Hot 'N' Live
The Chrysalis Live Anthology 1974-1983

UFO

UFO’s furious brand of hard rock was a template for groups like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. Despite an impressive catalog, their real strength was on the concert stage, which is why 1978’s Strangers In The Night usually makes the short list for best live albums of the 70s. So it’s only fitting that the double CD Hot 'N' Live - The Chrysalis Live Anthology 1974-1983 should resonate. Indeed, this set offers a strange, enthralling take on both the Michael Schenker and Paul Chapman years with a tasty selection of the rare and no-so rare.

You can bet the first disc is Schenker on some of the band’s more obscure nuggets, like “Oh My” or “Prince Kujuku,” where the guitarist launches into the first of many of his wiry and adventurous solos. You can be sure lively work-outs of “Doctor Doctor” and “Rock Bottom” are here, but not before you get an earful of “Mother Mary,” “Highway Lady,” “Let It Roll” and “Lights Out.” So you have 15 tracks, seven different shows, 1974 through 1978, and Schenker on board. Yeah, it’s definitely worth a listen.

The first 10 songs on the second disc are from a 1980 performance at the Marquee in London with Paul Chapman, Schenker’s immediate replacement, assuming the guitar duties. The band slurries through a mix of newer tracks like “Lettin’ Go” and “Place To Run” and a range Schenker-era classics like “Only You Can Rock Me” and “Love To Love,” which Chapman handles with relative ease. The version of Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train,” which mimics the arrangement they featured on the No Place To Run album, is a hip-shaking rocker, while latter-day tracks like “When It’s Time To Rock” and “Blinded By A Lie,” sounding more like Def Leppard in some spots, attempt to distinguish themselves within a storied songbook.

On the whole, Hot 'N' Live - The Chrysalis Live Anthology 1974-1983, which includes new liner notes based on a recent interview with bassist and founding member Pete Way, offers a complete picture of what UFO was like in concert during their prime. Next to Strangers In The Night, this collection is plenty reason to believe UFO ranks as one of the great, unheralded hard rock bands of all time.

~ Shawn Perry

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