SFK review ....

Mogg/Way: Edge of the World (Roadrunner/Shrapnel, 1997, A)

The cover of this CD is quite clever if you look closely at it, a magazine sitting on a table has UFO prominently displayed. I have to be upfront with you dear reader, IMO UFO is the best hard rock band ever. Yep, they are above the better known Thin Lizzy, Rainbow, Deep Purple or any countless others that play in that style. No group has consistently brought out melodic hard rock at the level of the group itself and the offshoots. I can only think of one dud in their whole catalog and that was an album of demo, Ain't Misbehavin'. Michael Schenker is one of the all time great guitar players, very few are as expressive on the strings. His work with his own band MSG, the Scorpions and UFO is above reproach. Bass player Pete Way's Waysted put out some high quality albums and launched Danny Vaughn (Tyketto) onto other good works. Phil Mogg, the singer has just about the best voice in hard rock and writes equally clever lyrics. They're always catchy but never cliched. This album comes out under the Mogg/Way banner because apparently Schenker owns the UFO name now after the original lineup reunion a few years back. It may say Mogg/Way, it is definitely UFO. On this album the boys work with axe slinger George Bellas, who puts on a good performance, not quite Schenker, but then few others even get close. Skin basher of some note Aynsley Dunbar (Journey, Jefferson Starship, others) is also present. The combination brings forward a great album - for those familiar with UFO then run out and pick this one up, you won't be disappointed. Not a single glance towards grunge on this one. It is a bit heavier in places than traditional UFO, but without being a detriment. The other noteable difference from most UFO albums is the backup vocals which are usually not as prominent as those used here. The classic style is still present on most songs - foot tapping, sing along hard rock without dropping into noise. The production emphasizes Mogg's vocals and the guitar playing. In all honesty I like every song and can't find a track that's not up to snuff. A cover of the old UFO chestnut "Mother Mary" is present. Best bets are "Change Brings A Change", "Saving Me From Myself", "All Out of Luck", and "Spell On You". My only complaint is the packaging, it would have been nice to have a lyric sheet. Without a doubt one of my top 10 of 1997.


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