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UFO - Obsession (1978)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Khor1255, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Khor1255

    Khor1255 Senior Member

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    Obsession is my favorite Schenker era album with numerous examplkes of fantastic guitar work coupled with readily accesible songwriting. The only reason I can think that this album didn't become extremely well known outside hard rock circles is that so much great music was done the same year this album was introduced and it just got lost in the mix.
    It's also a little unbalanced because it has true to the core hard rock (even heavy metalish) songs that stand out but is mainly populated by songs approaching on power pop or straight up pop music. A curious formula Shenker would continue in his early solo offerings.

    [​IMG]

    The personel:

    Phil Mogg - vocals
    Michael Schenker - guitar, flute on Arbory Hill
    Paul Raymond - rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals
    Pete Way - bass
    Andy Parker - drums

    1. Only You Can Rock Me (Pete Way, Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg) – 4:08 An ok if highly predictable power popper. I like the overlapping vocals and really the contrast between verse and refrain but otherwise I find this one a little uninspired. I think this may have been an attempt at a radio friendly song from a band better suited for the concert arena.

    2. Pack It Up (And Go) (Way, Schenker, Mogg) – 3:14 I always wondered what the sales on this album might have looked like if this sone or 'You Don't Fool Me' would have kicked the album off. I firmly believe that the first song on an album is very important because with it you make or break the short attention span crowd that often might be your only shot at attracting a new fan. It starts off with a thunderingly recorded beat that breaks into Schenker excellence in short order. The slow lead playing during the verses and generally pleasing menace of the vocal line make this a truly heavy yet easy to listen to song. The lead is pure Shenker with his superb use of clarity and mud interaction throughout.
    Fantastic tune. One of the very best from the Shenker era of UFO.

    3. Arbory Hill (Schenker) – 1:1 This one is rather inorganic to the rest of the album. It's kind of a melody excercise or song part more than a song in it's own right. I often thought it would make a cool, intro to maybe a really heavy or a multi faceted work but by itself it rings a little hollow to me. Very pleasing to the ear and short enough not to really annoy someone looking for real UFO fun but kind of a weird fit for this album (or band to be honest). More a Shenker solo piece than a UFO song.

    4. Ain't No Baby (Mogg, Paul Raymond - originally Way, Mogg) – 3:58 My God how I used to hate this song when I was an undiluted rivethead. Thankfully I've grown to appreciate the songwriters craft and broadened my horizons enough to hear the pop beauty of this one. I particularly love the refrain because it really sounds like something you'd say to a chick who treats you like a second class citizen (and if you were a UFO fan when this album came out you probably were). It's beautiful and kicks a little ass along the way.

    5. Lookin' Out for No. 1 (Mogg, Raymond - originally Way, Mogg) – 4:34 Another weird quasi pop song but not without a little merit of it's own. It kind of comes off as one of those adult contemporary tunes of the 60s or early 70s but has enough cool guitar to remind you (sort of) who is really bringing it here. Not really bad, but miles below the really cool tracks on this album unless maybe you are more inclined to power pop or adult contemporary.

    6. Hot 'n' Ready (Schenker, Mogg) – 3:16 I know I'm going to catch hell for saying this but I never got with this tune. At the risk of turning this review in to a condemnation of the band I won't say too much here. Power pop yes. Easily accessible yes. Good song.......

    7. Cherry (Way, Mogg) – 3:34 I used to feel the same way about Cherry as I feel about Hot and Ready: not bad but not good either. Now I find myself really digging this tune. It tells of a lamenting almost pining for a girl most of us guys have felt at one time or another. It is neither agrandizing or degrading to the fairer sex jus an honest desire song with a very catchy bass line/main theme. Hat's off to Pete Way for this one. A little unbalanced for the heavy hitters on this album but with a few other songs like You Don't Fool Me it could have easily worked as a contrast/break song.


    8. You Don't Fool Me (Raymond, Andy Parker, Mogg - originally Way, Parker, Mogg) – 3:23 OK, I've been gassing on about this tune through the whole review so it might not be a big surprise that it is one of the two best (if not the best) song on this album to me. God bless Paul Raymond if this was his idea. What Schenkar does here is nothing short of brilliant with lead pieces interjected into the verses with a quality reminicent of Steve Howe's work in 'Turn of The Century' or harkening to Randy's later work in SATO. This song kicks so much ass it really needs to be heard to be appreciated. Love the lyric, love the singing, the guitar work is...well....gear.

