UFO – Showtime

UFO - Showtime


Release date: November 8, 2005

User Review
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It would be hard to imagine that the England based band UFO hasn’t touched, or even had a small part in, every Metal Express Radio fan’s musical background. UFO was started in London by vocalist Phil Mogg and bassist Pete Way, who even today still remain in the band some thirty-six years after its incarnation. Some would say the band reached its apex with German guitarist Michael Schenker at the helm, releasing such classics as Lights Out and Obsession. Twenty-five years after Schenker originally left the band (even since then making three subsequent, flirtatious reunions with the band in 1995, 2000, and 2002) the surviving members have been searching for that elusive, once again crowd-pleasing, magical line-up.

In 2004, Moog, Way and keyboardist Paul Raymond drafted Shred, Neo-Classical guitarist Vinnie Moore and iconic Rock drummer Jason Bonham (son, of course, of Led Zeppelin’s late, great drummer, John Bonham). The new quintet released a studio album in 2004 entitled You Are Here, which was acceptable, but not stellar. Now the same newly formed quintet is attempting a feat that might rank equally as stellar by releasing their second album as a live CD (and companion DVD … sold separately) entitled Showtime.

There’s no doubt, by anyone’s standards, that the legendary UFO live album containing Moog, Way, Schenker, Raymond, and drummer Andy Parker … entitled Strangers In The Night and released in 1979 … is still one of the top classic live offerings by any Rock or Heavy Metal band ever! Over UFO’s long thirty-six year history, several live offerings have been released, but not a one coming even close to making the impact that Strangers In The Night has. The initial obvious question is can the band release a new live offering and not draw immediate comparisons to that 1979 opus? The answer, quite frankly, is they can’t, especially when the double live CD offering is composed only of new material from You Are Here, and live versions of tracks made famous by Schenker on the Strangers release.

It’s not that the band put in an awful performance; it’s just that the performance itself doesn’t seem to dispel the energy felt on Strangers. Jason Bonham provides a solid backbeat, which is nicely recorded and contains a nice, crisp, ambient sound (check out the start of “Fighting Man”). While Vinnie Moore is challenged with trying to make some Schenker classics his own. While Vinnie plays some nice fluid solos, don’t expect to hear the Neo-Classical Shred tirades that Vinnie is famous for on his solo efforts. In fact, Vinnie sounds somewhat restrained or confined, as he is justifiably restricted to playing within the structures and bounds of the established live classics. Even on the two utmost live UFO guitarist classics, Lights Out and Rock Bottom, Vinnie’s fluidity can’t capture that Strangers energy or magic.

Bottom line, if you’re a diehard UFO fan, or a Vinnie Moore enthusiast, then by all means buy this live offering, but don’t expect it to take the place of Strangers Of The Night on your CD rack. Just go into the initial listening by taking it at face value … as impossible a feat as that might sound. It just seems that the senior members of UFO, along with the youth and mastery of Bonham and Moore haven’t found that winning, “magical combination” yet. Fans can only remain hopeful that they do, as it would be a crime if a band as talented as this quintet didn’t leave a meaningful mark on Rock’s history.

P.S. Stay tuned for Metal Express Radio’s forthcoming review of the companion DVD!


CD 1:
Mother Mary * When Daylight Goes To Town * Let It Roll * I’m A Loser * This Kids * The Wild One * Fighting Man * Only You Can Rock Me * Baby Blue * Mr. Freeze

CD 2:
Love To Love * Too Hot To Handle * Lights Out * Rock Bottom * Doctor Doctor * Shoot Shoot


Phil Moog – Lead Vocals
Pete Way – Bass
Paul Raymond – Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Vinnie Moore – Guitar
Jason Bonham – Drums, Vocals


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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