McAuley Schenker Group – M.S.G. (1991, Impact Records)
1. “Eve” … 4:53
2. “Paradise” … 4:08
3. “When I’m Gone” … 4:49
4. “This Broken Heart” … 4:56
5. “We Believe In Love” … 5:16
6. “Crazy” … 4:55
7. “Invincible” … 3:45
8. “What Happens To Me” … 5:04
9. “Lonely Nights” … 4:31
10. “This Night Is Gonna Last Forever” … 4:51
11. “Never Ending Nightmare” … 6:27
Robin McAuley – Vocals
Michael Schenker – Guitar
Jeff Pilson – Bass
James Kottak – Drums
Producer: Kevin Beamish, Frank Filipetti
Not to be confused with the Michael Schenker Group and their own MSG album, this album and the McAuley Schenker Group in general was a mainstream melodic hard rock & pop-metal effort from legendary guitarist Michael Schenker and singer Robin McAuley. I’ve seen some websites treat the McAuley Schenker Group as if it were just another era of the Michael Schenker Group but I don’t feel it is fair to sweep these albums into a larger discography like that. From what I understand, the idea was that this new MSG was more of a team effort than any Michael Schenker Group release previous. really Obviously, the partnership with Robin McAuley meant enough and was different enough to Michael that he allowed his first name to be replaced by “McAuley” in the group’s name (while smartly keep the initials ‘MSG’).
The rest of the band is solid: Jeff Pilson from Dokken and James Kottak who originally played in Kingdom Come and eventually went on to join the Scorpions in 1999. I wonder if Michael recommended Kottak to his big brother Rudolf?
Though I’m not the biggest Michael Schenker fan, I’m surprised by how little I knew of this band. I remember coming across their name before but never dove too deep into it. Luckily, Stone over at Metal Odyssey did a post that got me really interested in the band. A few YouTube searches later and I was HOOKED on this album’s final song “Never Ending Nightmare”. It’s an epic ballad. Skip ahead a few months and I found a used copy of this album on Amazon.com for only $2.98! Plus shipping it was a grand total of $5.96!
It was money well spent because I am thoroughly enjoying this disc. Second only to “Never Ending Nightmare”, “Eve” is fantastic and pure pop-metal with what is the catchiest chorus of the whole album. I know this band had minor hits with “Gimme Your Love” (from 1987’s Perfect Timing) and “Anytime” (from 1989’s Save Yourself) but “Eve” should’ve been HUGE.
This album is a lost classic in my eyes and may be one of the last great albums from the glory days of pop-metal and melodic hard rock. I’ve heard bits & pieces of Perfect Timing and Save Yourself and judging from what I’ve heard, I think M.S.G. is the band’s finest moment. It’s just too bad it would be their last moment as Robin and Michael parted ways in 1993.
Highlights: “Eve”, “Paradise”, “When I’m Gone”, “This Broken Heart”, “Crazy”, “What Happens To Me”, “Never Ending Nightmare”