Metallica's Lars Ulrich: My 15 Favorite Metal and Hard Rock Albums

Drummer goes deep on classics ranging from AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' to System of a Down's 'Toxicity'

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UFO, 'Strangers in the Night' (1979)
15
14/15

UFO, 'Strangers in the Night' (1979)

This is almost the definitive hard-rock live album. With a lot of the bands in the Seventies, the introduction to them for me was through the live album. Then you would go back and seek out the studio records. Labels would encourage bands like Judas Priest, Blue Öyster Cult and UFO to release live albums very early on in their careers after four or five records and they became these definitive double albums from the mid-to-late Seventies. A lot of these bands were encouraged to release live albums very early on in their careers. It was a way to keep the momentum going. 

Strangers in the Night is that live album for UFO, and it opens with "Natural Thing," and just goes through a few hits like "Only You Can Rock Me" and "Doctor Doctor." "Love To Love" is also one of those songs that falls in under the hard-rock-ballad blueprint, and you've got "Rock Bottom," which has, like, a seven-minute guitar solo from Michael Schenker. For a lot of the metal guitar players, Kirk Hammett included, Michael Schenker is one of those unsung heroes that never quite penetrated to the outside world the way that Randy Rhoads or Jimmy Page or whoever did. But for musicians and peers, Michael Schenker is one of the all-time favorites for a lot of people. And there's just a vibe on this album, you feel like you're at the gig. Obviously, that's the best kind of live album.

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