UFO - 1985 Misdemeanor

edited January 2020 in year-1985

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ARTIST: UFO
ALBUM: Misdemeanor
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: 207 431
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2000, EMI (Japan)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Phil Mogg - vocals * Atomik Tommy M (McClendon) - guitars * Paul Gray - bass * Paul Raymond - keyboards * Jim Simpson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 This Time * 02 One Heart * 03 Night Run * 04 The Only Ones * 05 Meanstreets * 06 Heavens Gate * 07 Blue * 08 Dream The Dream * 09 Name Of Love * 10 Wreakless

Background

I know there are a lot of UFO fans out there but I wonder how many are familiar with this release from 1985. I have always been fond of UFO's brand of melodic heavy rock, especially their legendary live release 'Strangers In The Night' featuring Michael Schenker.

There has also been the argument put forward on numerous occasions that UFO are nothing without the talents of Schenker and vice versa. While I am not one to argue with the general consensus, after listening to this album I would have to refute the claim.

Recorded after a period of uncertainty in the UFO camp, 'Misdemeanor' must have been like a breath of fresh air for Mogg and the boys. Released to good media and critical acclaim, the record put paid to rumours that UFO had shot their bolt.

Unfortunately the album slipped the commercial net and was not as successful as some of their previous releases. But never mind, because what we have here is a classic in the making.

Now featuring Tommy M on lead guitar, the album can be compared with previous UFO records 'Lights Out' and 'Obsession', but crossed with prime period Night Ranger. I would go so far as to say this was their most AOR flavoured album yet.

The Songs

Opening track 'This Time' is stunning keyboard based melodic rock with a chorus to die for, surely one of their most commercial cuts ever.

What follows on is one outstanding track after another. Featuring rockers such as 'Meanstreets' and atmospheric ballads a la 'The Only Ones', the album has it all.

Raymond's keyboards in particular are breathtaking and his playing reflects everything we love about this genre of music. My only criticism is levelled at Tommy M's occasional annoying lead breaks.

In Summary

Unfortunately very hard to obtain on CD (Jap only) it is worth tracking down and can be ranked alongside such greats as Night Ranger's 'Dawn Patrol', Cobra's 'First Strike' and Coney Hatch's 'Friction'.

Essential for lovers of guitar based melodic rock.


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