Michael Schenker Group – MSG

ARTIST: Michael Schenker Group 220px-MSG_II_-_1981

TITLE:  MSG

YEAR RELEASED: 1981

CHART ACTION: #81 US, #14 UK

SINGLES: Ready to Rock

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Attack of the Mad Axeman

LINEUP: Michael Schenker, Gary Barden, Cozy Powell, Chris Glen, Paul Raymond

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second MSG album, and first with his touring band, finds the formula the same as the first. However, there’s no exciting songs here, just journeyman hard rock.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The second Michael Schenker Group record finds the guitarist Schenker is decent form, sprinkling his riffs and solos through the eight songs here. The problem isn’t his playing.

The songs are just flat. “Attack of the Mad Axeman” has a swing to it, but Barden’s vocals sound out of place. Other songs, like “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie”, “Looking for Love” and “Ready to Rock” are as clichéd as the titles, though the riffs are decent. The ballads and slower songs though…nah.

I know that you really don’t listed to Schenker for the singer or the lyrics, but they need to rise above something a bar band genius would write. I’m filing this under meh, and exiling a couple.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The producer, Ron Nevison, spent a lot of money on this album getting the sounds right (I don’t like the drum sound, but that may be because Cozy Powell overplays a bit) and drove the band into a big debt with the record company.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, live cuts and a ‘monitor mix’ whatever that means.

GRADE: C+: If there was just one song that rose above the pack I’d consider a higher grade.

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