UFO (band)

Last updated

UFO - Hamburger Harley Days 2015 04.jpg
UFO at the Hamburg Harley Days 2015
Background information
Origin London, England
Years active
  • 1968–1983
  • 1984–1989
  • 1991–present
Associated acts
Website www.ufo-music.info
Members Phil Mogg
Andy Parker
Vinnie Moore
Rob De Luca

UFO are an English rock band that was formed in London in 1968. [3] [4] They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal. The band's current lineup includes vocalist Phil Mogg, lead guitarist Vinnie Moore, bass guitarist Rob De Luca, and drummer Andy Parker. They have gone through several line-up changes, leaving Mogg as the only constant member, and had two hiatuses (1983–1984 and again from 1989 to 1991). The band are also notable for featuring former Scorpions guitarist and MSG founder Michael Schenker, who was a member of UFO from 1973 to 1978 and again, occasionally, between 1993 and 2003, when Moore replaced him. In May 2018, Mogg announced that he will retire from UFO after one last tour as a member of the band in 2019. [4] [5]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.


Over a career spanning 51 years, UFO have released 22 studio albums, 14 live recordings, 16 compilation albums and one album of cover songs. They achieved moderate success in the late 1970s and early 1980s with several albums and singles (including their 1979 live album Strangers in the Night ) in the UK and US Top 40 charts, [6] [7] and have sold over 20 million records worldwide. [8] Some of their best-known songs include "Doctor Doctor", "Rock Bottom", "Natural Thing", "Lights Out", "Too Hot to Handle" and "Only You Can Rock Me". [5] UFO are considered one of the greatest classic hard rock acts, [9] and often cited as one of the key influences on the 1980s and 1990s hard rock and heavy metal scenes. [5] The band were ranked number 84 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". [10]

<i>The Salentino Cuts</i> 2017 studio album by UFO

The Salentino Cuts is British rock band UFO's first album of cover songs and their 22nd and final studio album. The album was released on Cleopatra Records on 29 September 2017.

<i>Strangers in the Night</i> (UFO album) 1979 live album by UFO

Strangers in the Night is a live album by British heavy metal rock band UFO, first released in 1979 on the Chrysalis label.

Doctor Doctor (UFO song) 1979 single by UFO

"Doctor Doctor" is a song by the British hard rock band UFO, written by the band's guitarist Michael Schenker and original singer Phil Mogg. It was released as a single from the album Phenomenon in 1974, but it did not enter the UK Singles Chart. However, a live recording from the 1979 album Strangers in the Night was released as a single and became the first hit for the band. In 2010, a live version with Vinnie Moore was released in the Best of a Decade album.


Beginning (1968–1972)

Lead singer Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton, bassist Pete Way, and drummer Andy Parker formed the band in 1968. Originally taking the name Hocus Pocus, the group changed their name in October 1969 to UFO in honour of the London club where they were spotted by Noel Moore, who signed them to Beacon Records label, which was headed by Antiguan-born Milton Samuel. Their eponymously titled first album debuted in 1970 and was a typical example of early hard rock including a heavy version of the Eddie Cochran classic "C'mon Everybody". Both UFO 1 and its follow-up UFO 2: Flying , were successful in Japan (especially the single "C'mon Everybody" which became a huge hit there) and Germany (the song "Boogie For George," also from the first album, reached No. 30 in German singles charts as well as "Prince Kajuku" from Flying, which reached No. 26), but generated poor interest in Britain and America. 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.

Phil Mogg British singer

Phillip John Mogg is the lead singer for the English rock band UFO, which he formed with longtime friends Pete Way and Andy Parker.

Pete Way English musician

Peter Frederick Way is an English bass player. He is best known as the bassist in UFO with whom he played for 31 years. Way is also known as a founding member of Waysted and Fastway. He has also notably played with Michael Schenker Group and Ozzy Osbourne.

Andy Parker (musician) British musician

Andrew Maynard 'Andy' Parker is a British rock drummer best known as the founding member and drummer of the Hard rock/Heavy metal band, UFO.

