U.D.O – One Heart One Soul (2018)
U.D.O. is a German heavy metal band founded by lead singer Udo Dirkschneider in 1987.
After Udo Dirkschneider left Accept in 1987, a large fan community followed him to U.D.O.
Starting with the first albums Animal House in 1987 and Mean Machine in 1988 U.D.O. proved to be pure heavy metal without any Trend-Sound influences. Both albums continued where Accept had left off in 1986 with Russian Roulette.
Apart from Udo, Animal House was recorded by Peter Szigeti (guitars), Frank Rittel from Warlock on (bass), Mathias Dieth from Sinner and Gravestone (guitars) and Thomas Franke (drums).
From 1987 – 1989 they toured with the following line-up: Udo Dirkschneider (vocals), Mathias Dieth (guitar), Andy Susemihl (guitar), Dieter Rubach (bass) and Thomas Franke (drums). They toured with Guns N’ Roses, Lita Ford and Zodiac Mindwarp.
By Mean Machine (released in 1988) the band had a different line-up: only Udo, Mathias Dieth and Andy Susemihl remained. New additions were Thomas Smuszynski (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums).
U.D.O. achieved success with the album Faceless World, produced by ex-Accept drummer Stefan Kaufmann. U.D.O.’s follow-up album was Timebomb, and it was their last for five years.
From 1992-1996 Accept reformed their classic line up, and Dirkschneider put U.D.O. on hiatus to record three albums with his old Accept colleagues. After another break up, Dirkschneider returned to U.D.O. with Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), Jürgen Graf (guitars), Fitty Wienhold (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums).
Udo Dirkschneider and Stefan Kaufmann then recorded tracks for the Tribute to Judas Priest compilation of Judas Priest cover songs, U.D.O. performing the track “Metal Gods”.
1997 saw the band return with Solid, the first full-length U.D.O. album to feature the guitar work of Stefan Kaufmann. Solid featured on the Rock Hard magazine reader charts for more than a year after release.
Solid was followed by No Limits in 1998, and featured a similar songwriting approach as the previous year’s effort. The album also featured U.D.O.’s first returning lineup since the band’s inception ten years prior. The album also featured a cover of the Austrian pop band Supermax’s hit single “Love Machine”.
With the release of the critically acclaimed Holy a return to the guitar-driven sound similar to Balls to the Wall-era Accept. A world tour followed with dates in the United States and several other major countries.
Lineup changes occurred during the second part of the 1999 tour with Igor Gianola, ex of Gotthard, replacing Jürgen Graf. When the No Limits tour concluded, Schwarzmann quit the band, and on the Holy tour (2000) Lorenzo Milani took his place behind the drum kit.
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