Having spent the 1970s taking UFO and Scorpions to the top of the heavy metallic pantheon, Michael Schenker chose to take the 1980s into his own hands. Enter MSG, or Michael Schenker Group. While chiefly serving as a solo vessel for Schenker, the same way Rainbow did for Ritchie Blackmore, MSG featured an all star draw of heavy hitters. Cozy Powell, Don Airey, Paul Raymond, Graham Bonnet, Simon Phillips : The tilt goes “ On and on and on and on and on ”. By the mid 1980s, poodle haired crooner Robin McAuley joined the band, transforming them into McAuley Schenker Group. For chasteness ’ south sake, we ’ ra including both incarnations of MSG in this top 10. The group is distillery going strong today. Their 14th album, Immortal, comes out this Friday, January 29. now, without farther bustle, are you “ Armed and Ready ” for this tilt ? We are !
10. “Into the Arena”
Reading: Top 10: MSG Songs
MSG instrumentals typically showcase blistering, melodious guitar solo. After all, the band is called Michael Schenker Group. What gives “ Into the Arena ” an border over other classical instrumentals like “ Ulcer ” and “ Captain Nemo ” is that it showcases the entire group. It ’ s a testament to the improbable endowment Schenker surrounded himself with in the 1980s, many of whom still surround him to this day in Michael Schenker Fest. Your air guitar playlist international relations and security network ’ t complete without this one…or your air cram playlist…or your air out keyboard playlist .
9. “Love is Not a Game”
I ’ megabyte credibly in the minority here, but I ’ ve constantly had a position in my heart for McAuley Schenker Group. It ’ south slowly to dismiss this chapter in Schenker ’ s career as a shameless chute upon the pop metallic bandwagon. I mean, for crying out loud, during this era he started wearing hair extensions. Hair extensions ! But it doesn ’ t matter how a lot hairspray, bling, or tinny 80s drums the record white house pushed to polish his trope. At the end of the day, Schenker is still Schenker, as evidenced by our # 9, “ Love is not a Game ”. even your run of the mill Bon Jovi flavored ditty wasn ’ thyroxine safe from the Mad Axeman ’ s deadly leads .
Coming in at # 8 is the biggest reach of MSG ’ s career, “ Anytime ”. This mega melodic power ballad received considerable airplay on MTV ’ mho Headbangers Ball and peaked at # 5 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. That ’ s a pretty big manage for a guy who had been in the game for close to 2 decades at this item ! Little did Schenker know we ’ d still be waving our lighters to this one as we celebrate his fiftieth anniversary .
7. “The Dogs of War”
Built to Destroy is an dominate record, though I understand why. It came right off the heels of MSG ’ s finest hour, Assault Attack. And if we put these two albums side to side, well, Built to Destroy doesn ’ t even come close. One ’ s a full blown heavy alloy masterpiece. The other teases the hard rock/AOR sound that was to come for Schenker, though done not closely american samoa competently as it would be with McAuley. With all that said, Built to Destroy features one of the most underestimate songs in the MSG catalog, “ The Dogs of War ”. It ’ s as heavy and hood as they come, with a vocal from Gary Barden that begs the interview, “ Did you miss me ? ”
I will never for the life of me understand how this wasn ’ t a top 40 hit worldwide. From the song social organization to the singer himself ( Graham Bonnet ), “ Dancer ” is cut from the lapp fabric as such Rainbow smash hits like “ Since You Been Gone ” and “ All Night Long ”. possibly the Chrysalis marketing department consisted of a bunch together of braindead neanderthals ? That must be it. There ’ mho no other cause “ Dancer ” couldn ’ metric ton have crossed over and torn up the AM airwaves aboard Judas Priest ’ s “ You ’ ve Got Another Thing Comin ‘ ” and Scorpions ’ “ No One Like You ” that same year .
5. “Armed and Ready”
This, my friends, is how you open up an album. No baleful buildups. No acoustic “ sedate before the storm ”. No spoke give voice prologue. Schenker goes straight for the jugular vein with the nastiest flick of 1980 to not come out of the NWOBHM. To quote Barden in the first poetry, “ If you don ’ thymine approve, you can use the door. ” Amen .
4. “Save Yourself”
McAuley Schenker Group wasn ’ t all about boodle coated, radio friendly rockers. No, sometimes they ’ d give you a curveball, like the title cut to their moment album, “ Save Yourself ”. The song starts with a neoclassic ting intro from Schenker, before revving into overdrive and taking no prisoners. I ’ vitamin d never take McAuley for being a “ baffling guy ”, but this sung is pretty curse convincing in making me believe differently .
3. “Lost Horizons”
If “ Armed and Ready ” is how you open an album, “ Lost Horizons ” is how you close it. I don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate care how cliché it sounds. every meter I listen to this song, I get goosebumps from beginning to end. Has any early guitarist outside of Gary Moore been able to balance heaviness and person so flawlessly ? I think not. Feel free to prove me wrong in the comments .
An MSG song where Schenker isn ’ t the highlight is about equally rare as a sum eclipse. Yet such a curio makes it all the way to # 2 on this list. Don ’ triiodothyronine get me incorrectly. I envision myself treading slowly, sword in hand, to that proto-chug riff ( Did I very fair type that ? ) just arsenic much as the adjacent person. But the frosting on the cake is Graham Bonnet ’ second faultless song performance, in which he harmonizes with himself ! Because the only matter better than one Graham Bonnet on a racetrack is two Graham Bonnets !
- “Assault Attack”
Speaking of Graham Bonnet, our # 1 features possibly the finest performance of his career. For closely 40 years, “ Assault Attack ” has been remade, remake, and reimagined by metallic bands all over the globe. And guess what ? No singer has even come close to the master. If anything, it ’ south one of those songs that singers constantly butcher like “ Bohemian Rhapsody ” or “ My Way ”. Anyways, enough about Bonnet. Let ’ s talk about the lie of this amaze band .
There ’ s no “ shredding ” per southeast on this track. Just a elephantine riff and a gentle, mesmerizing interlude. For most 80s metal guitarists, the lack of a full blow solo would be a death prison term. For Michael Schenker, it was merely another day ’ second sour. It may be lone at the top, but joining him and Bonnet were the early Sensational Alex Harvey Band rhythm section of Chris Glen ( bass ) and Ted McKenna ( drums ). This thunderous rhythm section rounded out what was rightfully the finest incarnation of MSG.
While Glen and McKenna would stick around a act longer, Bonnet was soon out of the isthmus due to an incident of indecent exposure. Who knows what could ’ ve been for this lineup had Graham been able to contain himself…literally. But alternatively of lamenting about what could ’ ve been, I ’ ll be grateful for what was and is one of the greatest traditional alloy albums of all time, Assault Attack .