MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP – Assault Attack +1 [Japan Forever Young series remastered] Out Of Print
Some months ago, as requested, we featured at 0dayrox the out of print remastered Japanese edition of MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP first two records, as part of the ‘Forever Young Series Remastered’ including bonus tracks, now out of print.
Now, and accompanying the new 2021 MSG album, we have here their third, 1982 smoking hot LP “Assault Attack”, the only album from the group to feature former Rainbow vocalist Graham Bonnet.
The Michael Schenker Group was always more about Schenker than the musicians that surrounded him, so the first two albums—1980’s self-titled and 1981’s MSG—had completely different personnel save for Schenker and vocalist Gary Barden.
No surprise, then, that when it came time for album number three, ”Assault Attack” — the lineup turned over (nearly completely) once again, with then-drummer Cozy Powell even exiting in the middle of the writing.
So, it was not without the typical Schenker drama that this album not only came into the world, but died a swift commercial death upon its release, when new vocalist Graham Bonnet (ex-Rainbow) was booted after exposing himself onstage at a pre-release warm-up gig in England.
However, the only album that featured Bonnet – who later went on to front Alcatrazz – turned out to be one of MSG’s finest moment, a record beloved for decades not only for Schenker’s incredible playing, but the stellar songs, Bonnet’s soaring vocals and Martin Birch’s bruising production.
Though this line-up (rounded out by bassist Chris Glen, drummer Ted McKenna and keyboard player Tommy Eyre) never toured at the time, longtime fans of ”Assault Attack” heard many of these terrific songs performed live all over Schenker’s career.
The constant rockin’ theme of ”Assault Attack” and its melodic nature screams relevancy still today.
One of our favorites is the exquisitely melodic and still heavy ”Dancer”. The solo by Michael Schenker on ”Dancer” is a listen in classic metal art, while Bonnet’s performance is stunning, plenty of emotion.
Title track simply rocks, then ‘Rock You To The Ground’ makes honor to its title. A terrific bluesy Hard Rock track, with Michael Schenker really letting loose with an energetic solo that finishes off this memorable song.
”Broken Promises” is a showcase of Michael’s guitar prowess, as he still leaves plenty of room for Graham to leave his vocal imprint as well. This is a 1982 metal song that seamlessly tied the knot with a Hard Rock sense of purpose. ”Broken Promises” rocks along with it’s hardened melody and thumping rhythm section of Chris Glen on bass and Ted McKenna on drums.
”Desert Song” finds it’s strengths in many parts, one part lyrics, one part Bonnet on vocals and of course… Schenker’s mouth watering end cap solo. Furthermore, Desert Song is structured with creative diligence, something that many of today’s Hard Rock and Metal songs don’t normally exhibit.
”Ulcer” is the instrumental where Schenker lets it all air out and rightfully so. While I listen tis song, I can’t help thinking of Joe Satriani… and how this song just might have been a definitive influence on his guitar playing. If there is to be a rock guitarist and instrumental to emulate from 1982, Michael Schenker and ”Ulcer” is a fabulous choice.
”Girl From Uptown” is the bonus track of this remastered reissue, the B-side of the ‘Dancer’ single, but listening its quality it should have been an original song to this album. Once again, a melodic Hard Rockin’ song that features the combination of vocal harmony and Schenker’s luxurious guitar tone. ”Girl From Uptown” just puts me in a cool mood, then again, this entire album puts me in great classic metal spirits… with no let up in sight.
”Assault Attack” was ranked among the Rock Hard magazine’s book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time, and deservedly so. This is killer, classic metal / hard rock with all the magic from the ’80s, and needs a place in your collection.
Perhaps, the best Michael Schenker album ever.
ＷＡＲＮＥＲ ＭＵＳＩＣ ＪＡＰＡＮ 【WPCR-80146】
「FOREVER YOUNG」 シリーズ“パーロフォン
01 – Assault Attack
02 – Rock You To The Ground
03 – Dancer
04 – Samurai
05 – Desert Song
06 – Broken Promises
07 – Searching For A Reason
08 – Ulcer
09 – Girl From Uptown [B-side of ‘Dancer”]
Michael Schenker – guitars
Graham Bonnet – lead & backing vocals
Chris Glen – bass
Ted McKenna – drums, percussion
Tommy Eyre – keyboards
Out Of Print