Metal Express Rating: 8.0/10
Release Date: 2014-02-02
by: SCOTT JESLIS
Email: scott (at) metalexpressradio (dot) com
UK Author Neil Daniels has to be the busiest author of Rock and Heavy Metal related books in modern day literature as it seems like he puts out more than half a dozen of these books on the subject yearly! Neil’s current work hitting the markets is entitled High Stakes & Dangerous Men: The UFO Story which is the “unauthorized biography” of one of Britain’s most famous Rock bands, UFO.
There’s always some trepidation in picking up a book that’s implied to be “unauthorized” as it leads to questions as to whether the information contained within is true or factual. Don’t let that term influence your decision to buy this book as this material should be considered the “paperback portal” to all things UFO. The material compiled by Daniels was done through extensive research using pre-existing interviews, with documented references, as well as first hand interviews he conducted.
This compact, 8.5” x 5.5” (22cm x 14cm) book comes in at 234 pages with eight pages of color photos, a detailed UK discography, and bibliography as well as notes pages. The foreword is written by American broadcaster and author Eddie Trunk, a huge UFO fan, and the afterword supplied by British Rock journalist Peter Makowski.
Each chapter follows the band’s history in chronological order starting with the year 1969 and ending with 2013. During each era Daniels supplies a rundown of that era’s albums by UFO as well as a short synopsis of his take on each track. He even goes into mentioning re-releases and the bonus tracks they contain. Also covered are any rumors that might have been thrown about at that time, just enough to make one say “hmm”. The topics are even more enlightened by feedback from managers and producers the band has worked with as well as covering all the line-up changes, some of which many will find surprising.
When all is said and done Daniels has truly supplied fans with an “ultimate” recap of UFO’s history. It’ll be challenging for even an avid fan to read this from cover to cover and not be surprised by something he or she didn’t know. Minimally, all readers will feel compelled to pull out and listen to some of their UFO albums just to see if they agree with Daniels’ perspective. Many will surely feel the need to seek out some of the band’s obscure material mentioned, like some of the live recordings and re-releases with bonus tracks, that they probably did not know about.
The book lists for the US price of $21.95 and can be purchased on-line at Soundcheck Books’ website and many on-line book retailers and if you’re a UFO fan you’d do well to seek out a copy!