Saturday, February 23, 2008

'UFO: Showtime' Arrives On HD DVD, April 8

UFO "Showtime" concert film out now on state-of-the-art HD-DVD

With the recording of their live DVD, Showtime, at the Pumpwerk in Wilhelmshaven on 13 May 2005, the British band UFO repeated music history, so to speak. For the second time since 1979, when the group brought out their legendary live album, Strangers In The Night, the band members left no doubt that their shows count among the best in the whole rock circus. Then as now, press and fans were unanimously impressed, and the band established a reputation that remains unchallenged to this day: UFO are unbeatable live! Now their sensational film document, Showtime, has been scheduled for release on state-of-the-art HD DVD, including, along with the extras from the regular release, additional bonus material, an “on the fly” menu which can be operated while you are viewing the film, and exciting picture-in-picture interviews. The Showtime HD-DVD will be out on 25 February 2008 (U.K), 22 February 2008 (Germany) and April 8th 2008 (North America).

Its top-quality images and sound make Showtime a special treat for all rock music fans, after all the UFO line-up that had its sold-out show recorded in Germany’s north in summer 2005 sounds like a Who Is Who of rock history: Phil Mogg (vocals), Pete Way (bass), Paul Raymond (guitar, keyboards) and Vinnie Moore (guitar), accompanied by Jason Bonham (drums), son of the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and legitimate heir to his throne at the spectacular Zeppelin show in London in December 2007. The concert footage and bonus material on the Showtime DVD, as well as additional studio recordings, a making-of, documentations from the Rockboat show and their 2004 American tour plus interviews allow but one conclusion: UFO at their best!

UFO’s success story began in London way back in 1969, when vocalist Phil Mogg, drummer Andy Parker, guitarist Mick Bolton and bassist Pete Way formed the group, borrowing the band name from a legendary London music club. Even in the Seventies, the band distinguished themselves with their very own, unmistakable style, touching a nerve among their growing following with rock numbers like ‘Prince Kajuku’, ‘Follow You Home’ or ‘C’mon Everybody’ from their albums UFO 1, Flying and UFO Live.

The global breakthrough arrived when German guitarist, Michael Schenker, joined the fold in 1973, having left his band Scorpions to follow an offer by Phil Mogg and Pete Way. UFO released three consecutive rock classics with Schenker (Phenomenon (1974), Force It (1975) and No Heavy Pettin’ (1976)), featuring classics like ‘Doctor Doctor’, ‘Shoot, Shoot’, or ‘Rock Bottom’. Following the arrival of keyboarder/rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond, UFO released their two studio albums Lights Out (1977) and Obsession (1978), including the hit singles ‘Too Hot To Handle’, ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Only You Can Rock Me’. Their live cut Strangers In The Night came out in 1979 and is referred to by the press to this day as one of the best live releases of all time, while also signalling the end of the Mogg, Way, Schenker, Parker & Raymond line-up.

The reorganised band underwent fifteen years marked by various eras and numerous line-up changes. To everyone’s surprise, autumn 1993 saw the return of the former UFO line-up consisting of Mogg, Way, Schenker and Raymond. This new edition of the classic team brought out Walk On Water, their first joint effort after one and a half decades, and embarked on a world tour. However, Schenker left UFO during the Walk On Water tour again to continue working with his own group, MSG, while Mogg & Way went on to release their second album, Chocolate Box. The UFO albums Covenant and Sharks, recorded by Mogg, Way and Schenker, arrived at the stores in 2000 and 2002. Vinnie Moore went on to follow in Schenker’s footsteps, who had returned to MSG, recording the songs on You Are Here with Jason Bonham. During the subsequent world tour, UFO cut a show in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, which was released on the live album, Showtime, and the same-named DVD featuring additional bonus material. Later, Bonham left the band and was replaced by UFO’s original drummer, Andy Parker, who also recorded the drum parts on the current studio album, The Monkey Puzzle.

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