Scorpions 1979
German metallers! The Scorpions are one of Germany's biggest successes. Early incarnations of the band included Michael Schenker on guitar, as well as guitar wizard Uli Jon Roth. Despite growing popularity in Euruope and Japan, it wasn't until after Roth was long gone that the band hit major commercial success in the United States.

Lonesome Crow Scorpions - Lonesome Crow (Rhino) 1972

1. I'm Goin' Mad (4:52)
2. It All Depends (3:23)
3. Leave Me (5:02)
4. In Search of the Piece of Mind (4:56)
5. Inheritance (4:37)
6. Action (3:53)
7. Lonesome Crow (13:29)

Humble beginnings for Germany's Scorpions. The Scorp's first album features guitar virtuoso Michael Schenker as a full-time band member. His lead work is peppered all over this album. However, despite tihs fact, this is not the mighty metal album you might expect. Rather, what "Lonesome Crow" is a 70's psychedelic trip. Basically, they weren't even trying to be heavy yet, with the possible exception of "I'm Going Mad" and arguable, the title track. Very strange (or trippy) hearing this and comparing it to almost everything else the band has done. After recording this album, Micheal Schenker left to join UFO, replaced by Uli Jon Roth.

The Back to Black Collection Fly to the Rainbow In Trance Virgin Killer
Scorpions - The Back to Black Collection-In Trance/Virgin Killer/Fly to the Rainbow
(Axe Killer) 1975/76/74

In Trance
1. Dark Lady (3:25)
2. In Trance (4:44)
3. Life's Like a River (3:48)
4. Top of the Bill (3:25)
5. Living and Dying (3:19)
6. Robot Man (2:42)
7. Evening Wind (5:01)
8. Sun in My Hand (4:21)
9. Longing for Fire (2:42)
10. Night Lights (3:13)

Fly to the Rainbow
11. Speedy's Coming (3:33)
12. They Need a Million (4:50)
13. Drifting Sun (7:40)

Virgin Killer
1. Pictured Life (3:21)
2. Catch Your Train (3:32)
3. In Your Park (3:39)
4. Backstage Queen (3:10)
5. Virgin Killer (3:41)
6. Hell-Cat (2:54)
7. Crying Days (4:36)
8. Polar Nights (5:04)
9. Yellow Raven (4:58)

Fly to the Rainbow
10. Fly People Fly (5:02)
11. This is My Song (4:14)
12. Far Away (5:39)
13. Fly to the Rainbow (9:32)

In Trance
European vinyl pressing of "In Trance"

Virgin Killer
U.S. vinyl pressing of "Virgin Killer"

This is an awesome two CD Italian import that comes in a hardbound black book. The front cover features a silver foil stamp of the "Virgin Killer" girl and the Scorpions logo (poorly scanned above). Inside the hardcover binding there is a 28-page book that includes all the original cover art (pictured above) plus a commentary written in both English and Italian as well as all the lyrics. Actually both the "In Trance" and "Virgin Killer" covers were banned in the U.S. (with good reason on "Virgin Killer") The "Virgin Killer" pictured above has been censored by myself as I do not support child porn and because frankly, it's in poor taste. The "In Trance" pictured above is slightly different than the one in this package as well. The cover art in this import shows the ladies breast. The CD also features the original mixes from both albums plus, as bonus tracks, the complete "Fly to the Rainbow" album. The CDs themselves are picture discs with the actual covers printed in full color on the discs as well. Great package.

