Our Top 10 UFO Songs list takes a look at a band first formed in the late 1960s in the city of London. As the band has lasted for fifty years, they currently stand as one of the longest-running bands in classic rock history. As a group that has continued to release new music over that fifty-year period, they are by no means an oldies act. Many fans, critics and journalists feel that the band UFO stands as one of the most prolific and at the same time, underrated bands in classic rock history. Their early material in 1968 was clearly inspired by blues and the British Progressive Rock movement. However, their sound since the 1970s has always bordered metal and heavy rock with a reasonable amount of beautiful rock and roll ballads.
Phil Mogg’s vocals continue to showcase his talents as one of rock and roll’s greatest singers. Michael Schenker’s on and of again role in the band over the years has resulted in a catalog of brilliant guitar work showcased on so many UFO songs and albums. Andy Parker, Pete Way, Vinnie Moore, and Paul Raymond are other key members who have contributed to the UFO legacy over the years. The band has gone through many personal changes over the years.
UFO’s first album was released in 1968. Since their debut album in 1968, the band has released 22 albums. The band’s most recent album was released in 2017 entitled The Salentino Cuts. Our top 10 UFO Songs list is just a subjective list of our favorite UFO songs. It’s difficult to pick only ten, but that’s the name of the game.
# 10 – Love To Love
We open our top 10 UFO Songs list with a track from what we believe is one of the band’s strongest albums. The song “Love To Love,” was released on the Lights Out album in 1977. The song “Love to Love,” was the album’s closing track. The cover art to the album was designed by the graphic art company Hipgnosis who were also responsible for designing so many of the classic Pink Floyd album covers.
# 9 – Lonely Heart
The UFO song “Lonely Heart,” was released on the The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent album. The album was released in 1981. “Lonely Heart,” was released as the second single from the album.
# 8 – Silver Bird
The great Progressive Rock style track “Silver Bird,” was released on the band’s sophomore album. The band sounded very different on their first two albums. Our top 10 songs lists always attempt to define different periods in a band’s history. We think it’s important to identify UFO’s sound during their early stages. It’s also a pretty good song.
# 7 – Shake It About
Continuing with the band’s early years, we turn to their debut album in 1968. The song “Shake it About,” defines one of the groups earliest influences. Like so many other rock and roll bands that came out of the 60s period like The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, it was the blues that laid down an early foundation to the band’s sound.
# 6 – Year Of The Gun
This great track is the most recent UFO song to appear on our top 10 UFO Songs list. “Year of the Gun,” was released on the album Seven Deadly. The album was released in 2012. This one has a bit of a heavy almost southern rock sound to the arrangement. Even the lyrics lend themself to the southern rock styles of bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band and Molly Hatchet.
# 5 – Can You Roll Her
Released on No Heavy Petting in 1976. The song “Can You Roll Her,” was issued as the first single from the album. It was a single released only in Japan. This is classic UFO and sounds very different from the last song on our UFO songs list. We love the sound of the keyboards banging against the guitar licks on this legendary song.
# 4 – Doctor Doctor
One of the most popular songs the band has ever released. “Doctor Doctor,” was issued on the band’s third album entitled Phenomenon. The album was released in 1974. It was the first album that virtuous guitarist Michael Schenker appeared on. This one has a bit of 1960s progressive rock feel to it at the song’s intro but then explodes into that dynamic 70s classic rock sound.
# 3 – Let It Roll
Released on the album Force It in 1975. It was the album’s opening track. “Let It Roll,” was also the B-side to the single “High Flyer.” Love that feedback on the song’s opening note. The album cover for Force It was banned in many countries.
# 2 – Rock Bottom
The great track “Rock Bottom,” appeared on the Phenomenon album in 1974. It was the third single released from the album. This one starts out with a killer guitar riff by Michael Schenker that is bathed in blues meets metal. The song closed out side one of the lp. The album featured Phil Mogg on vocals, Andy Parker on drums, Pete Way on bass and Michael Schenker on guitar.
# 1 – Lights Out
We close out our Top 10 UFO songs list with the title track from the fabulous Lights Out album. Four singles were released from the Lights Out album. “Lights Out,” was not one of them. It doesn’t matter, it’s still our favorite UFO song. The song was written by Phil Mogg, Michael Schenker, Pete Way, and Andy Parker.
By Frank Schwichtenberg [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 UFO Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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