UFO became one of the UK’s favourite heavy rock outfits during the 1970s, but it took German fans to first discover the full delights of the group. It was formed by lead vocalist London born Phil Mogg in 1968, when he teamed up with Pete Way (bass guitar) , Mick Bolton (lead guitar) and Andy Parker (drums).They were originally named Hocus Pocus, but eventually changed their name to UFO as they developed a new musical style, fusing space rock with good time boogie.
They released three early albums, starting with ‘UFO’ (1971), ‘UFO 2’ (1971) and ‘UFO Live’ (1974) that were successful mainly in Germany and Japan. Then in 1974, Bolton left to be replaced by Larry Wallis, and then Bernie Marsden, who later joined Whitesnake. Another famous UFO guitarist was German ace Michael Schenker, ex-Scorpions.
Signing to Chrysalis records, they released breakthrough album ‘Phenomenon’ in 1974 that featured their classic hit numbers ‘Rock Bottom’ and ‘Doctor, Doctor’.
Playing a Flying V guitar, Schenker boosted the group’s sound with his cutting edge heavy metal riffs. The band expanded to a five piece with the addition of keyboard player Danny Peyronel, later replaced by Paul Raymond. More albums with distinctive LP covers, followed such as ‘No Heavy Petting’ (1976), ‘Lights Out’ (1977) and ‘Strangers In The Night’ (1979).
The group broke up in 1983, but reformed two years later with Japanese guitarist Atomic Tommy M. After 15 uncertain years, the band reformed in 1993 with Mogg, Way, Schenker, Parker and Raymond. Later Michael was replaced by American guitarist Vinnie Moore, and Jason Bonham also toured with the band for a while. In February 2012, UFO are to release a new album ‘Seven Deadly’ with a UK and European tour due in March.