"In Trance" was the Scorps jumping headlong into a completely different style of music than their two previous albums. While "Fly to the Rainbow" gave hints at the heavy metal greatness to come in songs like "Speedy's Coming", "In Trance" takes the brilliant heavy metal sound even further. Released in 1975, "In Trance" features such defining tracks as Uli Jon Roth's "Robot Man" and the shrill, screaming "Dark Lady". These tracks would be considered some of the band's finest from the 70s and would really dictate their sound for years to come. However, the real standout cut to me, is the mid-paced, melodic "In Trance". No song from this album really stands out more to me than the title track. It's about as hooky and memorable as a song can be. The song is composed by guitarist Rudolf Schenker and vocalist Klaus Meine, who would be the main writing team for the band long after Roth would leave to pursue a solo career. I also think this song really points to the 1980's heavy metal sound, making it ahead of it's time. I can't think of another band that sounded quite like them at the time. It's also worth mentioning that "Evening Wind" showcases Uli's desire to create a symphonic sound, something he would explore further on his future solo albums. Though I think this record is outstanding, I think the follow-up "Virgin Killer" is even better.

"Virgin Killer" was released in 1976 and is the fourth studio album from German heavy metal band Scorpions. It simply had to be one of the heaviest albums to be released that year, along with Aerosmith's "Rocks" and Judas Priest's "Sad Wings of Destiny". The album features the guitar talents of Uli Jon Roth. Roth is an extraordinary guitarist with a unique sound and style that really encompasses the early Scorpions sound. He's often been accused of being a Jimi Hendrix clone, due to his unashamed adoration of the guitar master. However, Uli has a unique style. Nothing on "Virgin Killer" really sounds like Hendrix. The Uli composed "Hell Cat" is pure, screaming heavy metal. Very little could compare to it in '76. Roth also handles vocals on this track. His vocals are very different from that of lead vocalist Klaus Meine. Meine's vocals have always been a huge part of the Scorpions' charisma. This is no where more obvious than on the title track, in which he simply shrieks and screams from beginning to end. Before the band scored big hits in the 80's, songs like "Virgin Killer" and "Hellcat" were the band's signature songs. "Catch the Train" is another favorite from the album. The song is an upbeat heavy metal number that features more outstanding lead guitar work from Roth. "Polar Nights" is another standout cut with more smokin' guitar work. However, the studio version on "Virgin Killer" would be trumped by the over-the-top version that would soon show up on "Tokyo Tapes". Simply put, "Virgin Killer" ranks as one of my favorite heavy metal albums from the 70's. It belongs in every headbangers collection.

Taken By Force Scorpions - Taken by Force (RCA) 1977

1. Steamrock Fever (3:39)
2. We'll Burn the Sky (6:29)
3. I've Got to be Free (4:02)
4. The Riot of Your Time (4:12)
5. The Sails of Charon (5:14)
6. Your Light (4:31)
7. He's a Woman - She's a Man (3:16)
8. Born to Touch Your Feelings (7:42)

Why is it that some of the greatest albums are the hardest to find. Geez, this disc should be in every stinking cd store as it is one of the Scorpions best early albums, if not the best. Check out these great song titles: "Steamrock Fever", "The Sails of Charon" (covered by Testament & Yngwie Malmsteen), "He's a Woman - She's a Man" (covered by Helstar & Helloween), "We'll Burn the Sky", "Born to Touch Your Feelings." Not a bad song on this one. Actually "Steamrock Fever" sounds a bit closer to the bands 80's sound than anything they had done previously. Had to utilize my German connection to find this one. I'm not even sure if this one was ever pressed to disc in the U.S. Germany has all the good metal! The Japanese version has a different cover, although it is not any better than this one in my opinion.

Tokyo Tapes Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes (RCA) 1978

1. "All Night Long" (3:43)
2. "Pictured Life" (3:15)
3. "Backstage Queen" (3:40)
4. "Polar Nights" (6:55)
5. "In Trance" (5:31)
6. "We'll Burn the Sky" (8:12)
7. "Suspender Love" (3:39)
8. "In Search of the Peace of Mind" (3:07)
9. "Fly to the Rainbow" (9:45)
1. "He's a Woman-She's a Man" (5:28)
2. "Speedy's Coming" (3:37)
3. "Top of the Bill" (6:44)
4. "Hound Dog" (1:22)
5. "Long Tall Sally" (2:30)
6. "Steamrock Fever" (3:52)
7. "Dark Lady" (4:09)
8. "Kojo No Tsuki" (3:46)
9. "Robot Man" (5:52)

Hooray, finally scored a double disc pressing of this classic live album. The mastering is not quite as good as the recently released single disc version, but at least this version doesn't cut out any songs from the original vinyl version. (Thanks Olaf!) For a more in depth review, see the review of the remastered version below.

Tokyo Tapes Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes (EMI) 1978

1. "All Night Long" (3:35)
2. "Pictured Life" (3:23)
3. "Backstage Queen" (3:34)
4. "In Trance" (5:29)
5. "We'll Burn the Sky" (8:39)
6. "Suspender Love" (3:13)
7. "In Search of the Peace of Mind" (3:02)
8. "Fly to the Rainbow" (9:45)
9. "He's a Woman, She's a Man" (5:28)
10. "Speedy's Coming" (3:37)
11. "Top of the Bill/drum solo" (6:44)
12. "Hound Dog" (1:18)
13. "Long Tall Sally" (2:47)
14. "Steamrock Fever" (3:45)
15. "Dark Lady" (4:35)
16. "Kojo No Tsuki" (3:20)
17. "Robot Man" (5:49)

I knew that a classic like this wouldn't stay out of print forever. Usually when killer albums like this disappear it means that it will be re-released, usually with newly remastered sound and updated graphics and photos. Well, that certainly is the case with this 1978 heavy metal classic. The cd has an excellent full color, 8-page insert with nicely written liner notes and plenty of live photos. The re-release has one slight drawback, in that the track "Polar Nights" has been deleted to fit the double album set on one CD. Lucky for me I have friends in high places that can burn me a copy of the missing tracks on a separated cdr. Following in the footsteps of the illustrious "Made in Japan" by Deep Purple, the Scorpions manage to bring together some of their best material from the 70's era and make them sound even better than the originals. The mix is a bit more raw giving the tracks a heavier feel. Also similar to Deep Purple is the band takes the songs and changes the arrangements around a bit, adding in more jams. "Fly to the Rainbow" is a perfect example of this. Most glaring deletion from this live set is "Virgin Killer" which apparently was not included as part of this show. Funnist moment on this disc is hearing the heavy German accent on the short Elvis interlude, "jew aint nothing but a houndog." This particular copy is German. As far as I know this disc is still unaavailable in the U.S. Thanks James for the hook up.

Best of... Scorpions – Best of Scorpions (RCA) 1978

1.    "Steamrock Fever" (3:35)
2.    "Pictured Life" (3:23)
3.    "Robot Man" (2:42)
4.    "Backstage Queen" (3:12)
5.    "Speedy's Coming " (3:35)
6.    "Hell-Cat" (2:54)
7.    "He's A Woman, She's A Man" (3:14)
8.    "In Trance" (4:43)
9.    "Dark Lady" (3:25)
10.  "The Sails Of Charon" (4:24)
11.  "Virgin Killer" (3:41)

As the title so creatively implies, this is a collection of the best Scorpions material from 1974 - 1977. I’m not usually a big fan of “hits” collections, but in this case I find “Best of Scorpions” to be a great spin. While many would disagree with me, I am of the opinion that the Uli Roth years were indeed some of the best the Scorpions had to offer. This collection includes an excellent selection including heavy tracks ("Hell-Cat",  "Steamrock Fever", "Speedy's Coming"), ballads ("In Trance") and some of their darker songs such as "Sails of Charon". During this time, Uli Roth occasionally shared lead vocal duties. On this collection Uli sings on "Hell-Cat" and "Dark Lady", adding a nice variety to the overall package. Really the only thing missing is some of the more ethereal, epic stuff from "Lonesome Crow" and most of " Fly to the Rainbow". For fans only familiar with the pop metal, 1980’s material, this is a great collection to get to know those classic 1970’s years. Even die-hard, long time fans like myself will find this collection to be enjoyable simply because of the great collection of material and how well it flows together in this collection. I own this one on vinyl, but it is available on CD and with various different covers.

