The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent/Mechanix

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The albums UFO made after the departure of Michael Schenker are often ignored or dismissed when discussing the merits of the band. His replacement on lead guitar, Paul Chapman, was certainly not as innovative as Schenker, but he did add a streamlined consistency to the underrated '80s version of the band. This release includes two of UFO's best from this period, 1981's The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent and 1982's similar-sounding Mechanix. At its best, the Chapman-led UFO evoked the best of Thin Lizzy's sound; at its worst, the group sounded like a generic amalgamation of Rainbow and Journey. There are several ill-advised moments on both albums, including possibly the worst-ever cover version of Eddie Cochran's "Somethin' Else." The best songs are UFO's entertaining forays into pop-metal, such as "The Writer," "Makin' Moves," "Chains Chains," and "Let it Rain." These songs are also found on the compilation The Best of the Rest, which may be a more suitable purchase for casual fans or those on a budget. However, those wanting a closer listen to the state of hard rock/heavy metal before MTV-savvy and hair bands became the norm will be interested in this release.

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