U.D.O. - 'The Best Of'

www.afm-records.de


THE BAND-
look at track listing


TRACK LISTING-
1.) "Animal House" - Taken from the CD 'Animal House' released on November 3, 1987   (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Mathias Dieth- Guitars, Peter Szigeti- Guitars, Frank Rittel- Bass Guitar, Thomas Franke - Drums)
2.) "Break The Rules" -Taken from the CD 'Meanmachine'
released on January 10, 1989 (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Mathias Dieth- Guitars, Andy Susemihl- Guitars, Thomas Smuszynski- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
3.) "Heart Of Gold" - Taken from the CD 'Faceless World'
released on February 25, 1990
 (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Mathias Dieth- Guitars, Keyboards, Thomas Smuszynski- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann- Drums, Stefan Kaufmann- Keyboards)
4.) "Two Faced Woman" - Taken from the CD 'Solid'
released on March 24, 1997(Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Stefan Kaufmann- Guitar, Jürgen Graf- Guitar, Fitty Wienhold- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
5.) "Metal Eater" - Taken from the CD 'Timebomb'
released on April 3, 1991
6.) "Desperate Balls" - Taken from the CD 'Solid'
released on March 24, 1997 (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Stefan Kaufmann- Guitar, Jürgen Graf- Guitar, Fitty Wienhold- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
7.) "Future Land" - Taken from the CD 'Faceless World'
released on February 25, 1990  (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Mathias Dieth- Guitars, Keyboards, Thomas Smuszynski- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann- Drums, Stefan Kaufmann- Keyboards)
8.) "Independence Day" - Taken from the CD 'Solid'
released on March 24, 1997 (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Stefan Kaufmann- Guitar, Jürgen Graf- Guitar, Fitty Wienhold- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
9.) "They Want Way" - Taken from the CD 'Animal House'
released on November 3, 1987  (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Mathias Dieth- Guitars, Peter Szigeti- Guitars, Frank Rittel- Bass Guitar, Thomas Franke - Drums)
10.) "In The Darkness" - Taken from the CD 'Animal House'
released on November 3, 1987  (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Mathias Dieth- Guitars, Peter Szigeti- Guitars, Frank Rittel- Bass Guitar, Thomas Franke - Drums)
11.) "Freelance Man" - Taken from the CD 'No Limits' (
Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Stefan Kaufmann- Guitar, Jürgen Graf- Guitar, Fitty Wienhold- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
12.) "No Limits" - Taken from the CD 'No Limits' (
Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Stefan Kaufmann- Guitar, Jürgen Graf- Guitar, Fitty Wienhold- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
13.) "Timebomb" - Taken from the CD 'Timebomb'
released on April 3, 1991 (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Mathias Dieth- Guitars, Thomas Smuszynski- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
14.) "Lovemachine" - Taken from the CD 'No Limits' (
Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Stefan Kaufmann- Guitar, Jürgen Graf- Guitar, Fitty Wienhold- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
15.) "I'm A Rebel" - Taken from the CD 'No Limits' (
Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Stefan Kaufmann- Guitar, Jürgen Graf- Guitar, Fitty Wienhold- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums)
16.) "Faceless World" - Taken from the CD 'Faceless World'
released on February 25, 1990
 (Udo Dirkschneider- Vocals, Mathias Dieth- Guitars, Keyboards, Thomas Smuszynski- Bass Guitar, Stefan Schwarzmann- Drums, Stefan Kaufmann- Keyboards)
17.) "The Key" - (previously unreleased)
-This intro opens with an electric guitar rhythm.  The guitar rhythm was done with some type of an effects pedal. Me being a drummer and not a guitarist I could not tell you which one was being used.  After two measures There is a short snare/tom-tom fill to kick-in the drum and bass line.  Over the top of the main intro connecting the intro with the musical verse there is a minor lead guitar solo.  However the rhythm guitar riffs were so heavy that it almost drowns it out.  There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  After each snare crack the drummer opens his hi-hat.  After each other lyric line the drummer opens and closes his hi-hat three times he also does three cymbal crashes.  For the musical chorus the two guitarists switch from playing the same arrangement.  One plays a different riff than the musical verse while the other plays lead guitar solo licks.  These solo licks you can hear better than you could the minor solo of the intro section.  There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first musical chorus with the second musical verse.  There is a minor solo that runs underneath UDO's vocals of the second musical verse.  The major solo is after the second chorus.  The last section of the lead guitar solo consisted of nothing but lead guitar.  There was a solo rhythm guitar section after the solo leading into the third verse. 

