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Built to destroy ... your eardrums!
on 10 February 2014
Formed by German guitar wizard Michael Schenker after leaving hard-rock act UFO these MSG albums followed in much the same vein. There are five albums in this collection, starting with the first in 1980 and ending with the fifth in 1983, they are Michael Schenker Group (****), MSG (*****), One Night at Budokan (****), Assault Attack (***) and Built to Destroy (****). There would only be one more album (Rock Will Never Die) before MSG morphed into the McAuley Schenker Group.
Vocalist Gary Bardem appeared on the first three before being sacked and replaced by ex-Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet (for Assault Attack) who left and was replaced again by Gary Bardem. I prefer Gary Bardem's vocals to Bonnet's which aren't quite to my taste. In fact, MSG are similar in many ways to Bonnet-era Rainbow, alternating between soft and hard rock, very melodic, with exceptional guitar playing by Schenker backed by great musicians like famed drummer Cozy Powell.
I love these album series ( I already have Testament, Pantera, X, Faith No More, Montrose), they're cheap (5 for about a tenner), they don't take up much space and when they're chronological like this collection you can see the progression of the band. MSG probably aren't the best example of this since they played hard rock at the beginning, the middle and at the end but the Testament series sees them go from all out super-fast thrash-attack (The Legacy) to melodic hard-rock (The Ritual).
Although all five albums are remastered, they are lacking the extras of jewel case versions although I don't think the listener is missing much, it depends on how much you want to listen to demos. Personally, I'd rather not bother, if you're a hard-core MSG fan though, you'll probably want those versions. If you want to get a jewel case version of these albums I'd recommend 'MSG' because there's a 1980 concert from the Manchester Apollo.