International success (1973–1978)

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 the 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, under 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 "Tonka" Chapman joined the group, but he left in January 1975 to form Lone Star.

Larry Wallis is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. He is best known as a member of the Pink Fairies and an early member of Motörhead.

Bernie Marsden British musician

Bernard John Marsden is an English rock and blues guitarist. He is primarily known for his work with Whitesnake, having written or co-written with David Coverdale many of the group's hit songs, such as "Fool for Your Loving", "Walking in the Shadow of the Blues", "Lovehunter", "Trouble" and the multi-million selling chart-topper "Here I Go Again."

Michael Schenker German musician

Michael Schenker is a German rock guitarist who has played in UFO and led the Michael Schenker Group. He was an early member of Scorpions the band co-founded by his elder brother Rudolf Schenker. In the mid-1970s Michael joined UFO, playing lead guitar. He left the band in 1978 to found the Michael Schenker Group. He has rejoined UFO three times, producing an album each time. Schenker continues to perform and record. He has been called "a legendary figure in the history of metal guitar."

Two subsequent albums, Force It (July 1975) and No Heavy Petting (May 1976) (the last was recorded with ex-Heavy Metal Kids' Danny Peyronel, who served as a regular keyboardist as well as harmony vocalist and songwriter), and extensive touring brought UFO increased visibility with American audiences and increased their following in the UK. The song "Belladonna" from No Heavy Petting was very popular in the USSR based on the cover version by Alexander Barykin.

<i>Force It</i> 1975 studio album by UFO

Force It is the fourth studio album by the British rock band UFO, released in 1975. It became their first album to chart in the United States.

<i>No Heavy Petting</i> 1976 studio album by UFO

No Heavy Petting is the fifth studio album by the British rock band UFO, released in 1976. It is the first UFO album to feature a full-time keyboard player as a member of the band, making this their first record as a five-piece band. While keyboardist Danny Peyronel only stayed in the band for this one album, he did co-write several tracks on the record.

The Heavy Metal Kids were a seventies British glam rock band.

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.

Keyboardist musician who plays keyboard instruments

A keyboardist or keyboard player is a musician who plays keyboard instruments. Until the early 1960s musicians who played keyboards were generally classified as either pianists or organists. Since the mid-1960s, a plethora of new musical instruments with keyboards have come into common usage, requiring a more general term for a person who plays them. These keyboards include:

Paul Raymond (musician) English keyboardist/guitarist

Paul Martin Raymond was an English keyboardist/guitarist.

Savoy Brown, originally known as the Savoy Brown Blues Band, are an English blues rock band formed in Battersea, south west London in 1965. Part of the late 1960s blues rock movement, Savoy Brown primarily achieved success in the United States, where they promoted their albums with non-stop touring.

Post-Schenker era and hiatuses (1978–1990)

Tensions had begun to grow between Mogg and Schenker in the late 1970s, possibly from Schenker often leaving before or during shows. Soon after UFO's show in Palo Alto, California on 29 October 1978, Schenker left the band. He made a brief return to the Scorpions before going on to form his own Michael Schenker Group. [11]

After Schenker's exit, UFO rehired Paul Chapman on guitar who brought over unused track ideas from Lone Star's drummer Dixie Lee. Shortly after, they released their next LP, No Place to Run , in January 1980. Produced by former Beatles producer George Martin, No Place To Run failed to match up to the success of its predecessors, though it fractionally missed the UK Top 10. Paul Raymond left the band at the end of the No Place To Run tour and was replaced by John Sloman from Uriah Heep on keyboards 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. [12] 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. [13] 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 Atomik Tommy M (Tommy McClendon), a former roadie who also wrote lyrics for Loudness, on guitar, with Paul Raymond rejoining shortly after, [14] and released Misdemeanor . Raymond left again in 1986 and was replaced by David Jacobson, who along with Gray would leave in 1987, and Pete Way rejoined on bass. This lineup recorded 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, [15] former Legs Diamond guitarist Roger Romeo and Tony Glidewell in 1988, and finally in 1989 future Cold Sweat guitarist Erik Gamans. [16]

Reunion(s) (1991–2003)

In 1991, Mogg and Way decided to put a new UFO line-up together with former Wild Horses members Clive Edwards on drums and Laurence Archer on guitar joining 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 four shows into the tour, walking off stage mid-set at the very same Palo Alto venue where their October 1978 tour died. Thereafter, the other members again went their separate ways. [ citation needed ] 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. [17] and the official announcement was made in July 2003 [18] In 2003, Michael Schenker and Pete Way released The Plot with drummer Jeff Martin.

