UFO's heavy metal recipe rocked hard in all the right places, fueled by underrated guitar playing from ex-Scorpion Michael Schenker and the high-strung vocal approach of Phil Mogg. Essential UFO covers 16 of their best tracks, with the absence of Eddie Cochrane's "C'mon Everybody" being this compilation's only major drawback. Power ballads "Looking out for No. 1" and "Born to Lose" are a couple of UFO's most tightly written tracks, counterattacked with heavy hitters like "Doctor Doctor," "Rock Bottom," and the astonishing guitar craftsmanship found at the end of "Lights Out," taken from the album of the same name. The chemistry of Mogg and Schenker makes minor efforts like "Shoot Shoot" and "Love to Love" better than they really are, elevating them a few notches above standard heavy metal convention. The better material on Essential UFO stems from their '70s albums, as the music they produced just before their breakup in 1983 showed signs of uninspired musicianship and shoddy songwriting.
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AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne