Great Metal Albums of 1982: Michael Schenker Group- Assault Attack

220px-Msgassault

There is a story from back in the day in which this album is involved but not in a good way. In the closing weeks of 1982, I was stationed on Okinawa. On most Saturday nights, my friends and I would hit this rock club about 10 miles from the base. I won’t go into too many details about the club as that is reserved for a future post but I will say that they had video screens which were state of the art back then. One song that received a lot of play on those screens was “Cry for the Nations” by Michael Schenker Group. I liked the song enough to want to check out the album. During my search, I assumed that the song was current, so I looked up their most current album at the time, “Assault Attack.” However, seeing that the desired song wasn’t on this album, I put it down and continued my search. After all these years, and finally listening to the album, I see what a fool I’ve been. The worst part was that I can’t blame being in the service for missing it because I had this album in my hands! Anyway, what I have learned that this album totally kicks ass.

When I posted “Great Guitarists of the 70s,” an old friend of mine stated that he would have added Michael Schenker to the list. While I wasn’t totally naive to the guitar mastery of Mr Schenker, it took this album to agree that he possibly should have been included, at the very least, in the group of underrated guitarists because this guy can play. What amazes me most is his versatile style. He lays down some great blues based riffs on “Rock You to the Ground” but goes more straight ahead metal with the likes of “Assault Attack,” Samurai” and “Desert Song.” Then he shines in the spotlight with the instrumental “Ulcer.” Bad joke alert: I did not get one after hearing that track. Anyway, I humbly beg Michael Schenker’s forgiveness in ignoring his guitar talents and make a vow to rectify that.

Of the lead singers who fronted Rainbow over the years, I must say that Graham Bonnet was always my least favourite. While Ronnie James Dio will always be my favourite, I even put Joe Lynn Turner above Bonnet. After listening to his vocals on “Assault Attack,” I am now in the mind that my feelings about that era of Rainbow were nothing to do with Graham but more to do with the songs they put out at the time; too commercial for me. Listening to him with MSG, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that he was the lead singer because his vocals are just superb on this album. One prime example is “Dancer” but he hits the notes on every song on the album. I have the feeling that I’m going to be eating a lot of humble pie after making this post because Graham, you rock here!

Track Listing:

1. Assault Attack

2. Rock You to the Ground

3. Dancer

4. Samurai

5. Desert Song

6. Broken Promises

7. Searching for a Reason

8. Ulcer

Michael Schenker Group

Michael Schenker Group

Michael Schenker- guitars

Graham Bonnet- vocals

Chris Glen- bass

Ted McKenna- drums

Tommy Eyre- keyboards

Cliched quotes like “all’s well that ends well” and “better late than never” are entering my mind in regards to this great album by the Michael Schenker Group. Unfortunately, none of them justify the fact that back in 1982, I literally let a fantastic album slip through my fingers. As for “Cry for the Nations,” I did find the song on a live album and that’s coming next.

Next post: Michael Schenker Group- One Night at Bukokan

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

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4 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1982: Michael Schenker Group- Assault Attack”

  1. Great Review on a classic from MSG! There is no dud on this album it opens great and ends great! Bonnets vocals are awesome on this and of course Martin Birch rocks the console on the production side! Assault Attack for me was the last great MSG record …..
    It was awesome still is as a matter of fact!
    Great stuff….

    Like

  2. Proper rock! none of your messing about here, just … BANG!

    Like

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