Vinnie Moore-era and return to chart success (2004–2017)

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. [19]

UFO released their 19th studio album, The Visitor , in June 2009, [20] and followed with a tour of the UK, but without Pete Way, who was suffering from a medical condition. [21] Bass tracks on The Visitor were 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 and 1982, as well as previously unreleased live songs.

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

By December 2010, UFO had been working on a twentieth studio album, which was supposed to be released in June 2011. [22] Titled Seven Deadly , [23] was released on 27 February 2012, with Lars Lehmann on bass, to almost universally good reviews and a higher chart position than The Visitor also charting in Germany, Sweden, and the Billboard indie charts. [24]

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, later renamed House Of X to perform their own material. Their eponymous album was released on 24 October 2014.

In 2013, Paul Raymond revealed that a new UFO album was in the works, but there was "no detailed talk of that yet." [25] The album, titled A Conspiracy of Stars , was released on 23 February 2015. [26]

On 10 September 2016, guitarist Vinnie Moore announced on Facebook that UFO were in the studio recording a covers album. [27] The album, titled The Salentino Cuts, was released on 29 September 2017. [28]

50th anniversary tour and retirement (2018–present)

In May 2018, vocalist Phil Mogg announced that UFO's 50th anniversary tour in 2019 will be his last one as the frontman of the band, who may also either split up or move on with a replacement for him. Mogg explained, "This decision has been a long time coming. I've considered stepping down at the end of UFO's previous two tours. I don't want to call this a farewell tour as I hate that word, but next year's gigs will represent my final tap-dancing appearances with the band." He added that "the timing feels right" for him to quit, and that "there will be a final tour of the U.K. and we will also play some shows in selected other cities that the band has a strong connection with. But outside of the U.K. this won't be a long tour." [4]

UFO at Cambridge, 22 March 2019. Last Orders Tour. UFO Cambridge 22-3-19.jpg
UFO at Cambridge, 22 March 2019. Last Orders Tour.

Longtime keyboardist and guitarist Paul Raymond died from a heart attack on April 13, 2019 at the age of 73. [29]


UFO have influenced a number of bands, such as Metallica, [5] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] Iron Maiden, [5] [30] [31] [32] [33] [35] [36] Judas Priest, [5] [35] [36] Def Leppard, [5] [30] [31] [33] [36] Dio, [5] [34] [35] [36] Scorpions, [5] [35] [36] Guns N' Roses, [5] [31] [32] [36] Megadeth, [5] [30] [34] [36] Slayer, [5] [31] [36] [37] Testament, [5] [31] [36] [38] [39] Anthrax, [5] [34] [35] [36] Overkill, [5] [35] [36] Iced Earth, [35] Anvil, [34] [35] Saxon, [35] [36] The Offspring, [5] [40] Alice in Chains, [5] [41] Pearl Jam, [5] [31] [32] Rage Against the Machine, [5] [31] [32] The Smashing Pumpkins, [5] [31] [32] Tesla, [5] [30] Dokken, [5] [30] Monster Magnet, [30] Voivod, [5] [30] [33] Bigelf, [33] Babylon A.D. [33] and Gun. [33]

Band members

Current members


Related Research Articles

<i>UFO 1</i> 1970 studio album by UFO

UFO 1 is the debut album by British rock band UFO. It was first released in the UK by Beacon Records in October 1970. The first US release was on Rare Earth Records in April 1971. Neither of these releases charted; however, the album did become a success in Germany and Japan.

<i>No Place to Run</i> 1980 studio album by UFO

No Place to Run is the eighth studio album by the British rock band UFO. It was released in January 1980 by Chrysalis Records. It is the first album to feature Paul Chapman who replaced Michael Schenker on lead guitar.

