Metal Express Rating: 8.0/10
Release Date: 2013-01-15
by: MICK BURGESS
Email: mick@ metalexpressradio.com
It`s fair to say that Michael Schenker`s career has been characterised by some amazing highs and some crushing lows over the years. Starting a recording career as a teenager with the Scorpions; a string of quality albums culminating in the classic Strangers In The Night live double “album” with UFO and the first few albums with his own band, the Michael Schenker Group rank amongst those highs.
Then there`s the smashed guitar, cut hair and disappearance just before the release of Strangers In The Night; the big fall out with new singer Graham Bonnet on the eve of a headlining showcase at the Reading Rock festival and with the disastrous appearance at the Rock and Blues Festival at Derbyshire a few years back, Schenker had reached an all-time low. It certainly has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride for his career.
One thing that can`t be disputed however is that Schenker is one of the very best guitarists in the world and when he is on form, boy is it a joy to behold. To his credit, Schenker has worked hard and pulled himself round putting his career well and truly back on track in the process. Looking fitter, leaner and much younger than he has for years Schenker is back in business with his latest release, Temple Of Rock, being his best for years.
Clearly reinvigorated and raring to go Schenker put together a top class band with a line-up featuring the ex-Scorpions rhythm section Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Bucholtz (bass) along with former Rainbow singer Doogie White and long-time side kick Wayne Findlay, a band truly capable of doing his classic back catalogue justice.
With the band in such fine form it was an absolute no brainer to record a show for posterity and the result is Michael Schenker: Temple Of Rock Live In Europe.
As is the norm these days, the release is available in a number of formats including a double CD, DVD and Deluxe DVD box so there is something for everyone although the Schenker obsessive will undoubtedly plump for the deluxe package.
With a set list cherry picked of the very best of Schenker`s output from the Scorpions (“Lovedrive”, “Coast to Coast”), UFO (“Lights Out”, “Rock Bottom”) to his own band MSG (“Armed and Ready”, “Cry For The Nations”) and there`s even a couple of Scorpions classics from the time he was not in the band giving Rarebell and Bucholtz the chance to shine on “Blackout” and Rock You Like A Hurricane”.
Schenker looks and sounds tremendous throughout and is clearly enjoying his music again. Having the Scorpions’ rhythm section gives the music a real kick while Doogie White has the range and power to do real justice to Schenker`s repertoire.
Visually the DVD is a treat with plenty of close ups and stage shots to give the viewer the feeling that they are never far from the action. Fortunately the seizure inducing hyper editing of some live DVD`s is absent here to make for a far more enjoyable viewing experience.
Bonus features include footage of Schenker at the High Voltage Festival in London with guest appearances by his brother Rudolf, Pete Way from UFO and the classy Jeff Scott Soto. These feel like a real addition to the package rather than a bolt on after thought that some DVDs suffer from.
All in all this is an excellent DVD package and if you`re a Schenker fan, it`s a pretty much essential purchase. For those who have yet to sample the world of Michael Schenker, then this is a great place to make his acquaintance.