The National spotlight was something that was forever elusive to the Michael Stanley Band, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t find success or dedicated fans. Easily the most popular band in Cleveland, Ohio and well-known throughout America’s heartland, MSB’s perfect blend of straight forward rock, pop hooks, and ballads had them filling arenas as headliners and opening up for huge national acts throughout the mid ’70s into the ’80s. Outside of the US Midwest however, they could have a hard time filling bars.
“MSB”, should have been an album that broke the Micheal Stanley Band out to the rest of the country – and the world for that matter. Then again, you could have said that about any of their records.
If I had to pick a favorite song off of “MSB”, I suppose it would be “In Between the Lines”, the album’s opening track. But thinking about it now, I really think that’s only because it primes me for what I know is coming: More great songs, more great hooks, more great ’80s rock.
Personally, I think “MSB” is one of the 100 greatest rock albums of the ’80s, even if it didn’t make that Rolling Stone list. They didn’t know what they missed out on back then. Neither did the rest of the world. Except for Cleveland and the rest of America’s heartland. We knew.