<i>Covenant</i> (UFO album) 2000 studio album / Live album by UFO

Covenant is the fifteenth album by the British hard rock band UFO. It was published as a limited edition 2-disc album, with disc 1, titled Covenant, containing entirely new material, and disc 2, titled Live USA, containing a collection of classics performed live. Covenant saw the return of Michael Schenker on guitar, as he had left the band in the middle of the Walk on Water tour.

<i>Phenomenon</i> (UFO album) 1974 studio album by UFO

Phenomenon is the third studio album by the British rock band UFO, released in May 1974.

<i>The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent</i> 1981 studio album by UFO

The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent is the ninth studio album by the British hard rock band UFO and the first to be entirely self-produced by the band. The song "Lonely Heart" was a minor UK hit single. The original cover was as usual designed by the art studio Hipgnosis. This is the band's first album with the former Wild Horses' keyboard player Neil Carter, replacing Paul Raymond, who had left to join the Michael Schenker Group.

<i>Misdemeanor</i> (UFO album) 1985 studio album by UFO

Misdemeanor is the twelfth studio album by the British hard rock band UFO. After the disastrous tour supporting Making Contact, UFO disbanded, with Phil Mogg spending time in Los Angeles, where he contacted guitarist Atomik Tommy M. Mogg decided to start a new band, involving the new American guitarist and Paul Gray, who had played bass guitar in the last UFO tour. The three of them recruited former UFO keyboard player Paul Raymond and drummer Robbie France and started writing new material. Chrysalis Records signed the new band as UFO and assigned experienced producer Nick Tauber for the recording process of a new album. France resigned before the recording started and was replaced by former Magnum drummer Jim Simpson. Paul Raymond quit the band during their US tour in August 1986 and was replaced for the rest of the tour by David Jacobson.

<i>You Are Here</i> (UFO album) 2004 studio album by UFO

You Are Here is the seventeenth studio album by the British hard rock band UFO, released in 2004 through the German label SPV/Steamhammer. This is the first album to feature new band members Vinnie Moore and Jason Bonham, who replaced long-time guitarist Michael Schenker and drummer Aynsley Dunbar.

<i>Walk on Water</i> (UFO album) 1995 studio album by UFO

Walk on Water is the fourteenth album from the British hard rock band UFO, marking the return of German guitarist Michael Schenker to the band. The album did not chart. It was recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, California. It was released first and only in Japan on 14 April 1995 with 11 tracks and in 1997 in other countries with only 10 tracks. It has since been re-released on numerous occasions, with a variety of covers.

<i>The Monkey Puzzle</i> (UFO album) 2006 studio album by UFO

The Monkey Puzzle is the eighteenth studio album by the British hard rock band UFO. It was released on 25 September 2006 in Europe and a day later in the United States. It also marks the return of founding drummer Andy Parker to the band and the last to feature founding bassist Pete Way.

The Plot was a heavy rock band formed in 2003 by bassist Pete Way and his long-time friend, guitarist Michael Schenker. The two wanted to form a band like UFO again and asked Phil Mogg and Andy Parker to regroup with them, but tension was still fiery between the ex-bandmates, although Way, Schenker and Mogg had been involved in recording as UFO for the album Sharks in 2002. So instead, Way and Schenker recruited drummer Jeff Martin. This band released one album, also entitled The Plot.

<i>Live on Earth</i> (UFO album) live album by UFO

Live on Earth is a live recording of the band UFO. It was recorded in Vienna, Austria in 1998 and features four-fifths of the reformed, classic line up of the band from the late 1970s with Simon Wright replacing Andy Parker on drums who had decided to run his family business rather than tour.

<i>The Visitor</i> (UFO album) 2009 studio album by UFO

The Visitor is the nineteenth studio album by the British hard rock band UFO, which was released on 2 June 2009. It was their first album in three years since the release of The Monkey Puzzle in 2006. Bass parts were recorded by Peter Pichl. Since there are no writing credits on the album booklet, they were posted on UFO's official website.


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