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     U.D.O. started back in 1987. Since then a couple of years have passed, and U.D.O. has become a well known name in the heavy metal world. Within a short period of time U.D.O. became to be a global presence, with pure sound and the unmistakable voice of Udo Dirkschneider. Closely tied to the name U.D.O. is ACCEPT, founded by Udo Dirkschneider and Michael Wagner (later to become a top producer) in Solingen, which was the predecessor of U.D.O. Already back then, Udo gave the band the label "unmistakable". The path ACCEPT took was marked with classics like "Breaker", "Restless and Wild" and "Balls to the Wall". After the breaking up of ACCEPT in 1987, a large fan community followed Udo Dirkschneider to U.D.O.. The loyal fans were not disappointed, for UDO amazed them with new U.D.O.
Starting with the first albums 'Animal House' in 1988 and 'Mean Machine' in 1989 U.D.O. proved to be pure heavy metal without any "Trend-Sound" influences. Both Albums continued where ACCEPT had left of in 1986 with 'Russian Roulette'. 'Animal House' was played in by Peter Szigeti (guitar), Frank Rittel from WARLOCK (bass), Mathias Dieth from SINNER (guitar),Thomas Franke (drums) and of course Udo Dirkschneider (vocals). When 'Mean Machine' was released in '89 U.D.O. had a totally different look. From the line-up which had played on 'Animal House', remained besides UDO only Mathias Dieth (guitar). New were Andy Susemihl (guitar), Thomas Smuszynski (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums).
Even though the unwritten U.D.O. law "No-Keyboards" was broken, U.D.O. achieved a amazing success, with the album 'Faceless World' , produced by ex-ACCEPT drummer Stefan Kaufmann. At first disputed, it turned out to be, with Udo Dirkschneider (vocals), Mathias Dieth (guitar), Wolla Boehm (guitar), Thomas Smuszynski (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums), U.D.O.'s most sold album so far.
After 'Timebomb' in 1991 U.D.O. , with a slightly new crew (Frank Fricke now played the guitar in place of Wolla Böhm), was temporarily put on ice by UDO Dirkschneider, to bring ACCEPT back to life. From 1992 'til 1996 ACCEPT performed in a highly watched over reunion, and UDO released three albums together with his old ACCEPT colleges, until the definite end was called for ACCEPT and U.D.O. was revived. For this UDO Dirkschneider called Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), Jürgen Graf (guitars), Fitty Wienhold (bass) und Stefan Schwarzmann (drums) to him. Udo Dirkschneider and Stefan Kaufmann then went, together with the new line-up, "back to where we started" and with that to recording on the "Tribute to Judas Priest". On this compilation of JUDAS PRIEST cover songs U.D.O. performed the track "Metal Gods". On this track everything just fits together. This was not only through Stefan Kaufmann's input, but also do to his acting as an counterpart to UDO Dirkschneider.

