MICHAEL SCHENKER - GREATEST RIFFS

Released:
April 7th 2009

Label: Sharpnel SH 1200-2
Compiled by: Mike Varney
Remastered by: Ashley Moore
Photography by: Steve Jennings










TRACKS

Hey Joe (6:19)
Whiter Shade Of Pale (7:35)
Shapes Of Things (3:29)
Laylay (7:58)
Badge (5:00)
While My Guitar Gently Sweeps(6:51)
The Mess I've Made (4:35)
Fat City N.O. (4:20)
Rude Awakening (5:06)
Arachnophobiac (4:46)
Doctor Doctor (live) (5:09)
Rock Bottom (live) 11:11)
Lights Out (live) (5:09)



TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 77:34



Roberts
Brooker/Reid
Mac Carty/Relf/Samwell Smith
Clapton/Gordon
Clapton/Harrison
G. Harrison
Schenker/Keeling
Schenker/Keeling
Schenker/Keeling
Schenker/Logan
Schenker/Mogg
Schenker/Mogg
Schenker/Mogg/Way/Parker






























MUSICIANS

Hey Joe, Whiter Shade Of Pale, Shapes Of Things
from the album: 'The Endless Jam'
Davey Pattison
Michael Schenker
Gunter Nezhoda
Aynslay Dunbar



Laylay, Badge, While My Guitar Gently Sweeps
from the album: 'Endless Jam Continues'
Davey Pattison
Michael Schenker
Tim Bogert
Aynslay Dunbar



The Mess I've Made, Fat City N.O., Rude Awakening
from the album: 'The Unforgiven'
Michael Schenker
Kelly Keeling
Shane Gaalaas
Seth Bernstein
John Onder



Arachnophobiac
from the album: 'Be Aware Of Scorpions'
Michael Schenker
Chris Logan
Jeremy Colson
Stu Hamm



Doctor Doctor, Rock Bottom, Lights Out
from the album: 'The Unforgiven - World Tour Live'
Michael Schenker
Keith Slack
Wayne Findlay
Shane Gaalaas
Barry Sparks




vocals
guitar
bassguitar
drums





vocals
guitar
bassguitar
drums





guitar
vocals
drums
keyboards
bassguitar





guitar
vocals
drums
bassguitar





guitar
vocals
keyboards
drums
bassguitar












 


































NOTE

This CD contains some highlights from Schenker's many Shrapnel recordings.Beginning with tracks from the aptly titled 'The Endless Jam" series, including extended versions of rock classics such as "Layla" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Whiter Shade Of Pale". More tracks included from Schenker's three Shrapnel MSG records, including live MSG versions of Schenker's UFO classics, Doctor Doctor ,Rock Bottom and Lights Out.



REVIEW

After years of being out of the major spotlight, Teutonic guitar god Michael Schenker's fluid licks can now be found traversing all manner of media. First there's the coveted spot on the Guitar Hero Metallica roster, alongside a host of metal luminaries personally selected by the band. As it turns out the idiosyncratic ex-UFO and Scorpions axe man is one of Kirk Hammett's major influences and was hand-picked by the guitarist for inclusion. There's also a new box set chronicling his first post-UFO project the Michael Schenker Group (MSG) being released overseas through Chrysalis Records, a live DVD reissue, plus two recent domestic CDs, the acoustic-based Gipsy Lady alongside reunited original MSG cohort Gary Barden, and finally, the blistering new solo comp Greatest Riffs.

Greatest Riffs culls tracks from various albums Schenker's put out through indie shred label Shrapnel Records. While many musicians over time, fall prey to seedy licensing deals and shoddy basement comps, this is nothing of the sort. Greatest Riffs features a nice mix of classic cover songs, key collaborations and live cuts and boasts a crisp and bold production sound that complements the meticulous licks.


While covering such easily identifiable classic rock numbers can be shaky to say the least, Schenker and his teams treat the material with reverence and taste. But what really makes this stuff swing are the masterful solos and savvy six-string embellishments. Schenker takes on Hendrix ("Hey Joe"), Clapton ("Layla") and George Harrison ("While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), putting his own sly spin on the proceedings, while Cream's "Badge" is imbued with an all-new sense of melancholy. "Whiter Shade of Pale" is transformed from vintage radio staple into scorching epic with the addition of Schenker's deft touch.

Bits from Schenker's mid-career solo period take shape with the bluesy burner "The Mess I've Made" and the quirky bubble-metal of "Arachnophobiac," which boasts some of Schenker's most intricate riffery to date. The album concludes with a few live UFO tracks performed by Schenker and various lineups. While the axe man sounds as vital and smoking hot as he did on these some three decades ago, the band vibe shared with the original UFO and MSG is lacking a bit. Nevertheless, guitar rats and Schenker completists should be pleased.

On the surface, Michael Schenker has taken the road less traveled, opting for cult status over superstardom, artistic vision over blatant commercial success. But with the striking MSG comeback last year with In The Midst of Beauty, the prominent inclusion on Activision's latest foray and this blazing new release, all that may well be changing—whether the uncanny axe man likes it or not.

by: Jim Kaz


 

 

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