Lovedrive Lovedrive Scorpions - Lovedrive (Mercury) 1979

1. Loving You Sunday Morning (5:40)
2. Another Piece of Meat (3:31)
3. Always Somewhere (4:57)
4. Coast to Coast [instrumental] (4:44)
5. Can't Get Enough (2:37)
6. Is There Anybody There? (3:58)
7. Lovedrive (4:52)
8. Holiday (6:33)

"Lovedrive" is a GREAT album! There is not a bad song in the lot, although "Is Anybody There?" is a bit strange with an almost reggae sound. This is the album where the Scorpions really started to take on their classic 80's sound. This was partially due to Uli Jon Roth quiting the group and Rudolf Schenker, Michael Schenker, Mathias Jabs completely taking over the reigns. Of course, egomaniac Micheal Schenker's stay would be short. "Loving You Sunday Morning" and "Another Piece of Meat" are both classic Scorpions heavy metal romps. The title track has a sound not unlike UFO, though Michael Schenker is not listed as a writer on the song.

"Holiday" is a ballad, something that would permeate every Scorpions album from here on out. This ballad, however, is packed full of emotion. I owned a 7" clear vinyl single for this song with "The Zoo" on the opposing side. I played that single over and over again. I can remember times when I was teenager and just distraught over the loss of a girlfriend, or some other event I found catastrophic at the time, and playing this song over and over and over again. As such, I have quite the emotional attachment to this song.

The Mercury Records remastered CD version of "Lovedrive" sports both the "censored" American cover and the uncensored" European cover. Depending on how you fold the cover, either can be shown in the jewel case. The cover pictured above with the blue Scorpion is the censored version. The mastering on this disc is superior to the original as well. The recording volume alone is noticebly louder on the remaster.

Animal Magnatism Scorpions - Animal Magnetism (Mercury) 1980

1. "Make It Real" (3:49)
2. "Don't Make No Promises (Your Body Can't Keep)" (2:57)
3. "Hold Me Tight" (3:58)
4. "Twentieth Century Man" (3:02)
5. "Lady Starlight" (6:15)
6. "Falling in Love" (4:10)
7. "Only a Man" (3:34)
8. "Zoo" (5:28)
9. "Animal Magnetism" (5:57)


"Animal Magnetism" is the Scorpions seventh studio album and the first to feature guitarist Matthias Jabs, who would become an integral part of the band from here on out. It was also the last album that the Scorpions would release before becoming a worldwide arena metal band. Old school metal-heads like myself cannot help but begin to headband to the likes of "Zoo." Cha-chunk, cha-chunk, cha-chunk! Other classics are the epic ballad "Lady Starlight", the ultra-catchy "Make It Real" and the upbeat heavy metal rocker "Don't Make No Promises".  Despite my glowing love for the album, I can remember some fans thought the album was a disappointment in comparison to "Lovedrive" and "Taken by Force".

Much like past albums, this cover was considered controversial, though it wasn't banned and ultimately changing in the U.S. like "Lovedrive" and "Virgin Killer" were. The album cover was created by Storm Thorgerson, who had done such classic album covers as Pink Floyd's "Animals" and "Dark Side of the Mood" as well as Led Zeppelin's "Presence" and "In Through the Outdoor". Storm Thorgerson commented on the cover, "That one was funny. I don't think we figured it out. We just knew there was something rude somewhere."

Helstar and Testament recorded a cover of the song "Animal Magnetism".

Blackout Scorpions - Blackout (Mercury) 1982

1. "Blackout" (3:47)
2. "Can't Live Without You" (3:46)
3. "No One Like You" (3:56)
4. "You Give Me All I Need" (3:38)
5. "Now!" (2:33)
6. "Dynamite" (4:12)
7. "Arizona" (3:52)
8. "China White" (6:56)
9. "When the Smoke Is Going Down" (3:49)

Scorps 82

Blackout was the Scorpions' first majorly successful album, due to the crossover to pop metal mixed with the Scopions long time use of the power ballad. Still "Blackout" is undeniable heavy metal. Just listen to the riffs on "Dynamite," and the mid paced "No One Like You." Vocalist Klaus Meine had a throat operation prior the record's release, and surprisingly, his voice sounds more melodic and lively than ever. Guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs sound more aggressive and energietic than any past Scorpions album, including those with Micheal Schenker. OK, maybe this was the beginning of a downward slid to pop-land, but I still think this is one heck of a molten platter. When I started looking to replace my Scorpions albums, this was the first one I went looking for.

