UFO - 1983 Making Contact

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ARTIST: UFO
ALBUM: Making Contact
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: CHR 1402
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2002, Spitfire, 15184 * 2009, Chrysalis, CHRX 1402 09463 2 1402 2 7

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Phil Mogg - vocals * Paul Chapman - guitar, bass * Neil Carter - keyboards, guitar, bass, backing vocals * Andy Parker - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Blinded By A Lie * 02 Diesel In The Dust * 03 A Fool For Love * 04 You And Me * 05 When It's Time To Rock * 06 The Way The Wild Wind Blows * 07 Call My Name * 08 All Over You * 09 No Getaway * 10 Push, It's Love

Background

UFO were flying very close to the ground by 1983.

They had lost Michael Schenker some years before, then had to bid farewell to bassist and founding member Pete Way at the end of the Mechanix tour.

By the time the remaining four came together to write and record 'Making Contact', they were in a bad way.

Battling exhaustion with a steady diet of hard alcohol and harder drugs, then losing Gary Lyons from the producer's chair - surely the album had to be a train wreck? Think again.

The Songs

'Blinded By A Lie' comes drifting in on waves of synth until that riff hits you. UFO mean business here, stabbing synth adding drama to said riff, imagine an angry Journey at chorus time and you've got it. Thrilling start.

'Diesel In The Dust' thumps along like Survivor, Mogg bringing out his storytelling abilities with compelling melody - the bruising riff and honey sweet chorus prove equally addictive.

At this point I'm ready to pour a shot of Jack into the coffee, further encouraged by the outright AOR of 'A Fool For Love'. The Journey reference is clear once again, but not overpowering. UFO have gone AOR here without losing their identity.

More welcome synth in the classy ballad 'You And Me', making way for the rumbling 'When It's Time To Rock'.

Side two begins with 2 more AOR classics in 'The Way The Wild Wind Blows' and 'Call My Name' - the former a pomp rocking workout calling Angel to mind, the latter very hook driven like Bryan Adams sitting in with Legs Diamond.

'All Over You' and 'No Getaway' are catchy enough, the frenetic album closer 'Push It's Love' being the only real letdown.

In Summary

UFO went to pieces on the 'Making Contact' tour, disappearing in a chemical haze by the time they hit Athens. Mogg would bring UFO back with a new lineup in 1985 for the excellent 'Misdemeanor' album.

'Making Contact' was the end of an era then, surrouded by everything that can go wrong with a rock band. That said, the music stands up as an amazing achievement in adversity.


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