Why is UFO’s Phenomenon on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Livin’, lovin’ on the run, so far away from you.
Some stats & info about UFO – Phenomenon
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, British Bands, Arena Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
- When was Phenomenon released? 1974
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #663 out of 1,000
UFO’s Phenomenon on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does UFO’s Phenomenon mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Phenomenon hits that sweet spot of what I’m looking for from a mid-1970s rock album. It’s got a muscular quality that pulls a little bit from Led Zeppelin but even more so from Cream. It’s got an arena rock vibe that you can imagine the characters from Dazed and Confused being all about wanting to see them live.
And this might seem slightly odd, but hopefully you can dig: in a way it calls out a time and era when music was simply more important than it is today. And I mean that simply in terms of the pop cultural “content” and output that’s instantly available today (when it’s not being hurled at us) from a dizzying number of technological sources. TV, movies, books, news, information, infotainment, and (yes!) even a galactical ocean of music is all available right now and all the time.
I’m not sure why Phenomenon puts me in that frame of mind, but it does. The movie Almost Famous does as well.
“Built for Comfort” will connect the dots for you on that Cream influence – it’s quite reminiscent of “Born Under a Bad Sign,” but does a good job of (strange?) brewing up its own hard rock and blues concoction.
“Oh My” makes you want to get into the station wagon with the cast of That ‘70s Show and blow out the speakers while barreling down an open midwestern road. How’s that for yet another pop cultural call out?
And I haven’t even yet gotten to the two biggest hits on Phenomenon: “Doctor Doctor” and “Rock Bottom.” The former starts out in acoustic guitar mode before opening up the big drums and monster guitar while ramping up to an arena-shaking big sound and faster pace. Really fun stuff.
“Rock Bottom” leans into more of a Black Sabbath-y heavy metal sound. It’s pretty solid but not my favorite song on the album.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to UFO’s Phenomenon
Speaking of Phenomenon, that was also the name of a 1996 movie starring John Travolta, who was still crushing his box office competition at the time coming off his huge comeback, thanks to Quentin Tarantino and Pulp Fiction.
Phenomenon is kind of a silly movie, but Travolta is good in it (as is co-star Kyra Sedgwick), it’s pretty engaging while being generally fun and uplifting, and maybe most importantly, Robert Duvall is in it, who’s great in everything.