My Life With The Scorpions
Like most people around my age, I first heard the Scorpions with the song No One Like You as it was a radio staple in 1982. I thought it was a cool song but it didn’t spark my interest enough to delve further. Then Love at First Sting came out and EVERYONE owned it. White cassette in the standard tan Polygram tape case. Helz yeah. Lots o’ memories thinking about that. I subsequently bought World Wide Live and Savage Amusement but still didn’t go back in time with them.
If you read my Thin Lizzy post, you saw that I acquired a friend’s LP collection around 1997/1998. In that same collection were all of the pre-Love at First Sting LPs. I owned a record player at the time and started spinning. Wow. WOW. So here goes the review.
Lonesome Crow – 1972
I really dig this album. It’s dark, moody and all around weird. Lots of jazz stuff going on. Some of the songs drone on a little long but it’s a really strong debut. There are some great promo vids on YouTube from this album.
Fly to the Rainbow – 1974
Enter God…erm, I mean Ulrich Jon “Uli” Roth. This album is a complete 180 degree turn from Lonesome crow. They got upbeat and the goofy lyrics are abound. I love it! Highlights include They Need a Million, Drifting Sun and This is My Song, but there’s not a bad song on here at all.
In Trance – 1975
It blows my mind that this album is 33 years old. Uli’s guitar work really shines and their use of the double guitar is great. This is probably my favorite album of theirs. Not a stinker in the bunch. Have I mentioned how badass Uli Roth is yet? Super nice guy, too. Met him a few years ago @ Jaxx and he was super cool. I got to help load in his vintage gear. When he saw me rolling a cabinet he said, “Do you work for me now, too?” I told him that his tour manager asked for some extra hands so I offered to help. I then asked him if these cabs were the same ones he used with the Scorpions. “Definitely!” he said with a smile. I bent down and wrapped my arms around the cab and he said, “Vas zis you are doing now?” I replied with, “Uli, I’m just hugging history, man.” He laughed and thanked me for my help.
Virgin Killer – 1977
OK…WTF is with that album cover? Beyond that, this is about another flawless album with the insane guitar work from Roth. Don’t get me wrong, Rudy is a badass in his own right, but he’s no Uli. Neither is Michael Schenker. That’s right, I said it. Polar Nights, Pictured Life, Catch Your Train. The only let down would be Hellcat. Uli really should not ever be given a microphone. NEVER. Just play your strat, homie. Did you see the movie called Stoned Age? There’s a quote in there where someone says “Dude, she looks like the girl from the Virgin Killer album.” WRONG Poindexter. They should have said the In Trance cover, but fewer people would have even gotten that reference.
Taken By Force – 1978
Things started changing for the Scorps around this time. Their popularity in Germany and Japan had made them celebrities. It’s a good thing to be successful, but I think their music started suffering for it a bit. This is a fine album, but not up to snuff of the previous 2. I guess the only real stinker is He’s a Woman – She’s a Man (also covered by Helstar). I never dug this track. Steamrock Fever is a bit goofy too. Then you hear We’ll Burn the Sky and Sails of Charon and all goofiness is forgiven. Uli. Damn. Go ahead, son.
Lovedrive – 1979
Uli! Come back! Why hast thou forsaken us? So Matthias Jabs, eh? OK, so he was and wasn’t in the band at the time since they wanted to bring Mikey back. He lasted 3 months on tour *cough* alcoholic*cough*. In general, this is a very good album, but very different than the Uli era. Gone are the classical licks and some of the space rock tones. Enter the happy sing-a-long era. Like I said, this album is excellent for what it is, just a bit of a shock. Not a stinker in the bunch.
Animal Magnetism – 1980
This is a bit of an odd record for me. I never really liked it although the LP cover is badass. “Take that bitch!” haha. I really only like 3 songs…Falling in Love, Lady Starlight and The Zoo. I see a trend though…POWER BALLADS. Damn.
Blackout – 1982
Helz yeah. This album is badass. Funny they wrote a song called Arizona and now they live there. In case you live under a rock, Don Dokken originally recorded the vocal tracks to this album while Klaus was getting surgery done on his vocal chords or something. I’d give up all 3 of my testicles to hear his versions.
Love at First Sting – 1984
What a year for metal. 1984. Lots of good stuff. This is a really strong album and I like it front to back. It’s sort of a let down to know that Jimmy Bain played bass on the whole damned thing, but it makes sense. I think Bucholz is a lot better than Bain and always thought that the basslines on this LP were pretty weak. It all makes sense now.
9.5/10, only because it was overkilled on the radio for so long and the sing-a-long-ness.
Savage Amusement – 1988
I think I am one of the few who really likes this album. I was excited when it came out and played it incessantly for months. Lots of great songs such as Believe in Love, Love on the Run, Every Minute Every Day…the whole damned thing really.
Crazy World – 1990
Besides Send Me an Angel, I detest this album. I did see this tour, however, and they were phenomenal live.
I really didn’t bother with anything else after this but saw them again in 1999 and they were awesome. They played “We’ll Burn The Sky”! I almost shit myself. 3/4 of the crowd were clueless tot he song.
I’ll see them again given the chance as they always put on a great show. I do prefer the Uli era over the Matthias era, but both are really good.
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