November 14, 2022
Photo Credit: Tim Tronckoe

The force of nature that is Udo Dirkschneider seems to be on a one-man mission to swamp the stores with ‘new’ U.D.O. releases and this ‘best of’ 2CD compilation follows on rather rapidly from his recent and most excellent covers album called most appropriately My Way.

Dirkschneider has over 50-years’ worth of experience in the hard rock and metal business and has, at times, almost single headedly flown the flag for German heavy metal and his contributions to the world of rock are immense and should be recognised as such. Surely, there must be at least one Dirkschneider album in every self-respecting rock fans collection be it early Accept or any of the variations of his own band! His delivery is unique and he has a perfect voice for hard rock with his gravelly and grizzled tones that sounds as though he gargles with razor blades but he is the perfect frontman especially when the guitars are screaming and the bass and drums vying with each other to open the very gates of hell.

As part of the continuing celebrations for 35-years of U.D.O. and the release of the first album, Animal House, back in 1987 we now have this career spanning album which is very much the ‘best of’ U.D.O. Of course, as with any compilation, there are sure to be some fan omissions but what Udo has done is to select 33-tracks that he feels best suits his career to date. Each of his albums is represented so what you have is an exceptional release with 151-minutes of screaming heavy metal with Udo in his pomp and more screaming, wailing guitars than is probably safe to handle. The set-list is inspired and just about everything you would expect is here and when you sit and listen through both discs it hits you just how vital and essential this man is; this is one set that you will never tire of. The temptation, as always, with Udo, is to turn up the volume and headbang until your head damn near falls and don’t forget your essential air guitar too! The set also features 4 rare tracks which have not had a global release but band devotees should have already heard them and all follow the usual Udo template and fit in neatly with everything else on the album.

If you are new to the man and his music then this is an excellent way to begin your education and will appeal to those already into Judas Priest, Accept and Scorpions. Buy, play, enjoy, repeat.

The Legacy

CD1

  1. Fear Detector (4:21)
  2. Metal Never Dies (5:07)
  3. Wilder Life (bonus track) (4:09)
  4. Pandemonium (5:27)
  5. One Heart One Soul (4:57)
  6. Make The Move (4:05)
  7. What A Hell of A Night (bonus track) (4:08)
  8. Pain (5:11)
  9. Decadent (4:50
  10. Falling Angels (bonus track) (4:56)
  11. Metal Machine (4:47)
  12. Steelhammer (3:24)
  13. Dust And Rust (bonus track) (4:32)
  14. I Give As Good As I Get (4:19)
  15. Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers (4:16)
  16. Dominator (4:46)

CD2

  1. Mastercutor (5:18)
  2. Vendetta (4:12)
  3. 24/7 (3:58)
  4. Blind Eyes (4:20)
  5. Man And Machine (5:42)
  6. Like A Lion (4:17)
  7. Shout It Out (4:56)
  8. Holy (4:57)
  9. Freelance Man (4:25)
  10. Independence Day (6:03)
  11. Metal Eater (3:43)
  12. Future Land (5:13)
  13. Blitz of Lightning (4:25)
  14. We’re History (3:33)
  15. Break The Rules (4:03)
  16. Go Back To Hell (4:36)
  17. They Want War (4:14)