Werewolves Of London features the 1998 reunited classic lineup of UFO live in the UK. The group included guitarist Michael Schenker, along with founding members, singer Phil Mogg and bassist Pete Way, plus rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Paul Raymond. Drummer Simon Wright replaced original drummer Andy Parker for this outing.
You can’t help but notice that Schenker’s over-the-top wailing is countered well by Paul Raymond’s keyboard work. His piano on “Natural Thing” and organ on “A Self-Made Man” give the tunes lots of space. And we get a nice break with Schenker’s fine slide work on “Electric Phase” from the band’s 1977 album, Lights Out.
Mogg’s vocal and Raymond’s piano make “Out In The Street” a solid power ballad and a highlight of the set. Mogg’s vocals are especially powerful, full of emotion and clear-as-a-bell. Raymond takes front and center with his piano rolling into arpeggiating keys on “Love To Love.”
Of the bouncy rockers, Schenker’s clean noodling over the keys at the start of “Doctor, Doctor” showcases a slight slowdown in the action. His playing here especially reminds one how wonderful it was to have the iconic axe man back in the fold. Of course, he rules the night with “Rock Bottom” to end the set.
This is UFO at its tightest just before the turn of the 20th century. Despite UFO carrying on, this was a damn hard lineup to beat. Just as Strangers In The Night had you yearning for more (which eventually came in a the form of a box set) Werewolves Of London will make you howl with delight.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.