UFO - UFO 2 (Flying)

UFO 2 (Flying)

Released 1971 on Beacon
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 19/04/2001ce

Who would have thought old Phil Mogg, Pete Way and Co. would be responsible for one the greatest psychedelic long players ever released?, but yes folks this record called "UFO 2/Flying" is a head trip of the highest order that every space rock freak MUST own!!!
UFO started out in 1968 and were at one time known as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, they later called themselves Acid finally settling on UFO which was a tribute to the legendary UK nightclub. The group cut their teeth playing covers by people like The Yardbirds, Kinks, John Lennon and The Small Faces among others, somehow they got the attention of Equals guitarist Eddy Grant who was branching out into production and talent procurement, Grant invited the group to record at Orange Studios and the group managed to land a recording deal with the tiny Beacon imprint. A debut album "UFO 1" was issued in 1970 to little fanfare ( though it has been reported UK DJ Jon Peel thought highly of the group.)
The record we are talking about here was the group's second and their last for Beacon, it was known as "UFO 2/Flying/One Hour Space Rock" and it was issued in 1971.
This is one monster of a Rock album that will appeal to fans of Free, Ash Ra Tempel, Blue Cheer, Taste, The Pink Fairies and many others, simply speaking it's awesome!!
Side One starts off "Silver Bird" which sounds just like Free circa 1969, Phil Mogg shows himself to be a gritty, convincing singer while guitarist Mick Bolton plays some blistering solos in the Paul Kossoff/Rory Gallagher vein, the group's rhythm section of Pete Way ( Bass ) and Andy Parker ( drums ) is a powerhouse, the song starts out slow but soon takes flight pummelling the listener along the way with relentless power. "Star Storm" is in a whole different bag it begins with some lethal wah-wah guitar by Bolton then briefly touches down into a blues rock stomp ala Free/Taste, then the thing slows down to a crawl and slowly shifts into a guitar freakout that reminds me of the mid-section of The James Gang's "The Bomber" and also the guitar solo section of The Jeff Beck Group's "Rice Pudding", then it's off to Ash Ra Tempel land for awhile and then back again, the whole piece clocks in at over 18 minutes!!, Mick Bolton's guitar playing on this number is stunning!!. The first side ends with a Groundhogs style raveup called "Prince Kajuku" that is absolutely fierce!, Mogg's vocals are sensational whlie Bolton blasts away like T.S. McPhee's kid brother, Pete Way also plays brilliantly on this one.
Side Two starts off in a different direction with "The Coming Of Prince Kajuku" this is an incredibly pretty guitar instrumental that echoes of Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and Danny Kirwan's playing on the "Then Play On" album, then all of a sudden the song erupts into a Pete Townshend/Eddie Phillips Pop Art Afterflash! WOW!!!
"Flying" takes up the rest of the record, this one is a lengthy blues downer track that sounds like the group are suffering from a group hangover in the beginning the song then comes to life and turns into a pulverizing dose of Acid Rock. The record ends just under 60 minutes leaving you completely drained, in fact after playing this thing I need a bit of a comedown so I'm gonna go listen to The Four Preps "On Campus" album and then some Kingston Trio!, "UFO 2" has that kind of effect on people!!

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