Popoff, Martin – UFO – Lights Out (Book review)

Spread the metal:

December 2019
Released: 2018/ 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.

This is far more than just a republication.  Everything has been expanded upon, based on many new interviews in the intervening 15 years since SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS was published. Martin follows his tired and true methodology of an album per chapter consisting of several sections; recording, cover art, song-by-song analysis, tour highlights and comments on chart position and critical acclaim, or lack thereof.  The subtitle, ‘Surviving The 70’s with UFO’ is our first clue of the era covered, largely the ‘classic’ years. The first two proto-metal albums get their due respect and it is clear of Martin’s love and appreciation for their virtually unparalleled five album run with Schenker.  It’s all here, the fist fights, the drugs, the defections of Schenker and more.  Reading these stories is easy going and comfortable.

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.