I recently listened to one of UFO's most highly rated albums with Michael Schenker on guitar, the general concensus on Amazon was that it was far superior to the band's other work and as I didn't think a great deal to it, I almost gave up on the band altogether, just to check I wasn't missing out, I decided to give "All the Hits & More: the early years" a go, an album that is not even for sale in the UK for another 3 weeks despite being released last year in the USA.
The band's spacey bluesy music from the late 60s is a real treat, not as hippyish as Uriah Heap, not as heavy as Sabbath or reliant on guitars as Zeppelin but a band with their own identity.
From the opening track, I knew I was in for a completely different album to the over rated "Phenomenon", gone were the flashy guitar solos and mundane lyrics and in was a mixture of experimental space rock and down to earth bluesy hard rock. Mick Bolton is an excellent guitarist and the songs on the album are full of vivacity, which can be seen in their choice to cover Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody". "Boogie for George" is written in a similar manner.
"Shake It About" has a mean bass line, distorted guitar, a real bluesy sound, the lyrics are a bit kitsch but generally it's pretty cool.
"Follow You Home" seems to have much of the early focus on a riff that seems to be from "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks.
"Come Away Melinda" is probably my least favourite song on the album, written by Uriah Heap originally it's pretty dreamy and whilst played well, it lacks energy.
The same cannot be said of "Timothy" a track with a brilliant little bass line, manic vocals and a twangy furious guitar!
The album finishes off with "Evil" a good steady hard rock track, not as evil as one might and not as good as some other tracks on the album.
Thumbs up for this album, nothing too groundbreaking but they if you like bands like Iron Butterfly or early British hard rock in general then it would make a great addition to your CD collection.