UFO: Lights Out
Growing up, I listened to AM pop radio longer than most of my peers. So when the classic rock format first hit the New York airwaves in the mid '80s, it was actually refreshing to me. Of course, that didn't last. The format quickly ossified into endless repeats of the same 100 songs, and I moved on. At times, I've dreamed of an alternate reality where my long list of songs that should have been classic rock staples actually are. UFO's "Lights Out," the title track to their best studio album (it hit 23 on the U.S. album charts in 1977), is one of those songs.
Back in their '70s heyday, UFO straddled the line between hard rock and heavy metal. Indeed, they are often seen as the influential bridge between the two. Like many songs in both genres, it's not the lyrics that are important here, but the way the music makes an adolescent boy feel. When I discovered this song in 1986, it made me feel like cranking up the stereo to maximum volume. And it still does.