UFO – Phenomenon

ARTIST: UFO                             220px-UFO_album_Phenomenon

TITLE: Phenomenon

YEAR RELEASED: 1974

CHART ACTION: #202

SINGLES: Doctor Doctor

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Space Child, Rock Bottom, Oh My

LINEUP: Phil Mogg, Michael Schenker, Pete Way, Andy Parker

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After a lackluster career as proggy-space-rockers, UFO finds a teenage Michael Schenker, and immediately becomes listenable and interesting.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: UFO had been dropped and all but forgotten when they hired a teenage Michael Schenker as their guitarist, and, well, that was a coup and a half.

Still showing some proggy and spacy tendencies, the band incorporates Schenker and his presence infuses the band with sparks and smoke. That was much needed after boring people to death from 1970-72.

“Oh My” and “Doctor Doctor” are fine slabs of 70’s rock, and other tracks are good enough, but damn, this has “Rock Bottom”, which, if you haven’t heard it, you must drop everything now and take a listen. It’s…smoldering and should have been all over FM radio in the day. The riff is genius. Genius!

NOTES & MINUTIAE: I’m going to rant about Chrysalis Records here. This album isn’t on Google Play, but it’s on Spotify. Fine and dandy, at least it’s out there. But why pick and choose, especially when other stuff is streaming on Google.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. An interesting single + B-side that introduced Schenker to the masses, and BBC sessions, etc.

GRADE: B+:  Worth it just for “Rock Bottom”, but it’s decent to good hard 70’s rock all through.

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