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UFO - 1982 Mechanix



ARTIST: UFO
ALBUM: Mechanix
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: CHR1360
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2009, Chrysalis, CHRX 1360

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Phil Mogg - vocals * Paul Chapman - guitars * Neil Carter - guitars, keyboards * Pete Way - bass * Andy Parker - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Writer * 02 Something Else * 03 Back Into My Life * 04 You'll Get Love * 05 Doing It All For You * 06 We Belong To The Night * 07 Let It Rain * 08 Terri * 09 Feel It * 10 Dreamin

WEBLINKS: www.ufo-music.info


Background
Michael Schenker's departure from UFO was supposed to spell the imminent downfall for the band in 1979, but they hit back impressively with two albums that maintained the vitality of the Schenker years, 1980's 'No Place To Run' and the definite classic 'The Wild, Willing And The Innocent' of 1981. Signs of problems were raised with guitarist Paul Raymond leaving after a lengthy stint, replaced by Carter, formerly of Wild Horses. Musically 'Mechanix' showed the music becoming increasingly ragged despite moments of the hard rock magic the band was known for. Commercially the band was still charting in the top ten in England, but without Schenker their profile in the US was somewhat dampened. 'Mechanix' interesting in that regard, the sound of a band who should have been huge but were instead floored just when it was about to happen. Subsequently this ranks as a lesser effort.


The Songs
By 1982 you couldn't blame UFO for starting to think their moment had passed, especially with the glut of NWOBHM acts that dominated the charts. 'The Writer' sees them continuing with their traditional sound pioneered back in 1974 and perhaps on the verge of becoming dated for the time, although only in the eyes of the press I suspect! The keyboard solo and sax work reek of class however, demonstrating UFO's often different take on hard rock. 'Somethin' Else' opts for a throwback rock and roll sound, with sax again included, a lot more lively than the stale ballad 'Back Into My Life'. Lacking originality and spontaneity is run of the mill rocker 'You'll Get Love' and 'Doing It All For You' makes up for this with guitar solos that make one forget Schenker. It all comes together with the furious 'We Belong To The Night', the exact type of riff heavy metal the band needed to be unleashing, but weren't. 'Let It Rain' follows suit, saving the album, but going through the motions and tired sounding again are 'Terri' and 'Feel It'. 'Dreaming' at least ends the album on a heavy note, when on form UFO almost untouchable.


In Summary
Hindered by a host of mediocre tracks, the brief flashes of UFO's reckless abandon give the album enough credibility to warrant a listen. Pete Way showed his disillusion by quitting the band shortly after its release, which was the death knell for UFO at that point in time. Billy Sheehan took his place for touring purposes and to be fair to Mogg 1983's 'Making Contact' could have been a lot worse. Such a shame that events transpired the manner in which they did for UFO as they deserved a better fate than to fall apart in such grim fashion. Mogg's lyrics remained a high point on 'Mechanix' even if the music didn't match them often, his storytelling worth reading for one. The album covers good for a laugh too, perhaps the sole reason Way left!


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Comments
#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 08:31:26
After The Wild, The Willing & The Innocent, my fave UFO album. Some great tunes on here. Terri,We Belong To The Night and Let It Rain especially, although i will add that i think 'Do It All For You' is one of the best songs the band has Ever written - an absolute blinder of a track. This album and TTWTWTI, go along way to proving that when the band was on form, they were one of the best out there. A shame that all the internal wrangles they would never hit these heady heights again.
#2 | reyno-roxx on July 23 2008 10:28:00
I think this album and 'Making Contact' tend to be rather overlooked. Looking forward to the long awaited reissues on CD put together in conjunction with Derek and Dante at Rock Candy.
#3 | Eric on October 04 2008 13:47:57
I agree, this album is far better than it's given credit for. 'The Writer' and 'Let It Rain' are the best tracks here, but as a whole 'Mechanix' is a good listen.
#4 | Nick C on October 04 2008 22:12:58
Yeah decent enough it got slated back in the day though, there are a couple of plodders though that drag it down Feel It, You'll Get Love and the awful and I'd say pointless cover of Something Else. But when it sparkles it's brilliant especially Side 2 (as it was before silver discs) with 4 of the 5 tracks there being absolute classics.
#5 | rkbluez on December 19 2009 14:42:39
Really liked this album...The Writer and Let It Rain are classic's...but there are a lot of killer tracks on this album...I agree with Nick why do cover songs like Something Else when you can pen tunes like The Writer and Let It Rain...still this is my favorite Champman era album by UFO with the exception of the killer No Place To Run...which to me was their best post Schenker output.
#6 | AOR Lee on March 11 2013 04:40:04
Very strong album. Writer, Doing It All For You, We Belong To The Night, Let It Rain and Dreamin are the standouts for me
 
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