Category Archives: Michael Schenker Group

Michael Schenker Group – The 30th Anniversary Concert – Live In Tokyo

Michael Schenker Group – The 30th Anniversary Concert – Live In Tokyo (2010, Inakustik Records)

CD 1
1. “Welcome Howl” … 2:06
2. “Feels Like A Good Thing” … 3:45
3. “Cry For The Nations” … 5:50
4. “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” … 6:59
5. “Armed And Ready” … 4:24
6. “Victim Of Illusion” … 5:22
7. “Are You Ready To Rock” … 6:49
8. “I Want You” … 4:00
9. “A Night To Remember” … 4:14
10. “Into The Arena” … 4:22

CD 2
1. “Lost Horizons” … 9:52
2. “Rock My Nights Away” … 4:48
3. “On And On” … 5:40
4. “Attack Of The Mad Axeman” … 5:16
5. “Ride On My Way” … 4:27
6. “Rock Bottom” … 11:39
7. “Dance Lady Gipsy” … 4:28
8. “Doctor, Doctor” … 5:51

Gary Barden – Lead Vocals
Michael Schenker – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Wayne Findlay – Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Neil Murray – Bass
Simon Phillips – Drums

Producer: Kiyoshi Iwasawa

The 30th Anniversary Concert – Live In Tokyo is, well, a 30th anniversary concert from Tokyo! It was recorded on January 10, 2010 at the Nakano Sun Plaza to celebrate 30 years since MSG’s formation. Rightfully, the night mostly focuses on the group’s first two releases and original MSG members singer Gary Barden and drummer Simon Phillips are back in the fold. There are also a few songs from the group’s 2008 album In the Midst of Beauty and “Dance Lady Gipsy” comes from an album called Lady Gipsy which was released under the Schenker Barden Acoustic Project name in 2009.

I must admit for all these years I haven’t followed Michael’s career all that closely outside of the albums he did with the Scorpions. It wasn’t until this past year I’ve made an effort to try out his solo material and the only UFO album I own is The Essential UFO compilation but after listening to this album it’s easy to see why Schenker (the man and the Group) has such a loyal following. I’ve never questioned his status as a guitar god though and it’s obvious a status he is still retaining in 2010, just amazing work all throughout this night.

30 years later, Gary Barden’s voice isn’t as strong as it once was but that’s to be expected and it’s not like his voice is shot. He can still get it done. If anything, his vocals have a bit of a rougher edge and texture that I happen to like and it gives the songs an even more loose, raw rock ‘n’ roll feel. At certain points, I think he sounds like Bruce Dickinson (even if he lacks his power) and Fozzy’s Chris Jericho.

I can’t imagine too many complaining about the set list here. It hits upon the major MSG moments, throws in some new tunes (which are solid and the best of those is “Ride On My Way”) and of course it wouldn’t be a Schenker concert unless he tossed out a few signature songs from his UFO days. The Sun Plaza holds a little over 2,000 people. I’m not sure if this show was a sellout but the crowd is enthusiastic throughout and especially eats up the classics.

For someone that isn’t (yet) a hardcore Schenker fan, I enjoyed this album a lot. I’m sure Schenker fans will enjoy it even more than I did. Thumbs up!

Highlights: “Feels Like A Good Thing”, “Cry For The Nations”, “Armed And Ready”, “I Want You”, “Into the Arena”, “Lost Horizons”, “Ride On My Way”, “Rock Bottom”, “Doctor, Doctor”

MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP – Michael Schenker Group

The Michael Schenker Group – The Michael Schenker Group [Remastered] (2009, EMI Records/Chrysalis Records – UK Import)
Original Release: 1980, Chrysalis Records

1. “Armed and Ready” … 4:05
2. “Cry for the Nations” … 5:08
3. “Victim of Illusion” … 4:41
4. “Bijou Pleasurette” … 2:16
5. “Feels Like a Good Thing” … 3:44
6. “Into the Arena” … 4:10
7. “Looking Out from Nowhere” … 4:28
8. “Tales of Mystery” … 3:16
9. “Lost Horizons” … 7:04
10. “Just a Lover” (Demo) … 4:34
11. “Looking Out from Nowhere” (Demo) … 5:13
12. “Get Up and Get Down” (Demo) … 3:59
13. “After Midnight” (Demo) … 4:31
14. “Breakout” (Demo) … 4:42
15. “Cry for the Nations” (Radio Edit) … 3:35
16. “Armed and Ready” (Live) … 4:40
17. “Into the Arena” (Live) … 4:20

Gary Barden – Vocals
Michael Schenker – Guitar
Paul Raymond – Guitar, Keyboards (Tracks 16 &17)
Mo Foster – Bass (Tracks 1-9, 15)
Chris Glen – Bass (Tracks 16 & 17)
Billy Sheehan – Bass (Tracks 10-14)
Simon Phillips – Drums (Tracks 1-9, 15)
Denny Carmassi – Drums (Tracks 10-14)
Cozy Powell – Drums (Tracks 16 & 17)
Don Airey – Keyboards (Tracks 1-9, 15)

Producer: Roger Glover

I’ve had the early Michael Schenker Group albums on my want list for years and for once my procrastination has paid off because this album was reissued & remastered in 2009 with an additional EIGHT tracks. Now that’s how you do reissues!

The first time I recall hearing “Armed and Ready” was earlier this year (I know, shame on me) on the Guitar Hero: Metallica game. I blown away by it, it’s a great tune and became one of my most played tracks from that game. Unfortunately, the rest of the album isn’t up to meet the energy and high level of rock set with opening track.

The album isn’t bad and it isn’t even average, I have to say it’s quite good but “Armed and Ready” is such a great hard rock song, I was disappointed by everything else I heard. This is melodic hard rock, but maybe a bit too melodic and polished. I was hoping for a bit of a harder take on things ala Scorpions. So the MSG debut is good, but not quite as good as I was lead to believe over the years.

The bonus tracks are really cool though. It’s hard rock, there’s no keyboards to be heard (I much prefer the demo of “Looking Out from Nowhere” over the final product). Solid stuff. I wonder why Schenker decided to add in keyboards for the actual album and why some of these songs didn’t make the cut?

Highlights: “Armed and Ready”, “Victim of Illusion”, “Feels Like a Good Thing”, “Into the Arena”, “Tales of Mystery”, “Just a Lover”

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