Unfortunately, this concert album is often overlooked when discussions of the great live rock albums of the '70s arise. UFO's Strangers in the Night deserves to be right up there with Kiss' Alive! and Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous, based on the excitement the group and its audience generate and due to the quality of the hard rock compositions. This is a band at its peak, with its prime lineup (led by German guitar-monger Michael Schenker) and all of its best songs. The group paces itself at the beginning, opting for some lesser material, but begins to hit a stride on the early track "Doctor Doctor." "Mother Mary" and "This Kids" combine all the elements of Led Zeppelin's best rock (concise riffs, mammoth drumming, etc.), while the introduction to "Love to Love" displays the talent of the instrumentalists. "Lights Out" is probably the band's best-known song, while the guitar solo-soaked "Rock Bottom" was an oft-requested fan favorite. UFO closes their set with the let-the-good-times-roll singalong "Too Hot to Handle" and the then-state-of-the-art heavy metal of "Let It Roll." The group may have been at its peak at the time of Strangers in the Night, but Schenker had a falling out with singer Phil Mogg (whose vocals bear a resemblance at times to AC/DC's Bon Scott) soon after the album's completion, and promptly left UFO. Schenker pursued pop-metal in the '80s with the Michael Schenker Group/MSG (plus very short stints with both Aerosmith and the Scorpions), while UFO never recovered from losing him and sank into obscurity. Although the group is rarely mentioned anymore in America, UFO's mark has been left on bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Def Leppard, and the Smashing Pumpkins. A long-lost hard rock classic. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi

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