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Now Hear This: UFO | Strangers In The Night Deluxe Edition

I'm getting caught up on the good albums that have come out lately. Like this one.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: UFO’s Strangers in The Night is regarded by many as one of the greatest live albums of all time, it captured the band at the peak of their powers. The original two-LP album released in January 1979 was recorded over six shows during their 1978 American tour, now for the first time, all of the shows are being made available along with the original album in an eight CD deluxe editions.

The full shows from Chicago, Kenosha, Youngstown, Cleveland, Columbus and Louisville have been re-mixed by Richard Whittaker and remastered by Andy Pearce from the original tapes. The package also contains new sleeve notes by Michael Hann featuring new interviews with vocalist Phil Mogg, drummer Andy Parker and one-time UFO guitarist Michael Schenker. The recent untimely passing of both bass player and founding member Pete Way and keyboard player/rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond gives this new box set an added poignancy.

Says Phil Mogg: “We had the right combination. And we were having a wild time. We seemed to score in the oddest places. Chicago was great for us, wonderful. San Francisco, which is the opposite kind of place, was great for us. They were two totally different cities. It was fun — we leaned heavily on that word. We had a great time.” Adds Andy Parker: “It feels like our defining record, and it always will do. We were at our peak and never quite achieved that status again. We were at the apex of our career, and it just exemplifies the band. It will always be my favourite.”

In 1978, UFO were on an upward trajectory helped by Ron Nevison, who came on board as producer for Lights Out in 1977 and then stayed on for Obsession the following year. But what was missing was the single record that summed up everything great about UFO. Other hard rock bands of the time — notably Thin Lizzy and Cheap Trick — had defined themselves by putting out live albums, and UFO followed suit with Strangers In The Night.

The recordings included in this deluxe edition capture a band where every member is on top of their game — Parker’s drumming is commanding, Way’s bass playing propulsive, Raymond fills the songs with detail, Mogg sings perfectly and Schenker forges his reputation as a guitar hero. Strangers In The Night is not an album any fan of rock music can ever tire of. It will endure as long as people picking up electric guitars, plugging them into amps, and turning up the volume. It’s as exciting as rock ’n’ roll gets.”

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