Album Reviews

UFO

The Salentino Cuts

Artist:     UFO

Album:     The Salentino Cuts

Label:     Cleopatra Records

Release Date:     09/29/2017

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British rockers UFO formed in 1969, bridging the gap between early hard rock and the new wave of British heavy metal. They have gone through several lineup changes, but the band’s current members include vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist Vinnie Moore, bass guitarist Rob De Luca, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond and drummer Andy Parker.

Over 48-years and nearly 50 albums (including compilations and live albums) these boys have seen some action and have influenced many notable rock bands themselves. Now they’ve released a CD of covers of some of their favorite songs.

Most CDs have songs penned by writers other than the artists, and a few artists put out homage albums dedicated to one of their favorite performers or songwriters, but not very many groups make their own mixtape of cherished songs, as UFO has done here, and for good reason: it’s easy to fail.

Former Elmore Managing Editor Ali Green once told me, “There are covers that change and add something to the song, but most covers just make you wish you were listening to the original.” An example of the first case might be Joe Cocker doing the Beatles, the flip side being karaoke. Happily, UFO kept enough of the original song that each is recognizable, but added their own twist to each one, making it firmly their own. That’s a good thing, not only for the songs themselves, but because UFO has chosen such a broad swath of music to cover—literally. From the Yardbirds’ “Heartful of Soul” to Mountains’ “Mississippi Queen,” and the Doors’ “Break on Through” to Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” all of the Elmore “American music with a history” genres show up here, but thanks to superior musicianship, The Salintino Cuts doesn’t sound like a hodgepodge, it sounds as refreshing as a waterfall on a hot summer day.

—Suzanne Cadgène

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