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The Visitor

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01 Saving Me
02 On The Waterfront
03 Hell Driver
04 Stop Breaking Down
05 Rock Ready
06 Living Proof
07 Can't Buy A Thrill
08 Forsaken
09 Villains & Thieves
10 Stranger In Town
For UFO, it’s always the audience who passes the final judgement on the quality of a song. Only when a number has proved its worth at a UFO gig, can Mogg and the rest of the band be confident that it will also stand the test of time. So the live situation always plays a decisive role in the back of the minds of UFO’s creative spirits when they start working on a new album. “The parameters for our new tracks are that they have to work live,” he explains the selection criteria applied to the material on The Visitor, which UFO are planning to tour with extensively this year. “So clear arrangements, catchy melodies and a certain energy are required – all elements which we paid attention to when we worked on The Visitor.” The new UFO album will be out at the end of May 2009 on Steamhammer/SPV and includes almost a dozen new compositions.

The three original band members, Phil Mogg (vocals), Andy Parker (drums) and Paul Raymond (guitar, keyboards) plus American world-class guitarist Vinnie Moore composed more than 35 tracks for their latest album (bass player and original member Pete Way is currently suffering from a liver disease and was unfortunately not available for the studio production), 13 of which were thoroughly tested at an intensive meeting in Hannover, Germany before they were arranged in detail and rehearsed. Drums and bass parts were recorded immediately afterwards at the Area 51 Studio in Celle, while Paul Raymond contributed rhythm guitar and keyboards in London and Vinnie Moore put down additional rhythm guitar parts as well as the guitar solos in Delaware, USA.

When Phil Mogg travelled to Area 51 in February 2009 to record his vocal parts, the tracks already featured clearly defined outlines. “All those who have been into UFO for a long time will find all our characteristic trademarks on The Visitor, and anybody new to the band will enjoy our enthusiasm and dynamism,” frontman Phil Mogg enthuses on the subject of the new songs. The Visitor sees the band benefiting especially from their collaboration with Vinnie Moore, who joined UFO in autumn 2003 and has made an excellent impression on the albums, You Are Here (2004) and The Monkey Puzzle (2006), and on the band’s tours. Mogg: “Without running down previous UFO line-ups – it’s been a long time since we had a team as strong as this one. Vinnie contributes his energy and amazing guitar technique, and in Andy’s return we’ve seen the reappearance of a musician who has always been very important to the band’s original sound.”

So it’s no surprise that The Visitor features the same musicality and energy which UFO fans have come to cherish from the band’s tours in the past five years. Traditional rock music that could hardly sound more classic, with gritty hooks, Vinnie Moore’s powerful riffs and leads, and Phil Mogg’s lyrics full of eccentric humour, as well as a talent for observation and occasionally great depth.

The new tracks will undergo their baptism of fire soon after the release of the album, because the band are scheduled to embark on a major world tour this year. Concert dates will be announced soon, and appearances at the Rock Hard festival at the end of May and the Wacken Open Air at the end of July/beginning of August 2009 have been confirmed.

There are even more stories about UFO than they’ve composed songs. Any band who have been in the music business for 40 years are bound to have experienced difficult times, but also dazzling successes and spectacular events. UFO’s success story began in London way back in 1969, when vocalist Phil Mogg, drummer Andy Parker, guitarist Mick Bolton and bassist Pete Way formed the group, borrowing the band name from a legendary London music club. Even in the Seventies, the band distinguished themselves with their very own, unmistakable style, touching a nerve among their growing following with rock numbers like ‘Prince Kajuku’, ‘Follow You Home’ or ‘C’mon Everybody’ from their albums UFO 1, Flying and UFO Live.

The global breakthrough arrived when German guitarist, Michael Schenker, joined the fold in 1973, having left his band Scorpions to follow an offer by Phil Mogg and Pete Way. UFO released three consecutive rock classics with Schenker (Phenomenon (1974), Force It (1975) and No Heavy Pettin’ (1976)), featuring classics like ‘Doctor Doctor’, ‘Shoot, Shoot’, or ‘Rock Bottom’. Following the arrival of keyboarder/rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond, UFO released their two studio albums Lights Out (1977) and Obsession (1978), including the hit singles ‘Too Hot To Handle’, ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Only You Can Rock Me’. Their live cut Strangers In The Night came out in 1979 and is referred to by the press to this day as one of the best live releases of all time, while also signalling the end of the Mogg, Way, Schenker, Parker & Raymond line-up.

The reorganised band underwent fifteen years marked by various eras and numerous line-up changes. To everyone’s surprise, autumn 1993 saw the return of the former UFO line-up consisting of Mogg, Way, Schenker, Parker and Raymond. This new edition of the classic team brought out Walk On Water, their first joint effort after one and a half decades, and embarked on a world tour. However, Schenker left UFO during the Walk On Water tour again to continue working with his own group, MSG, while Mogg & Way went on to release their second album, Chocolate Box. The UFO albums Covenant and Sharks, recorded by Mogg, Way and Schenker, arrived at the stores in 2000 and 2002. Vinnie Moore went on to follow in Schenker’s footsteps, who had returned to MSG, recording the songs on You Are Here with Jason Bonham. During the subsequent world tour, UFO cut a show in Germany, which was later released on the live album, Showtime, and the same-named DVD featuring additional bonus material. Later, Bonham made his farewells to join Foreigner and was on The Monkey Puzzle (2006) replaced by UFO’s original drummer, Andy Parker.
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