UFO is one of the standout British metal bands of the 70's, now celebrating over thirty years in the business. Many have come and gone over the last half of their career, but the classic Way/Mogg/Schenker/Parker lineup is responsible for some great metal tunes such as "Lights Out", "Doctor Doctor", and (personal favorite) "Rock Bottom". The latter half of their career has been less impressive, with revolving lineups and albums that have met with middling interest from critics and, it appears, fans as well. Enigmatic guitarist Michael Schenker has been in and out several times, forming his own band (MSG), joining brother Rudy in Scorpions for a time, and also just leaving due to strife with the other members (he is, as of January 2003, once again out of the band).
Vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton, bassist Pete Way and drummer Andy Parker formed the British space metal outfit UFO in 1969. Originally known as Hocus Pocus, the group, which took the name UFO in honor of a London club, debuted in 1971 with UFO 1. Both the album and its follow-up, the same year's UFO 2—Flying, found great success in Japan, France and Germany but went barely noticed in the band's native country; as a result, their third effort, 1972's UFO Lands in Tokyo—Live, was released only in Japan. In 1974, Bolton left the group; after brief trial runs with ex-Pink Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis and future Whitesnake member Bernie Marsden, former Scorpion Michael Schenker stepped in as a permanent replacement in time to record 1974's Phenomenon, which sported a harder-edged guitar sound. After 1975's Force It and 1976's No Heavy Petting brought UFO increased visibility with American audiences, keyboardist Paul Raymond joined for 1977's Lights Out; however, after 1978's Obsessions, Schenker left the group, first to rejoin the Scorpions and later to form his own band. Despite the addition of guitarist Paul Chapman, the next UFO LP, No Place to Run, failed to match the success of its predecessors.
In 1982, the band released Mechanix, notching a minor U.S. hit with "Back Into My Life"; later that year, Way exited to form Waysted, and was replaced by ex-Eddie and the Hot Rods bassist Paul Gray. After 1983's Making Contact, UFO dissolved, only to reform two years later for Misdemeanor; however, the album was met with little response, and they again called it quits. In 1993, the group's most popular line-up — Mogg, Schenker, Way, Raymond and Parker — reunited, and recorded the 1995 album Walk on Water; after a tour, the members yet again went their separate ways. Despite the disband, UFO reissued Making Contact in 2001 through Spitfire Records. The reissue features liner notes from Parker and a bonus track, "Everybody Knows."