Another year, another UFO best-of compilation. For seemingly decades, every single bloody year sees at least one (and if we're "lucky" sometimes several) new comp from the hard rocking U.K. band, and the 2002 entry was titled Masters of Rock. Now don't get me wrong, the actual music on the release contains some of the '70s best (and woefully underrated) hard rock tracks, it's just, well, is it really necessary to continually abuse the UFO catalog like this? Anyway, if you're a newcomer to the group, this 16-track set is not one of the better ones. While it does wisely focus primarily on their golden "Michael Schenker era" of the '70s -- when UFO was a lean, mean rockin' machine -- there are a few tracks mysteriously absent, including one of their best known compositions "Lights Out." But besides this crucial omission, there is a plethora of classic headbanging anthems, including "Rock Bottom," "Doctor Doctor," "Too Hot to Handle," "Love to Love," and "Only You Can Rock Me," as well as lesser known album cuts as "Cherry" and "Natural Thing." The back end of Masters of Rock turns out to be padded with latter-day UFO, which just doesn't stack up to their earlier triumphs, including best-forgotten, highly pop glossed tracks like "Night Run." Certainly not the best UFO comp out there, and certainly not a very necessary release.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato