U.D.O.

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For other uses, see UDO.
U.D.O.
UDO Band live.jpg
U.D.O. live in 2004
Background information
Origin Solingen, Germany
Genres Heavy metal
Years active
  • 1987–1992
  • 1996–present
Labels AFM, Breaker, GUN, RCA
Associated acts Accept, Gotthard, Bullet, Edge of Forever
Website www.udo-online.de
Members Udo Dirkschneider
Bill Hudson
Andrey Smirnov
Fitty Wienhold
Sven Dirkschneider
Past members Stefan Kaufmann
Peter Szigeti
Frank Rittel
Mathias Dieth
Thomas Franke
Wolla Böhm
Dieter Rubach
Andy Susemihl
Thomas Smuszynski
Stefan Schwarzmann
Frank Fricke
Jurgen Graf
Lorenzo Milani
Igor Gianola
Francesco Jovino
Kasperi Heikkinen

U.D.O. is a German heavy metal band founded by lead singer Udo Dirkschneider in 1987.

History[edit]

1987–1992[edit]

After Udo Dirkschneider left Accept in 1987, a large fan community followed him to U.D.O.

Starting with the first two 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 U.D.O., 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 to 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, the band had a different line-up: only Udo Dirkschneider, Mathias Dieth and Andy Susemihl remained. New additions were Thomas Smuszynski (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums).

U.D.O. achieved success with the 1990 album Faceless World, produced by ex-Accept drummer Stefan Kaufmann. U.D.O.'s follow-up album was Timebomb in 1991 which was their last for seven years.

1996–present[edit]

U.D.O. performing live at Norway Rock Festival in 2009

From 1992 to 1996, Accept reformed their classic line up and Dirkschneider put U.D.O. on hiatus to record three albums with his old bandmates. 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, performing the track "Metal Gods".

1997 saw the release of Solid, the first full-length U.D.O. album to feature the guitar work of Stefan Kaufmann. It was featured on the Rock Hard magazine reader charts for more than a year after its release.

The album was followed up with No Limits in 1998 and featured a similar songwriting approach as the previous year's effort. It 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".

In 1999, the band released the critically acclaimed Holy, which was a return to the guitar-driven sound similar to the 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 tour with Igor Gianola of Gotthard, replaced Jürgen Graf. When the No Limits tour concluded, Stefan Schwarzmann quit the band. On the 2000 leg of the Holy tour, Lorenzo Milani was the new drummer. The tour also spawned U.D.O.'s first live album, Live from Russia, a two-disc affair which featured many of the classic Accept tunes (with the exception of "Balls to the Wall") that have since become staples of U.D.O.'s set.

2002's Man and Machine received a somewhat lukewarm response. Despite standout songs like the title track and "Private Eye", the album was ultimately less successful than its predecessor. It is notable for spawning a promo video of "Dancing With An Angel", featuring a duet between Udo and Doro Pesch of Warlock.

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 saw U.D.O. return 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 2006 album, The Arockalypse, exposed U.D.O. to a wider audience.

U.D.O.'s twelfth studio album, Dominator, was released on 21 August 2009.[1] U.D.O.'s next studio album, Rev-Raptor was released on 20 May 2011.[2]

In September 2012, Stefan Kaufmann, longtime guitar player in U.D.O., left the band for health reasons.[3] He continues to work in the surroundings of the band and produces for other bands in his own ROXX studio. In early January 2013, the band announced the addition of Russian guitarist Andrey Smirnov.[4] A week later, guitarist Igor Gianola left the band "due to conflicts between band appointments and his private life and business." Following his departure, former Amberian Dawn guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen joined the band.[5] The next album, Steelhammer, was released on 20 May of that year.[6]

In late 2014, drummer Francesco Jovino left the band for personal reasons.[7] He went on to join fellow German power metal band Primal Fear.[8] He was replaced by Udo Dirkschneider's son, Sven.[9] U.D.O. released the fifteenth studio album Decadent on 23 January 2015.[10]

The band is currently touring under the name Dirkschneider, in which Udo Dirkschneider stated is his "farewell to Accept". He announced his plans in 2015 to embark on a special tour in 2016 and perform Accept songs one last time before he closes the chapter for good.[11] A live album titled Live - Back to the Roots was released in October 28, 2016.[12] They will continue to tour as Dirkschneider into 2017.[13]

On February 17, 2017, guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen announced his departure citing personal reasons. According to the band, no bad blood or drama were involved between the two.[14] In a March update, Udo Dirkschneider announced that the band has begun work on a new studio album for a tentative late 2017 release.[15] In a message post on Facebook, Dirkschneider explained that he will continue to perform Accept songs for at least another year.[16] On March 31, the band announced the addition of new guitarist Bill Hudson.[17]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live from Russia (2001)
  • Nailed to Metal – The Missing Tracks (2003)
  • Mastercutor Alive (2008)
  • Live in Sofia (2011)
  • Steelhammer - Live from Moscow (2014)
  • Live - Back to the Roots (2016) (as Dirkschneider)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Best Of (1999)
  • Metallized - 20 Years of Metal (2007)
  • Celebrator - Rare Tracks (2012)[18]

Singles/EPs[edit]

  • They Want War (1988)
  • Heart of Gold (1990)
  • Faceless World (1990)
  • Two Faced Woman (1997)
  • Independence Day (1997)
  • Lovemachine (1998)
  • Dancing with an Angel (2002)
  • 24/7 EP (2005)
  • The Wrong Side of Midnight EP (2007)
  • Infected EP (2009)
  • Leatherhead EP (2011)
  • Steelhammer (2013)
  • Decadent (2014)

Music Videos[edit]

  • They Want War (1988)
  • Break the Rules (1989)
  • Heart of Gold (1990)
  • Independence Day (1997)
  • Dancing with an Angel (with Doro Pesch) (2002)
  • Thunderball (2004)
  • Blind Eyes (2004)
  • The Arbiter (2004)
  • Trainride to Russia (2004)
  • Mean Streets (2005)
  • The Wrong Side of Midnight (2007)
  • Black and White (2009)
  • Leatherhead (2011)
  • I Give As Good As I Get (2011)
  • Metal Machine (2013)
  • Heavy Rain (2013)
  • Decadent (2014)

DVDs[edit]

  • Nailed to Metal - The Complete History (2003)
  • Thundervision (2004)
  • Mastercutor Alive (2008)
  • Live in Sofia (2012)
  • Live from Moscow (2014)
  • Navy metal night (2015)

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

Timeline[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.D.O.: 'Dominator' Artwork Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ "U.D.O.: Complete 'Rev-Raptor' Album Details Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ "GUITARIST STEFAN KAUFMANN LEAVES U.D.O.; BAND SEEK REPLACEMENT". Bravewords.com. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ "U.D.O. Announces New Guitarist". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Guitarist Igor Gianola Leaves U.D.O., Replacement Announced". metalunderground.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ "U.D.O.: 'Steelhammer' Track Listing Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ "DRUMMER FRANCESCO JOVINO LEAVES U.D.O.; BAND SEEK REPLACEMENT". Bravewords.com. Retrieved December 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Primal Fear - Drummer Aquiles Out, Francesco Jovino In". metalstorm.net. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  9. ^ "UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER's Son SVEN Joins U.D.O. As Band's Drummer". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  10. ^ "U.D.O.: 'Decadent' Track Listing Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ "UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER To Embark On Special ACCEPT 'Farewell' Tour In 2016". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  12. ^ "DIRKSCHNEIDER To Release 'Live - Back To The Roots' Album In October". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved August 18, 2016. 
  13. ^ "UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER Announces North American 'Back To The Roots - Farewell To ACCEPT' Tour". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved June 1, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Guitarist KASPERI HEIKKINEN Quits U.D.O. And DIRKSCHNEIDER". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  15. ^ "U.D.O. Begins Work On New Album". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  16. ^ "UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER To Continue Performing ACCEPT Classics For At Least Another Year". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  17. ^ "U.D.O. And DIRKSCHNEIDER Joined By Guitarist BILL HUDSON". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved March 31, 2017. 
  18. ^ U.D.O. To Release Rare Tracks Album "Celebrator"

External links[edit]