Great Metal Albums of 1985: UFO- Misdemeanor


Following the death of guitar/keyboards player Paul Raymond the week before last, I thought it very appropriate to post on UFO’s 1985, “Misdemeanor.” Here’s what I didn’t know: UFO had actually disbanded the year before following their disastrous “Making Contact” tour. Singer Phil Mogg remained in Los Angeles where he contacted guitarist Atomik Tommy M. (Tommy McClendon) with the intention of reforming the band. Paul did rejoin the band and it resulted in the making and release of the band’s twelfth album, “Misdemeanor.”

Here lies the problem with UFO and “Misdemeanor.” These days, this album would have been praised as a great progressive metal album, which is exactly what it is. There is some good metal guitar vibes woven around some intricate keyboards compliments of the late Raymond. Unfortunately, back in 1985, so called pure metalists would have branded the band and the album ‘wimpy’ for it’s use of keyboards. These people would have said UFO was trying to sound too commercial. However, I don’t do labels and have always let my own ears judge a band or an album.

For me, the inclusion of keyboards with heavy metal has always been a good thing. After all, it worked for Deep Purple, Rush and Dio and it works well on this album too. The first three tracks may lean a little to the Survivor sound but there is enough hard rock to keep it from going totally that way. The fourth track, the power ballad, “The Only Ones” might give the same feeling of 1980s commercialness but it is a cool track and provides a buffer to mark a change of direction in things. Following on is two rather harder rock tracks “Meanstreets” and “Name of Love.” “Blue” starts outs as if its going to be another power ballad but turns into a great rocking track, the best on the album in my opinion. “Dream the Dream” is a ballad, not as powerful as “The Only Ones” but done well with a cool guitar solo. The final two tracks sums this album up, good hard rock with some great keyboard melodies to back them up.

While all the members of UFO make great contributions to “Misdemeanor,” what comes through loud and clear on just about every track is the guitar work of Atomik Tommy M. I mean, why haven’t I heard of this guy before because gee, can he wail a guitar and does so clearly and with much consistency. However, as this post is also a dedication to the late Paul Raymond, his keyboard skills are first rate here and it is quite clear that the guitar-keyboards combination of Atomk and Raymond is quite lethal. There could have been great things from this combo had not Paul left the band in 1986.

Track Listing:

  1. This Time
  2. One Heart
  3. Night Run
  4. The Only Ones
  5. Meanstreets
  6. Name of Love
  7. Blue
  8. Dream the Dream
  9. Heaven’s Gate
  10. Wreckless



Phil Mogg- vocals

Atomik Tommy M- lead guitar

Paul Raymond- keyboards, guitar

Paul Gray- bass

Jim Simpson- drums

It could be argued here that possibly UFO were ahead of their time. The “Misdemeanor” album seems to have been caught in that chasm which existed at the time between too heavy metal and too commercial pop. All I can say that this is a cool album with some great musicianship to be had.

Next post: Kix- Midnite Dynamite

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: 













13 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: UFO- Misdemeanor”

  1. I always liked Heavens Gate. They recorded a live video of this tour on VHS that made it to my town back in the day which the songs from Misdemeanour sounded better live than the studio versions..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This was a good album I remember – with a cool front and back cover photo too, but then UFO were always a bit special with their cover art.
    Like you, I never minded one bit the addition of keyboards in hard rock (to me, Rainbow are masters of the keyboard and hard guitar sound).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sad and timely post. The production hasn’t aged very well for me on this, I have always absolutely loved that cover though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brett Cummings Says:

    Who is the woman on the cover of Misdemeanor?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: