söndag 21 februari 2016

UFO - Phenomen (Klassiker UK 1974)

280:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Klassiker inklusive "Doctor Doctor" m.fl. Mini LP'n gavs ut 2005 och senare utgåvor finns inte. Svår att hitta.)

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

This was the third studio album and the debut on Chrysalis. UFO left their blues-based "space rock" sound behind, in part due to the presence of new guitarist Michael Schenker. The album was produced by Leo Lyons, bassist of British rock group Ten Years After. All tracks were recorded at Morgan Studios in London. The original cover design and photos were produced by Hipgnosis.

Guitarist Michael Schenker's impact upon UFO's career cannot be overestimated. Before the German teenager's arrival (he was only 19 when he jumped ship from the Scorpions), the British rockers' early albums of half-baked space rock had been completely ignored everywhere but Japan. 

But with Schenker on board, the group's sound would receive a well-needed attitude injection, veering toward the Anglo-hard rock style that would make them famous. That is not to say that their first collaboration, Phenomenon, was an instant home run. Quite the contrary, as the band seemed a tad wary of giving Schenker's more aggressive style complete freedom to roam, reining in the budding guitar hero just enough to stunt the impact of promising rockers like "Oh My and "Too Young to Know."

Likewise, "Time on My Hands" and "Crystal Light" are bogged down in excessive acoustic guitars, while "Space Child" shows glimpses of their failed space rock past. And one need only look at standout track "Doctor Doctor" for further proof of the group's uncertainties. 

Later a mandatory concert staple, and still beloved as one of the fans favorite songs, the original version featured here doesn't even have what you'd call finished lyrics, and packs none of the fire eventually immortalized by the absolute monster performance captured on 1979's Strangers in the Night. 

In fact, the only moment in which Phenomenon truly ignites is during the positively scorching "Rock Bottom," already a Schenker tour de force even here. Ultimately, Phenomenon amply manages to hold its own, but only hints at what was still to come.

01."Too Young to Know" (Way, Mogg) - 3:10
02."Crystal Light" (Schenker, Mogg) - 3:47
03."Doctor Doctor" (Schenker, Mogg) - 4:10
04."Space Child" (Schenker, Mogg) - 4:01
05."Rock Bottom" (Schenker, Mogg) - 6:32
06."Oh My" (Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg, Pete Way, Andy Parker) - 2:28
07."Time on My Hands" (Schenker, Mogg) - 4:10
08."Built for Comfort" (Willie Dixon) - 3:01
09."Lipstick Traces" (Schenker) - 2:20 (instrumental)
10."Queen of the Deep" (Schenker, Mogg) - 5:49