GARY BARDEN belongs to THE voice of British hard rock. The first time BARDEN appeared in the scene was as part of the newly formed MSG (Michael Schenker Group) founded by the former SCORPIONS guitarist of the same name. Their first collaboration resulted in the highly acclaimed album “The Michael Schenker Group” which was released in 1980. Besides the great songs and the great guitar output BARDEN’s voice was one of the reasons why this album became a huge success and allowed the band to hit the road in Europe, Japan and the USA.
Their second album “MSG” saw the light of day in 1981 and followed an even more melodic direction than its predecessor. After the following world tour BARDEN was informed that he was no longer part of the band and replacement was found soon in ex-RAINBOW singer Graham Bonnet. Chrysalis, however, released a live disc recorded in Japan by the original MSG entitled “One Night At Budokan”.
Searching for a new band, BARDEN started to write some songs with the late THIN LIZZY guitarist GARY MOORE which later on ended up on MOORE’s “Corridor of Power” release. Their working period was short and so was the collaboration between Bonnet and Schenker. Bonnet sang on the 1982 record “Assault Attack” but BARDEN was back with MSG for some live appearances including Reading Festival in the same year and the 1983 record “Built to Destroy”. The label’s pressure to steer more into a commercial direction made the band quit business in 1984.
BARDEN moved on and found a new home in the business together with ex-THIN LIZZY six-string Brian Robertson and the band STATETROOPER, who put out their highly acclaimed self-titled debut album in 1987 and played a couple of live shows in the following months. Statetrooper was reissued on CD by Escape Music (ESM095).
After a long break BARDEN returned to the scene with PRAYING MANTIS’ “The Power of Ten” and the live album “Captured Alive in Tokyo City” (1996). In 2000, BARDEN hit the road again for a couple of live shows with COMPANY OF SNAKES and founded the band SILVER together with Michael Voss (CASANOVA) and Bernie Tormé (IAN GILLAN). STATETROOPER finally re-united in 2004 and put out the classy new record “The Calling”.
The Escape Music album “Past & Present” (ESM106) marked the first solo album by GARY BARDEN and offered a very personal collection of new, exciting interpretations of some all-time MSG classics, a selection of songs that both suited GARY BARDEN and MSG fans! With his long time pal ´Michael Voss´(Casanova, Bonfire) and a couple of friends he went back to the roots to perform his bluesy smoky songs that will touch your soul and are exemplified on the release “Agony and the Xtasy” (ESM128). In 2007 the more rockier “Love and War” (ESM161) was released by Escape Music and it has been a long anticipated wait for the next chapter.
Gary now presents us with “Eleventh Hour” which features 11 tracks of hard rock brilliance. These new songs are fresh and exciting and Gary has poured his heart and soul into them. Once again Michael Voss is ever present and the end result is just perfect. This is a hard hitting rock album that highlights what a great singer Gary is, his contribution to the British rock scene is just legendary.
Discography: Past and Present (ESM106) 2004 / Agony and Xtasy (ESM128) 2006 / Love and War (ESM161) 2007 Eleventh Hour (ESM231) 2011
Eleventh Hour Track Listing:
2- Fallen by the wayside
3- Child of Sorrow
4- What you wanna do
5- We are dead
6- All in
8- Shine a light on me
9- Easy does it
10- Before the eyes of the world
11- Don’t take me for a loser
Produced by: Michael Voss
Recorded and Mixed at Kidroom Recording Studio’s
Mastered by: Christoph Stickel at msm studio’s Germany
Michael Schenker returns with a brand new CD, and quite possibly the best MSG lineup since the ’80s.
Gary Barden, who is often considered the best MSG vocalist, returns to the microphone on In the Midst of Beauty.
This disc also features the talent of Neil Murray (Whitesnake), Don Airey (Whitesnake, Deep Purple) and Simon Phillips (MSG, Satriani, Toto).
As always, MSG features the stellar guitar work of Michael Schenker. If you are familiar with any of MSG’s prior albums, you know you are going you are going to hear plenty of guitar riffs with that great Schenker trademark sound.
What is cool about this album, is that it seems to be more of a complete band output, than just Schenker playing over the top. Don Airey’s Purple-esque keyboards are often present adding a whole new layer to MSG’s music. This disc has a 70’s classic rock vibe about it, but the production and sound is top notch.
The last couple of MSG albums have been somewhat disappointing, and this is definitely a return to form for Schenker and company. This is easily the best album by MSG since the Robin McAuley era.
This CD will be released in May, and you will definitely want to add this to your list of discs to purchase soon! In the Midst of Beauty will likely find itself in many top album lists at the end of 2008!.
- City Lights
- I Want You
- End of the Line
- Night To Remember
- Wings of Emotion
- Come Closer
- Cross of Crosses
- The One
- This Time
Michael Schenker Group is:
Michael Schenker – Guitars
Gary Barden – Vocals
Don Airey – Keyboards
Neil Murray – Bass
Simon Phillips – Drums