     A successful mix, which was improved on 'Solid' in 1997. This is when the rythmic guitar tracks and Stefan Kaufmann's solos came from. The other parts besides Dirkschneider and Kaufmann were taken by Jürgen Graf (guitar), Fitty Wienhold (bass) und Stefan Schwarzmann (drums). The title of the album shows what kind of music Udo always wanted to play: hard and heavy. And the success proved U.D.O. right. Solid was placed on the "Rock Hard" reader charts for more than a year.
'Solid' was followed by 'No Limits' in 1998; another U.D.O-Master-Piece. The songs are full of power and continue were U.D.O. had left off with last album. UDO Dirkschneider (vocals), Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), Stefan Schwarzmann (drums), Jürgen Graf (guitar) and Fitty Wienhold (bass) - the guys from U.D.O. amaze the fans with their enjoyment to play - and that worldwide.
Udo Dirkschneider (vocals), Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), Lorenzo Milani (drums), Igor Gianola (guitar) and Fitty Wienhold (bass). With the release of 'Holy' Udo and Stefan decide to go back to the roots and get the original sound out of the cellar. The reaction of fans and journalists left no doubt that this was the right step. A World Tour has been the logical consequence of this album. There are important lineup changes, on the second part of the 'No Limits' tour (1999), Igor Gianola, former guitar player of the swiss band GOTTHARD, replaces Jürgen Graf. When the 'No Limits' Tour is finished Stefan Schwarzmann quit the band, and on the 'Holy' Tour (2000) Lorenzo Milani take its place. The next two studio releases – 2004's 'Thunderball' and 2005's 'Mission No. X- – were slightly livelier affairs, with the band's touring of Germany, South America, and Eastern Europe. Sonically, the former shared much in common with 'Timebomb', while the latter followed 'No Limits'.
It was with 2007's Mastercutor, that U.D.O. returned to form. The album was the most financially successful in years and received universally high marks from musical critics and metal fans alike. UDO's appearance on Finnish metal band Lordi's album, 'The Arockalypse', exposed U.D.O. to a wider audience. Live DVD 'Mastercutor Alive' was released in 2008.
U.D.O.'s twelfth studio album, 'Dominator', was released on 21 August 2009. U.D.O.'s next studio album, 'Rev-Raptor' was released on 20 May 2011.
On 12 September 2012 Stefan Kaufmann, longtime guitar player in U.D.O. has left the band for health reasons. The band has begun with the preparations for the forthcoming studio album and is looking for a guitar player with immediate effect. Stefan will continue to work in the surroundings of the band and produce bands in his own ROXX studio. 'Steelhammer' was released on 20 May 2013.
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     I guess like most Metal fans I first heard the name UDO Dirkscheider was in 1983 while he was with the band Accept and heard their song titled, "Balls To The Wall" from the album with the same title.  Then when I saw the video I thought "Holy crap!!!! I can't believe such a powerful voice was coming out of such a little man!"  After Accept's 'Russian Roulette' released April 21, 1986 UDO made the decision to leave the band he co-founded in 1968.  I bought UDO's first release titled, 'Animal House' is 1987 due to the single "They Want War" which is an amazing CD that still stands up even by today's standards.  For one reason or another that was the first and last one I purchased.  It wasn't until here recently while I was reviewing 'Live if Sofia' that I reconnected with the artist.  Since then I have purchased his entire catalog and everyone of them blows the stuff he recorded with Accept away.  
     Though between 1987-2011 U.D.O. has released thirteen CD's this greatest hits package only deal with the first six, 'Animal House, 'Mean Machine', 'Faceless World', 'Timebomb', 'Solid' and 'No Limit'.  So is this a true greatest hits package?  Well, including the new one 'Steelhammer' there is eight CD's excluded.  However I am sure there will be a volume II coming soon.
     Personally, I never by greatest hits packages just because over the years I have come to find out usually there are a lot better songs on a release then the two or three singles the label chooses.  In some cases the b-side of a single is better than the single itself.  Case in point Kiss's "Detroit Rock City" the b-side was "Beth".  However in the case of U.D.O. - 'Best Of' this is a greatest hits that should have been made a long long time ago!  For someone who isn't big on greatest hits I was very pleased with the songs UDO and AFM Records chose for this package as you will be.  It doesn't matter rather if you have his entire catalog or not this is well worth buying!!!!