Five Songs By MICHAEL SCHENKER That Guitarists Need To Hear
June 21, 2020, 4 months ago
Guitarist legend Michael Schenker has been cited as an influence by Metallica's Kirk Hammett, Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith, and the late Randy Rhoads. Music Radar has published a feature on five songs by Schenker they believe guitarists need to hear. Following is an excerpt from that list.
UFO - "Love To Love" - Lights Out (1977)
Light’s Out is probably UFO’s best studio album and although the title track is a stone cold classic, the epic Love to Love proves that the band weren’t just about rocking socks off. Written by Schenker and fiery vocalist Phil Mogg, the song is assembled from complimentary layers of tonal flavours, the dextrous keyboards of the late Paul Raymond just one of the highlights.
A multi-tracked guitar intro precedes the Tubular Bells-like keyboard riff before the band revs up beneath a syncopated acoustic progression. An unashamedly proggy interlude then heralds the verse and sing-along chorus, and even though there’s a lot going on none of the myriad components are gratuitous; it’s just accomplished songwriting. There are two guitar solos, one beautifully measured, the other a much looser and speedy affair, the emotion of which mirrors the climax of the story laid out in the lyrics. This is the stuff upon which Schenker’s reputation is based and it’s a shame it couldn’t last.
The Michael Schenker Group - "Captain Nemo" – Built To Destroy (1983)
Another solid instrumental that features one unmissable facet of Michael’s technique after another and it’s well worth taking the time to get to grips them.
The fluid opening riff ushers in some surprisingly bluesy phrases that are offset by a watery keyboard line the comedic value of which is surely intentional, and from there it’s a series of anthemic melodies and classical runs that are brought to a fitting conclusion by a half-tempo, lighter-in-the-air finale.
Schenker’s use of a half-cocked wah is apparent throughout and the technique is an effective method of adding dynamics to a guitar tone. Just about any brand of wah should be suitable and all you need is an ear for subtlety and a reasonably strong ankle to exert the right level of control over the treadle; try it and see.
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Michael Schenker Fest recently released a lyric video for "The Beast In The Shadows", a track from the band's Revelation album.
Music has a important role through hard times, so Michael Schenker was asked to explain the concept behind the video: "Even if we've had to postpone concert dates and even if we have to stay home right now - lets never give rock ’n’ roll a break in our lives! I'm hoping to cheer up all rock fans out there with our new video for 'The Beast In The Shadows', one of my favourite songs from my latest Michael Schenker Fest album, Revelation.
"It's a great song that contains a very heartfelt performance from Graham Bonnet, and the video shows Graham in an even more heartfelt fashion. It's a fantastic video with some very pure emotions being expressed by Graham. This song also presents the other side of the album - there are many upbeat rocking tracks that have not yet been heard by some listeners, by those who haven't heard the whole album. I am very excited about the Revelation album - its one of my best to date. Listen to the album and you will see what I mean. Keep on rocking and stay safe. All my best to you and enjoy."