Unless you’re a student of British hard rock, chances are you probably know little about UFO, but bands like Dokken, Tesla, Megadeth and yes, even Metallica, owe plenty to these heavy metal pioneers.
Founded in 1969, London’s UFO started out as first generation headbangers and continued with that sound throughout most of the following decade, but by the time they hit the ‘80’s they had settled into a more mature, hard pop-focused sound, complete with keyboards and the occasional hook. The five-disc box set The Chrysalis Years: 1980-1986, the second box set devoted to this influential band, covers a fairly prolific period where the band released five albums almost back to back (it also marks their period without former Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker).
Along with all five full lengths (No Place to Run; The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent; Mechanix; Making Contact and Misdemeanor), this collection is a trove of rare B-Sides, 7” singles never released on CD and a slew of live tracks from shows in 1980 and 1983. Apparently the band thought they were packing it in ’83 so became fanatical about recording their performances. But much like Kiss and every other band that still saw a great deal of cash was being left on the table, they decided to soldier on.
Thanks to the live concerts included on this box set, the collection also passes as a best of with hits like “Doctor, Doctor,” “Lights Out” and “Too Hot to Handle” finding their way on the CDs. While a little pricy and dense for the casual fan, The Chrysalis Years: 1980-1986 is a must have for longtime followers of the group and anyone who still proudly calls themselves a headbanger.
UFO – The Chrysalis Years: 1980-1986/5 CDs/Chrysalis and EMI/2012