U.F.O. “Strangers in the Night”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#304 in the Series and #22 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is UFO, Strangers in the Night.

UFO, Strangers in the Night has long been considered one of the best live hard rock albums.  I’d love to know how much money I spent on live albums from 1975 to 1979!  I know I had Lynyrd Skynyd, REO, Frampton, Genesis, The Outlaws, Rush, Nils Lofgren, Thin Lizzy etc. All from that short period. It was really a fun era.

The best thing about this live album is that UFO chose the exact proper time to release it. They absolutely nailed it. It was after the  “Lights Out” and “Obsession” albums  and before the great Michael Schenker turned over the lead guitar duties to lefty, Paul Raymond.

UFO was always known for their tight playing and great hard rock musicianship. I always felt there was one thing even more important to their success. That was that they wrote rock songs with some killer melodies. The melodies were terrific.  Are there any better rock melodies than “Lights Out, Doctor Doctor,” or “Let it Roll?”

I had a chance to see UFO a couple years before this tour. It was at the Hammond Civic Center in Indiana.  They were touring with Cheap Trick.   UFO was the headliners for the tour.  Cheap Trick had a huge Chicago area following so they flipped the acts for this show. Let’s just say that UFO wasn’t all that thrilled about it!!  I had tickets behind the stage in this raised area.  Some idiot got brave and tried to get on the stage from the side. We could see it clearly from our seats. We also could see quite clearly the ‘tune-up’ he got from Hammond’s finest off duty cops.  I’m sure he wouldn’t try that again!

See the notes below regarding the re-release and the different set listings.

UFO, Strangers in the Night Peaked at #79 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart.

Album Cover and artwork were again provided by HipGnosis

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Original LP track listing

Side One

  1. “Natural Thing” (Schenker/Mogg/Way) – 3:57
  2. “Out In The Street” (Way/Mogg) – 5:07
  3. “Only You Can Rock Me” (Way/Schenker/Mogg) – 4:08
  4. “Doctor Doctor” (Schenker/Mogg) – 4:42

Side Two

  1. “Mother Mary” (Schenker/Mogg/Way/Parker) – 3:25
  2. “This Kid’s” (Schenker/Mogg) – 5:11
  3. “Love To Love” (Schenker/Mogg) – 7:58

Side Three

  1. “Lights Out” (Schenker/Mogg/Parker/Way) – 5:23
  2. “Rock Bottom” (Schenker/Mogg) – 11:08

Side Four

  1. “Too Hot To Handle” (Way/Mogg) – 4:26
  2. “I’m A Loser” (Schenker/Mogg) – 4:13
  3. “Let It Roll” (Schenker/Mogg) – 4:48
  4. “Shoot Shoot” (Schenker/Mogg/Way/Parker) – 4:07

Personnel

  • Michael Schenker – guitar
  • Phil Mogg – vocals
  • Andy Parker – drums
  • Paul Raymond – rhythm guitar, keyboards
  • Pete Way – bass
  • Ron Nevison – producer
  • HipGnosis – album cover

This is the track listing from the 1999 reissue. More songs are added and some are rearranged. This mix is what the shows looked like in 78  and 79

Reissue track listing

  1. “Hot ‘N’ Ready” (Schenker/Mogg) – 3:26
  2. “Cherry” (Way/Mogg) – 3:44
  3. “Let It Roll” (Schenker/Mogg) – 4:48
  4. “Love To Love” (Schenker/Mogg) – 7:58
  5. “Natural Thing” (Schenker/Mogg/Way) – 3:57
  6. “Out In The Street” (Way/Mogg) – 5:07
  7. “Only You Can Rock Me” (Way/Schenker/Mogg) – 4:08
  8. “Mother Mary” (Schenker/Mogg/Way/Parker) – 3:25
  9. “This Kid’s” (Schenker/Mogg) – 5:11
  10. “Doctor Doctor” (Schenker/Mogg) – 4:42
  11. “I’m A Loser” (Schenker/Mogg) – 4:13
  12. “Lights Out” (Schenker/Mogg/Parker/Way) – 5:09
  13. “Rock Bottom” (Schenker/Mogg) – 11:22
  14. “Too Hot To Handle” (Way/Mogg) – 4:26
  15. “Shoot Shoot” (Schenker/Mogg/Way/Parker) – 4:07

 

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Posted by Larry Carta

3 Comments

  1. coachmaddog (06 Mar 2011, 9:28)
    Reply

    Ah, the fave band from my teen years. My first concert.
    Why did you have to mention those schlock bands, though? REO, Frampton, Skynyrd, Outlaws?

  2. Larry Carta (06 Mar 2011, 11:27)
    Reply

    Why did I mention them? For One. REO and the Outlaws live albums were early in their careers. They were indeed, very good albums.

    And Frampton? Yeah, that was a good album, very good. It became so popular that people often scoff at it now. But I’ll take the ex-Humble Pie guys work anytime.

    Skynyrd..in ’76? schlock? Gimme a Break.

  3. matsellah (19 Jan 2012, 0:18)
    Reply

    Larry, I was at that Hammond show! I remember seeing the cops go after somebody… and the snow storm and having to sit on a rubber mat protecting the basketball court and being blown away by both UFO and CT. Can’t clearly recall the opening local act, but then a lot of things aren’t clear anymore. In fact, this UFO/CT concert was only my second (I was 16) and it’s still one of the best in memory. Thanks for jogging it.



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