UFO – Misdemeanor (1986)

UFO_Misdemeanor4.5 out of 5 Stars!

Although many faithful devotees of UFO often provide Misdemeanor with a low score on music-related websites, I found those dismal ratings completely undeserved.

For this release, to replace Paul Chapman, the band hired a sorely underrated guitarist named “Atomic” Tommy M. McClendon (what ever happened to him???), who delivers some sizzling riffs and spirited solos that displayed “guitar idol” potential, and Paul Raymond’s keyboard contributions were never better, while long-standing vocalist Phil Moog provides some of his most heartfelt performances throughout.

Certainly a few of the tracks (“The Only Ones,” “This Time,” “One Heart,” and “Dream The Dream,” for instance) had more of an AOR feel with the almost pompish keyboards higher in the overall mix, which turned off many long-time UFO fans, but the songs were generally catchy and the songwriting well above average, with some of the finest, emotionally charged tunes the band ever recorded.

Therefore, in my opinion, this is hardly the worst album UFO ever released—far from it, not with the slick, polished production values, and certainly not with strong, driving tunes such as “Heavens Gate,” “Name of Love,” “Blue,” “Meanstreets,” “Night Run,” and “Wreckless” included. In fact, I love each song in this collection, which I can’t say for every other album in the band’s vast catalogue, so Misdemeanor is easily one of my “Top 5” UFO releases of all time.

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