together with Clive Edwards and Laurence Archer in the band and released High Stakes & Dangerous Men. While only released on a small independent label, High Stakes was enough to generate serious interest in a full-blown reunion. The following year, the classic late-1970s UFO line-up – Mogg, Schenker, Way, Raymond and Parker – reunited, and the resulting album was Walk on Water (1995). This line-up (barring Parker's replacement by AC/DC's Simon Wright on drums) went on a world tour. However, tensions arose again, and Schenker left the band only 4 shows into the tour, walking off stage mid-set at (ironically) the very same Palo Alto venue where their October '78 tour died. Thereafter, the other members again went their separate ways. However, Schenker returned to the fold in 1998 and the band embarked on another tour, with Parker again replaced by a new drummer. They played at the Astoria, Charing Cross Road, London in 1998.

Phil Mogg and Pete Way continued working together throughout this fluctuating band membership, releasing two albums under the Mogg/Way name in the late 1990s, Edge of the World and Chocolate Box.

In 2000, Schenker rejoined UFO again and the band released the double CD Covenant (with Aynsley Dunbar on drums), which contained a disc of new material and a disc of live classics. In 2002, the band recorded Sharks; shortly after Sharks was released, Schenker left the band yet again and was replaced with Vinnie Moore.[10] and the official announcement was made in July 2003[11] In 2003, Michael Schenker and Pete Way released The Plot with drummer Jeff Martin.

Vinnie Moore and a return to chart success (2004–present)

In 2004 UFO released their 17th studio album You Are Here with their new permanent guitarist Vinnie Moore and Jason Bonham on drums (intermittently). UFO recorded their live set and released a double-DVD recording titled Showtime (2005) along with a double live CD on SPV in November 2005, mixing a number of re-recorded studio songs. In November 2005, Andy Parker returned to the band to play in the Piorno Rock Festival in Granada, Spain. UFO's eighteenth studio album, titled The Monkey Puzzle, was released in 2006.

Andy Parker returned in early 2007 after recovering from leg surgery. On the 2008 tour, Pete Way was unable to get a work visa to enter the United States, Rob De Luca (Sebastian Bach's band, Of Earth, Spread Eagle) filling in.[12]

UFO released their 19th studio album, The Visitor, in June 2009,[13] and followed with a tour of the UK, but without Pete Way, who was suffering from a medical condition.[14] Bass tracks on The Visitor were also played by Peter Pichl, and Pete Way was not credited as a band member on The Visitor cover, nor was any other bassist. However, the album saw UFO's return to the UK Top 100 album charts for the first time in almost 15 years.

In July 2009, UFO released a six-CD live concert box set, containing recordings of six concerts between 1975 to 1982, as well as previously unreleased live songs.

On their 2011 tour, they were accompanied by Barry Sparks playing bass.

Since December 2010, UFO had been working on a twentieth studio album, which was supposed to be released in June 2011.[15] Titled Seven Deadly,[16] was released on 27 February 2012 to almost universally good reviews and a higher chart position than The Visitor also charting in Germany, Sweden, and the Billboard indie charts.[17]

In 2011, former band members Danny Peyronel, Laurence Archer, and Clive Edwards teamed up with bassist Rocky Newton (ex-McAuley Schenker Group) to form a band entitled X-UFO. In live performances, X-UFO played sets of vintage UFO songs.

As of September 2013, according to Paul Raymond, a new UFO album is in the works, but there is "no detailed talk of that yet."[18]

The new album, A Conspiracy of Stars, was released on 23 February 2015.

Band members

Current members

  • Phil Mogg – vocals (1969–83, 1984–89, 1992–present)
  • Andy Parker – drums (1969–83, 1988–89, 1993–95, 2005–present)
  • Paul Raymond – keyboards, rhythm guitar (1976–80, 1984–86, 1993–99, 2003–present)
  • Vinnie Moore – guitar (2003–present)

Current touring members

Former members




  • Too Hot To Handle (1994)
  • Showtime (2005)

Tristan Greatrex – album artwork


  1. ^ "Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists" by Pete Prown, H. P. Newquist
  2. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 1014–1016.  
  3. ^ "The Greatest | Show Cast, Episodes, Guides, Trailers, Web Exclusives, Previews". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  4. ^ Saulnier, Jason (23 January 2009). "Michael Schenker Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 345. CN 5585. 
  6. ^ Tobler (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years. p. 378. CN 5585. 
  7. ^ "UFO - Family Tree - 1980 to 1990". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  8. ^ "UFO - Press Articles - 1987". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ UFO on Allmusic
  11. ^ "It's Official: Vinnie Moore, Jason Bonham Join Ufo". 2003-07-29. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  12. ^ [4] Archived 3 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "UFO To Release 'The Visitor' In The Spring". 
  14. ^ "UFO". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  15. ^ "Ufo Announces Initial Batch Of 2011 North American Tour Dates -". 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  16. ^ "Ufo: New Album Title Announced -". 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  17. ^ "Ufo: New Album Release Date Announced -". 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  18. ^ "Music News & Reviews". Music Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  19. ^ "Rob De Luca Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 

External links

  • Official UFO website
  • UFO fansite
  • UFO from A to Z
  • Pete Way's Official website
  • Interview with vocalist Phil Mogg
  • UFO Feature and Interview with Andy Parker 2007
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