The other day I basically ransacked the various online stores I frequent, hunting for special offers. January and February are my busiest shopping months, simply because the various stores do their spring cleaning early, throwing out their stock to make space for the new year’s upcoming releases. These past years, a pattern began to emerge: January is clearance sale around the globe and end January and beginning February, at times, is extra clearing sale, getting rid of the stuff that wasn’t sold the weeks before.
So, I was clicking my way around the globe and I came across a name that I hadn’t heard for quite some years, UFO. It should come as no surprise to you regular readers that I decided to jump on this one, especially since it cost the equivalent of about two dollars (good for me, perhaps not good for the band, although the record label probably sold the copies at a fixed price).
I’ve written about my early infatuation with hard rock, heavy metal and the NWoBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) before, and if it hadn’t been for many of the friends I found at the Copenhagen International School, I would have probably never developed the steamy love for Judas Priest, The Scorpions, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, and the legion of other bands that populated that genre at the time, before and after.
UFO? I had one single UFO record to my name, “Obsession “, the last studio album by that legendary Moog/Schenker/Way/Parker/Raymond quintet, although that one already signaled the end of a great band. Of course I had heard all the classics before that album was released, but it was the only one I had. Naturally, I also had my share of Michael Schenker albums, especially because I thought he was a great guitarist that had a knack for writing interesting stuff as opposed to some of the slush that was out there at the time, but somehow I lost interest in all of the Scorpions/Schenker/UFO stuff relatively fast.
Well, two weeks ago I hit that “buy me, buy me now, buy me (at that price)” button and when the CD came, packaged with a ton of jazz CDs, it went to the back of my “must-listen-to” pile and started collecting dust fast. I didn’t even give it a cursory glance.
Today I had a load of housework to do and when I didn’t know what to throw on my boom box in the kitchen to accompany my early Valentine’s Massacre of cleaning away seemingly several weeks of unwashed dishes and cleaning out the cupboards I hadn’t touched for nearly a year, I grabbed “Walk on Water”, turned up the volume and … was surprised enough to get the job done in half the time.
Yes, compared to my current listening fare, it’s got its corny parts and stuff I wouldn’t have listened to voluntarily if you had paid me for it, but right there and then it was a damn good album. I found myself grooving to it while doing work I abhor, and that’s a lot to say for an album. I proceeded to rip it to my harddrive and have it running as I type this.
This album brought Michael Schenker back into the fold and today I relived some of the excitement I felt when I saw him live eons ago. Man, that guy has some powerful chords, some real drive and just a melodic feel that many others just didn’t and don’t have. Instantly recognizable … and good.
Yes, it’s not my music anymore, really, but listening to many of the tunes I was instantly 17 or 18 years old again, and for an hour my dishes were my best friends, flying in and out of the water, basically cleaning themselves.
Yes, Schenker returning to the mid-1970s lineup also means that not a damn thing seems to have changed and perhaps this one is only for the fans, but I do believe there’s nothing wrong with that at times. It’s nice to have one of those relapses, remembering the time when you thought this was perhaps the best stuff on the planet, defending it to friends who couldn’t care less, remembering the time when you affixed those silly patches to your jeans or worse, as in my case, your (brown … eek) corduroy jacket, hitting those concerts as they rolled into town, living it up to the max. Drinking more than you should have. All of that, plus more.You know what I mean.
That’s really what it was and is all about.
Hell, I spent an enjoyable evening with this CD and I really don’t know how often I’ll pull it down from my shelves, but it was certainly worth the little money I spent on it.