    9. Lookin' Out for No. 1 (Reprise) (Schenker, Raymond) – 1:14 Another weird break I find largely out of place in this album especially following a song like 'You Don't Fool Me'. It's ok but smacks of space filler rather than a really well thought out piece in it's own right.

    10. One More for the Rodeo (Way, Mogg) – 3:45 I would say this song is up to par with the best this album has to offer but in a rather understated way. It's a good ride but I always kind of expected it to go somewhere a little more profound or heavy. Sounds like something intentionally crafted for a radio audience but not a bad tune at all.

    11. Born to Lose (Schenker, Mogg, Raymond - originally Schenker, Way, Mogg) – 3:31 It might be sappy, it might be a little self indulgent but I really like this tune for some reason. The singing is really cool and evokes a true emotion. The overall song is high quality but again a little funny on the same album that contains 'Pack it up and Go' and 'You Don't Fool Me'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  2. LOU/REALM

    LOU/REALM Senior Member

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    Re: UFO Obsession (1978)

    I like this album Khor ....not their best...Phenomenon ,and the "live" album takes some beating, but its up there . Must admit if I was reviewing it, I would have trouble criticising it......overall Id give it 7 out of 10.:cheers2
    How much do you mark it Khor ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  3. Khor1255

    Khor1255 Senior Member

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    Re: UFO Obsession (1978)

    7/10 is about fair. I had a strong feeling my review would come off as too negative but my own experience was treating this album like a two song demo while panning the rest for about the first 15 years I owned it so....

    I really like the album. I would not have reviewed it otherwise and I agree about Strangers in the Night. It IS the best Shenker era album. But, as I said this is my favorite Shenker era studio album.
     
  4. Nololob

    Nololob Long Live Wock 'n' Woll

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    Re: UFO Obsession (1978)

    I do have a vinyl record including a large poster, but haven't listened to it. I might listen to it later.
     
  5. LOU/REALM

    LOU/REALM Senior Member

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    Re: UFO Obsession (1978)

    Strangely enough my favorite Michael Schencker material was the debut SCORPIONS album "Lonesome Crow " and the U.F.O album I have already mentioned "Phenomenon". Schenkers on fire on these albums and to think he was so young....a teenager.......not that Michael deteriated as a guitarist :heheh: he is one of Rocks finest :grinthumb
     
  6. Khor1255

    Khor1255 Senior Member

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    Re: UFO Obsession (1978)

    Yeah, the first Scorps album is also my favorite Schenker work. I really dig Phoenominon as well. I may have to get a copy since it has been decades since I lost that cassette in the woods.
     
  7. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Re: UFO Obsession (1978)

    Nice write up! I enjoyed the read. I was very excited to hear it was your favorite album but upon reading through it,you seemed to have a problem with alot of the music.

    Not sure how that could end up being your favorite, but I admire your honesty for sure.

    I have always liked Only You Can Rock Me. The over lay in the vocals as well as the rest of it. A perfect top notch easy as it gets hard rock pop hit.

    The rest of Obsession? I agree with you here. It's my favorite UFO album and one I reach for the most. :cheers2
     
  8. muzik_guy

    muzik_guy Certified Music Geek

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    Re: UFO Obsession (1978)

    A brilliant album & easily my favorite UFO album. Pure class is what this album is. It's an intelligent, dynamic & perfectly paced record that I'd be hard pressed to find a flaw in. Maybe the only slightly weak tracks would be Hot 'n Ready or Born To Lose but even those are impressive. A 9.5 out of 10.
     
  9. Rockperson

    Rockperson Senior Member

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    Nice review of an excellent UFO album, not my favourite of theirs, that would be the awesome Force It.
     
  10. scarabus

    scarabus Member

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    Indeed this is an excellent album, but I also prefer Force It.

    Rockperson your Avatar reminds me of the good old days.
    When I heard one track of that album, I had to have it.
     

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