Popoff, Martin – UFO – Lettin’ Go (Book review)

Spread the metal:

December 2019
Released: 2019/ PowerChord Press
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Despite a small and fairly well-received series of North American club dates in 2019, the band UFO really is on their last legs. Members are dying or quitting, and the end is nigh.  I suppose this is a good a time as any to reflect back on this great British Hard rock institution.  The man up for the challenge to have it all make sense is Martin Popoff. This month I’ve reviewed his two recent books about UFO,  LIGHTS OUT and LETTIN’ GO.

These brief reviews will amount to a public service announcement because these books are essentially a deluxe reissue of his first book about UFO, SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS which was published back in 2005, and is now long out of print. Feel free to enjoy both reviews.

In a sense I liked reading about the 80’s period of UFO better than the first book in this pair because that era tends to get less attention. Martin love for 80’s UFO shines through.  In the standard PowerChord Press paperback back we are treated to a few black and white photos and a chapter-by-chapter, album-by-album analysis.  MSG and the brace of deadly-good Mogg/Way records get honourable mentions as well to round out the story. Bolstered with multiple recent era interviews this book gets a considerable upgrade from SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS and perhaps with the sage wisdom of hindsight from the gentlemen involved.

I suggested to Popoff personally that he complete the trilogy and write a third book exploring and analyzing the last 20 years, consisting of seven studio albums, a pair of live albums and the covers album, but it remains to be seen if that book will see the light of day. To his credit he does spend two pages covering the highlights post 2000 and reprint Mogg’s retirement letter.  It is indeed the end of an era, 50 years and Popoff captures the middle era of the bands three part career very admirably.