Michael Schenker

BBC Radio One Live in Concert

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One of countless Michael Schenker Group live albums cluttering record store shelves, BBC Radio One captures the band performing most of their biggest hits ("Armed and Ready," "Cry for the Nations," "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie," etc.) at the 1982 Reading Festival. But even more compelling than the music itself were the peculiar circumstances surrounding this show. That is, the return of original MSG singer Gary Barden, who arrived unannounced to perform with the group for the first time since quitting a year earlier -- hence his "Surprise, surprise!" greeting to the crowd. And he pulls it off admirably, despite suffering from the occasional bout of hoarseness. Schenker too is at his usual awe-inspiring best, and his solo introducing "Lost Horizons" is simply beyond description. As they close with a rousing rendition of UFO's classic "Doctor Doctor," it's hard to believe that the MSG would soon crumble once again beneath the weight of their leader's ego.

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