Aged – well, veteran – British rockers UFO have unleashed their first ever covers album (on September 29, 2017). The Salentino Cuts pays homage to a dozen of their personal favorites. Full of character, The Salentino Cuts includes several unexpected choices such as Mad Seasons’ “River Of Deceit”, John Mellencamp’s “Paper In Fire”, and Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Another surprise choice is Tom Petty’s “Honey Bee.” Alongside these choices are more traditional but still thrilling versions of The Yardbirds’ “Heartful Of Soul” and ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid.” Sure – there are some well covered additional (and predictable) selections such as “Mississippi Queen, “It’s My Life”” and yet another version of the Montrose anthem “Rock Candy.” I guess a version of “Rock N Rolll All Nite” would have seemed too crass.
In the 90’s, a covers album was really a cash grab. These days, it seems like a labor of love and celebration of influences. As current lead guitarist Vinnie Moore recently told KNAC.com:
“Making this covers record was a blast for me. I thoroughly enjoyed putting a little of my own spin on these tunes that I grew up with. I played ZZ Top and Robin Trower songs about a gazzilion times onstage over the years. it was great to actually get to record some of my old faves.”
UFO’s current lineup features original members Phil Mogg on vocals and Andy Parker on drums. Keyboardist/guitarist Paul Raymond joined the band in 1976, so he could technically be considered part of the classic line-up. Lead guitarist Vinnie Moore has been a permanent member of the group since 2003, and recently American bassist Rob De Luca joined the fold in 2012. De Luca might be best known for being a part of New York cult rockers Spread Eagle.
UFO is just one of those bands that just couldn’t sustain success in America. Fitting in somewhere between Iron Maiden and Kiss, UFO has always been a technically sound group. But it just wasn’t in the cards for them to have found the top of the rock charts, and stayed there for a prolonged period of time. Which doesn’t seem fair. After all, they’re 1,000 times better than Quiet Riot.
The Salentino Cuts is available on both CD and 2 limited vinyl pressings, one splatter vinyl and one white vinyl.
1. Heartful Of Soul
2. Break On Through (To The Other Side)
3. River Of Deceit
4. The Pusher
5. Paper In Fire
6. Rock Candy
7. Mississippi Queen
8. Ain’t No Sunshine
10. Too Rolling Stoned
11. Just Got Paid
12. It’s My Life