McAuley-Schenker Group / Michael Schenker

Save Yourself

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Guitar wizard Michael Schenker did some great work with UFO, but his Michael Schenker Group solo work was spotty. He hooked up with vocalist Robin McAuley to form the McAuley-Schenker Group, which still made the common MSG abbreviation possible. McAuley is arguably the best vocalist Schenker has worked with in his solo career. Schenker's remarkable ax prowess and McAuley's voice overshadowed the group's occasionally substandard songwriting. Joining Schenker and McAuley on 1989's Save Yourself are guitarist/keyboardist Steve Mann, bass guitarist Rocky Newton, and drummer Bodo Schopf. Save Yourself is notable primarily for the minor hit "Anytime," a terrific song with passionate singing and well-executed guitar parts. "Anytime" is light years ahead of the rest of the songs on Save Yourself, but some of them do have merit. "Bad Boys" is typical of late-'80s pop-metal, which means it's a fun, shout-along arena roof raiser. "Shadow of the Night" is dark and brooding, and Schenker's guitar licks and monstrously rich tone are stunning. The tightly arranged instrumental "There Has to Be Another Way" is, predictably, one of the best cuts here. "This Is My Heart" is an excellent example of meticulously crafted and arranged melodic hard rock. [Some reissues add the bonus track "Take Me Back," which has a strong melody and relies heavily on rhythm guitar and acoustic guitar.]

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