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UFO - 1985 Misdemeanor



ARTIST: UFO
ALBUM: Misdemeanor
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: 207 431
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2000, EMI (Japan)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Phil Mogg - vocals * Atomik Tommy M (McClendon) - guitars * Paul Gray - bass * Paul Raymond - keyboards * Jim Simpson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 This Time * 02 One Heart * 03 Night Run * 04 The Only Ones * 05 Meanstreets * 06 Heavens Gate * 07 Blue * 08 Dream The Dream * 09 Name Of Love * 10 Wreakless

WEBLINKS: www.ufo-music.info


Background
I know there are a lot of UFO fans out there but I wonder how many are familiar with this release from 1985. I have always been fond of UFO's brand of melodic heavy rock, especially their legendary live release 'Strangers In The Night' featuring Michael Schenker. There has also been the argument put forward on numerous occasions that UFO are nothing without the talents of Schenker and vice versa. While I am not one to argue with the general consensus, after listening to this album I would have to refute the claim. Recorded after a period of uncertainty in the UFO camp, 'Misdemeanor' must have been like a breath of fresh air for Mogg and the boys. Released to good media and critical acclaim, the record put paid to rumours that UFO had shot their bolt. Unfortunately the album slipped the commercial net and was not as successful as some of their previous releases. But never mind, because what we have here is a classic in the making. Now featuring Tommy M on lead guitar, the album can be compared with previous UFO records 'Lights Out' and 'Obsession', but crossed with prime period Night Ranger. I would go so far as to say this was their most AOR flavoured album yet.


The Songs
Opening track 'This Time' is stunning keyboard based melodic rock with a chorus to die for, surely one of their most commercial cuts ever. What follows on is one outstanding track after another. Featuring rockers such as 'Meanstreets' and atmospheric ballads a la 'The Only Ones', the album has it all. Raymond's keyboards in particular are breathtaking and his playing reflects everything we love about this genre of music. My only criticism is levelled at Tommy M's occasional annoying lead breaks.


In Summary
Unfortunately very hard to obtain on CD (Jap only) it is worth tracking down and can be ranked alongside such greats as Night Ranger's 'Dawn Patrol', Cobra's 'First Strike' and Coney Hatch's 'Friction'. Essential for lovers of guitar based melodic rock.


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Comments
#1 | vinyldinosaurus on February 26 2008 20:03:01
I saw UFO when they were touring this album in 1986. Haven't listened to this one in a while. This review has inspired me to give it a spin after work tonight. BTW - It's Atomik Tommy M (not K). Smile
#2 | vinyldinosaurus on February 27 2008 16:27:59
Listened to this album in its entirety last night! It sounded better than I remembered from back in the day. It's amazing how your ears change when you get older. I think I was a junior in high school when I bought Misdemeanor and I was disappointed because it didn't sound heavy enough to me back then. Its gonna get a lot more spins on my turntable now!
#3 | jeffrey343 on March 05 2008 15:35:07
This is available at amazon as a 2-for-1 with 'Making Contact':
http://www.amazon.com/Making-Contact-Misdemeanour-UK-2/
dp/B0000011OX/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1204730988&sr=1-19

I just bought it based on this review. I'm not real familiar with all that UFO has done before. I can't say I was blown away upon the first listen - Mogg's vocals don't really seem to fit this style. The songs do sound quite good otherwise. My first impression is that someone like Steve Perry would make this material really shine. I'll keep it in the changer for a few more listens and see how it grows on me.
#4 | trillion1999 on October 19 2011 15:56:52
The babe alone makes it worth having IMHO.Always saw the Japanese CD at Dave Constables shop but had not heard anything from it then so did not buy it Doh!
#5 | AOR Lee on June 17 2012 07:33:07
Lots of AOR influence on all UFO's 80's work, and all are excellent. This one is for me an AOR classic
#6 | AOR Lee on March 20 2014 04:30:57
Wow, only three of the album's ten songs mentioned in the review ?? How about Night Run, One Heart or Heaven's Gate, all barnstorming AOR classics worthy of a few words ??
#7 | gdazegod on March 20 2014 04:48:33
Damon wrote this ages ago, long before 2003 I might add. I have the live concert video from this tour, which is pretty good.
#8 | AOR Lee on March 20 2014 04:59:00
Fair enough, and that live concert sounds very promising!
#9 | super80boy on November 20 2016 00:15:11
Misdemeanor gets unfairly lambasted in a variety of reviews, they talk about how pop oriented it was and that they 'sold out' to 'commercial rock', couldn't disagree more, it's a fabulous album. 'This Time' is a huge pompous anthem. 'Meanstreets' is an excellent hard rocker with a subtle keyboard refrain in the background. Every song is tops.
 
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