Robin McAuley’s 2021 album ‘Standing On The Edge’ was unexpectedly good. With that release, the veteran rock singer not only managed to turn in one of the year’s best melodic rock albums, but one of the year’s best albums – period. Although McAuley has only ever taken a sporadic approach to recording as a solo artist, the record’s huge choruses and swathes of late 80s inspired melodies showed his talent hadn’t waned since his heyday, and if anything, it suggested his voice was stronger than ever. The following year found Robin moonlighting with hard rock supergroup Black Swan (also featuring ex-Dokken man Jeff Pilson and guitarist Reb Beach), which allowed him to apply his voice to a few chunkier arrangements on occasion. It wasn’t the kind of album that achieved massive worldwide success, but was well loved by the dyed in the wool rock fans who actually heard it, continuing something of a winning streak.
It seems unbelievable that we’re now half way through the year, but here we are. We discovered and shared a truckload of new music during the first quarter, half expecting things to fizzle out as we moved towards the northern hemisphere summer, but it really wasn’t the case. If anything, the year’s second quarter was every bit as strong.
For a lot of melodic rock fans, Robin McAuley is a man who’ll need no introduction. He first came to fame as a member of Grand Prix during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the early 80s, before scoring a sizeable UK and US chart hit as a member of Far Corporation. In more recent years, he’s recorded solo works and emerged as frontman with Black Swan, a supergroup featuring ex-Whitesnake/Winger guitarist Reb Beach and Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson. Most people, of course, will know Robin through his long association with Michael Schenker. The German guitarist was so taken with the vocalist’s abilities, the Michael Schenker Group was rebranded the McAuley-Schenker Group for two excellent albums in the late 80s/early 90s, and when Schenker needed a roll-call of famous friends for his Michael Schenker Fest in the twenty first century, Robin was there, front and centre.