Sunday, August 24, 2008

UFO JAMS

"UFO JAMS" Those two words seem to be graffittied all over my hometown of Hollywood, Florida. Behind the 7-11, on the pier where the Haitian men would fish, and under the bridges where the older kids smoked their brown weed. UFO JAMS? What does it mean? my young mind wondered. If UFO was a band, I certainly wasn't aware of them, or the magnitude to which they jammed.

When I was about sixteen I was at a party at Bruce's house. We were doing gravity bong hits and I had a seizure and banged my head on the table. When I came to I had an icepack on my head, and I heard this song playing, and it sounded so fucking good. It was "Mother Mary" from UFO's 1979 live album Strangers In The Night. I asked Bruce who it was, and like a wizard answering a thousand year old riddle he said, "UFO, they jam."

Some twenty-two years later, Strangers In The Night is the only UFO album I own. Their studio albums are good but usually suffer from a couple of straight-up lame tracks. With Strangers you get all their best songs played extra high. Recorded over the course of a string of shows in the midwest supporting Blue Oyster Cult, the album is the last recorded performance of the classic UFO line-up complete with Michael Schenker (not including the '93 reunion). This album marks the end of the '70s, the end of "UFO JAMS." I can think of no better live album (Thin Lizzy's Live And Dangerous comes real close). Oddly enough, I see this record quite a bit in thrift store bins or sidewalk sales and I always wonder "What kind of empty motherfucker wouldn't enjoy this. Why is this here? UFO JAMS!"

26 comments:

svein said...

Re: the gravity bong (we call this smoking a bucket here in reindeerland) the last two lines in the third verse of Darkthrone's Natassja in eternal sleep go like this:

Pass the bottle, pass the knife,
Pass me your unholy crafts

Anonymous said...

jams for sure... & yeah, here on the right coast this is also a given in used bins & @ garage sales...

maiden jammed doctor doctor through the p.a. when i saw them in june.

good times...

thanks.

-jeff

theheft said...

great album! i recently discovered this jam while on a strange substance known as salvia. the song "love to love" really put me in a strange state of mind.

vugelnox said...

Judas Priest - Unleashed in the East. Still hands down my favorite live album ever. All the best material from their greatest era (Sad Wings of Destiny through Hellbent for Leather) in superior form. Not a weak track in the bunch.

UFO were always one of those 70s bands that managed to escape me despite having heard of them for many years. I'll have to give this a good listen.

Aesop said...

Yes, "Unleashed in The East" is great, although I question just how "live" it is.

Anonymous said...

"Unleashed" is about as live as "Maiden Japan" or whatever the hell that album was called.

Didn't we talk about this album about a month ago?

-Jabladav

Aesop said...

All live albums take some liberties, but "Unleashed" just takes more. Still a great listen and I agree, their best songs from their best era.

Anonymous said...

you know re: live albums... i just broke out saxon's the eagle has landed. still pretty damn solid.

-jeff

of course, the undisputed king is no sleep 'til hammersmith... fact.

Aesop said...

Anyone interested in how good a live band could and should be should check out my post on The Dogs from some time back...

http://cosmichearse.blogspot.com/2007/12/ripped-apart-by-dogs.html

Anonymous said...

Awesome. I like all of UFO's first albums and a record called space metal. Thanks mucho
and Ludicra rules

chrisc said...

great record.thank you for this.my personal favourite live record,though,is Hawkwind's "Space Ritual". the Dogs live set is really awesome.everyone into kickass rock'n'roll should check it out.

Devil Dick said...

great fucking album! mother mary from this lp is simply awesome...

Jenny said...

Ah UFO, the only band, according to Anthrax, that can use keyboards and not sound "gay"

Anonymous said...

my favorite all time record , i own 6 copies of this (2 on vinyl)4 on cd - vinyl version,expanded version,remastered and japanese import)
jc

justin said...

I liked the UFO, good without being too 70's. As far as the live albums I have to agree with Jeff on No Sleep Til Hamersmith being hands down the best live album ever. Aesop, I don't comment here enough, but I did want to take a second and thank you for your time and energy. The words and the mix really make this one of the best sites out there. Thanx again.

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend UFO's early LP: "Flying". It is is pre-Schenker. Fucking awesome!

Cheap Trick at Budakon is a badass live record.

john/milwaukee

Travis said...

Somebody already mentioned "Space Ritual" but I want to add my backing to it.

Tim said...

I picked this up on a whim for $5 about 3 months ago and it didn't leave my turntable for weeks. The riff strut mastery of "Natural Thing" lays in the hook and the rest of the album just pulls you along for the ride....great stuff.

Anonymous said...

you know, i totally forgot what a great live lp ac/dc's if you want blood... is.

here's a rapidshit link i found on the interwebs if you haven't heard it yet/in years: http://rapidshare.com/files/88201406/1978-___If_You_Want_Blood_You_ve_Got_It_-_AC.DC.rar

-jeff

Aesop said...

Indeed it is Jeff. Thanks for the link.

DiNo said...

Plenty of great live albums in the 70's & 80's... But how about the 90's? I'd go for 2 Norwegian ones: Motorpsycho's Roadwork Vol. 1: Heavy Metall iz a poze, hardt rock iz a laifschteil and Turbonegro's Darkness Forever!

Aesop said...

I should post "Darkness Forever" it is out of print as far as I know. Thanks for the tip.

I am also a fan of Mayhem's "Mediolanum Capta Est,"
especially where Maniac says "Is the Pope Here" because they're in Italy. Like the Pope would go see Mayhem, he's more into Burzum anyway.

Anonymous said...

"hole in my pocket, hole in my arm" has to be one of the best rnr lyrics ever.

Aesop said...

UFO was chocked full of great lyrics. "Natural Thing" being the best song about VD ever.

nano247 said...

this SOOOOOO JAMS!!!!
my jaded black metal brain sometimes forgets the incredible music that came before all the 'exteme' stuff

thanks for the reminder it doesnt have to be 'evil' or 'hard core' to be good

this stuff makes me want to drive around in a bitchen camero

Paul said...

Speaking of UFO and Judas Priest, I saw the latter open for the former at Santa Cruz Civic auditorium in April 1979. What a gig -- the place looked like a high school gymnasium and I was right up against the chest-high stage. Anyway, here is another great UFO performance: http://concerts.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/ufo-concert/20052670-8289.html

If you haven't seen Wolfgang's Vault yet, you're in for a treat. Lots of live gigs from the 1970's best bands. LET IT ROLL!