UFO - No Heavy Petting Deluxe

UFO – No Heavy Petting [Deluxe Expanded Edition]

At the start of 1976, UFO were a band on the way up. Since acquiring the services of the young guitar maestro Michael Schenker in June 1973, they had recorded two well received albums, Phenomenon and Force It, produced by Ten Years After’s Leo Lyons, and were gathering a following with their live shows. So in January 1976, the band reconvened with Leo Lyons at Morgan Sound Studios to record their fifth album, No Heavy Petting.

The resulting record saw UFO expanding their horizons somewhat with the recruitment of a full-time keyboard player for the first time, Danny Peyronel, who had previously played with the Heavy Metal Kids. Apart from adding keyboard textures, Peyronel was also a songwriter, co-writing some of the material on No Heavy Petting, and writing Highway Lady. Listening back to this deluxe expanded edition of the album, it is clear that it helped lay the foundations for their future success, and the addition of keyboards was an important step.

The sound is crisp and meaty, with each player clearly cutting through the mix, and the heady mix of hard rock and more reflective moments defining their sound. Natural Thing is an explosive opener, and remains one of my favourite UFO rockers to this day. Andy Parker and Pete Way were a rhythm section to be reckoned with, and when they rocked out, they were up there with the best. Phil Mogg had such an affable and natural vocal style, and the young Michael Schenker was a guitarist whose lightning fast fret runs were unheard of at the time. The album is packed with hard rocking tracks, with such gems as Can You Roll Her, Reasons Love and Highway Lady. They could pull off ballads as well, with the rather lovely Belladonna being a prime example, and the rocking but reflective I’m A Loser shining brightly from the gutter of life.

Elsewhere, they were starting to experiment with more progressive sounds. On With the Action sounds rather like a sequel to their earlier epic Out in the Street, and final song Martian Landscape has some gorgeous electric piano from Peyronel and guitar theatrics from Schenker. On this edition, there are some bonus tracks, some of which were previously issued on the 2007 expended edition, but added for the first time here is an acoustic demo of the Frankie Miller song Have You Seen Me Lately Joan. Their version is not at all bad, as is their cover of the Small Faces’ wonderful All or Nothing. It doesn’t eclipse the original of course, but it’s fun to hear. It’s also interesting to hear another Danny Peyronel song which didn’t make the original album, All the Strings, which is an accomplished and tasteful ballad.

The bonus disc is probably the main selling point of this edition. It’s a recording from the Roundhouse in 1976, while Peyronel was still in the band, and although it has been available before, it makes complete sense to include it in this set, and it’s a marvellous show. It includes three cuts from No Heavy Petting (Can You Roll Her, Highway Lady and I’m A Loser), which would have been unfamiliar to the crowd, but they are embraced, alongside old favourites like Doctor Doctor, Shoot Shoot and the extended crowd pleaser Rock Bottom. The set concludes with a couple of old songs from their very first album, C’mon Everybody and Boogie for George which are extended pieces that allow the band and crowd to let their hair down.

Anyone who already has this live show might question whether they really need to bother with this release, but if like me you only have the original album, it’s a more than worthwhile addition to any UFO fan’s collection. I only hope a similar release is planned for the follow-up Lights Out, which was even better.

Disc 1 – No Heavy Petting remastered plus bonus tracks

01. Natural Thing (3:59)
02. I’m A Loser (3:51)
03. Can You Roll Her (2:57)
04. Belladonna (4:29)
05. Reasons Love (3:15)
06. Highway Lady (3:46)
07. On With the Action (5:00)
08. A Fool in Love (2:48)
09. Martian Landscape (5:08)
~ Bonus Tracks:
10. All or Nothing (3:31)
11. French Kisses (3:06)
12. Have You Seen Me Lately Joan (4:00)
13. Tonight, Tonight (3:17)
14. All The Strings (6:02)
15. Have You Seen Me Lately Joan (acoustic demo) (3:03)

Time – 58:12

Disc 2 – Live at the Roundhouse, London 1976
01. Can You Roll Her (3:11)
02. Doctor Doctor (5:24)
03. Oh My (4:17)
04. Out in the Street (5:31)
05. Highway Lady (5:01)
06. I’m A Loser (4:53)
07. Let it Roll (4:55)
08. This Kid’s (4:35)
09. Shoot Shoot (3:46)
10. Rock Bottom (10:57)
11. C’Mon Everybody (8:48)
12. Boogie For George (9:07)

Time – 70:25

Total Time – 128:37

Phil Mogg – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Andy Parker – Drums
Pete Way – Bass
Michael Schenker – Guitar
Danny Peyronel – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Record Label: Chrysalis
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 20th January 2023

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