'Dynamite' has been covered by Paradox.

Love At First Sting
Scorpions - Love at First Sting
(Harvest) 1984

1. "Bad Boys Running Wild" (3:53)
2. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" (4:10)
3. "I'm Leaving You" (4:10)
4. "Coming Home" (4:58)
5. "The Same Thrill" (3:30)
6. "Big City Nights" (4:02)
7. "As Soon as the Good Times Roll" (5:02)
8. "Crossfire" (4:33)
9. "Still Loving You" (6:27)


FINALLY! I knew if I held out long enough I'd find a used copy of this disc. With almost all the songs on their 'best of' discs I really didn't want to pay full price to replace my vinyl copy of this album. Anyhow, 'Love At First Sting' was a huge seller for the Scorps thanks mostly to lead single and video "Rock You Like a Hurricane", which is an FM radio staple til this day. Overall, however, there really is not a bad song on this disc. Some have said this was the band's biggest sellout. Perhaps it is a bit more radio friendly than their back catalogue, but in reality "Love At First Sting" is still an excellent heavy metal platter.

Live Scorpions - World Wide Live (Mercury) 1985

1. "Countdown" [instrumental] (0:44)
2. "Coming Home" (3:17)
3. "Blackout" (4:04)
4. "Bad Boys Running Wild" (3:52)
5. "Loving You Sunday Morning" (4:41)
6. "Make it Real" (3:49)
7. "Big City Nights" (4:58)
8. "Coast to Coast" [instrumental] (5:13)
9. "Holiday" (3:23)
10. "Still Loving You" (5:49)
11. "Rock You Like A Hurricane" (4:15)
12. "Can't Live Without You" (5:32)
13. "Another Piece of Meat" (3:46)
14. "The Zoo" (5:55)
15. "No One Like You" (4:09)
16. "Dynamite" (7:14)
17. "Can't Get Enough (part I)" (2:16)
18. "Six String Sting" [instrumental] (4:15)
19. "Can't Get Enough (part II)" (1:54)

I love live albums! Live albums tend to show what a band is made of. They usually also beef up the songs, making them more raw and biting. The Scorps "World Wide Live" is no exception. This is an incredible set of songs, performed without a single flaw! The live energy that is present at a Scorpions show is captured here. The original Mercury CD reissue left four songs off that were on the original two album set. Omitted are: "Can't Get Enough (part I)" (2:16), "Six String Sting" (4:15), "Can't Get Enough (part II)" (1:54) , and "Another Piece of Meat" (3:46). The remastered version has all the songs and has far better sound to boot.

Savage Amusement Scorpions - Savage Amusement (Mercury) 1988

1. "Don't Stop at the Top" (4:03)
2. "Rhythm of Love" (3:48)
3. "Passion Rules the Game" (3:59)
4. "Media Overkill" (3:33)
5. "Walking on the Edge" (5:09)
6. "We Let It Rock...You Let It Roll" (3:39)
7. "Every Minute Every Day" (4:22)
8. "Love on the Run" (3:38)
9. "Believe in Love" (5:22)

Having grown up with the Scorpions, loving the Uli Roth years and everything they released up and through "Love At First Sting", "Savage Amusement" came as a bit of a shock. The album came nearly four years after "Love At First Sting" during the height of ultra-slick production. Everyone seemed to want to sound like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard in '88. Both bands were seeing huge success with a very watered-down, ultra-slick pop sound. Even mega-bands like Kiss and the Scorpions were following this trend. (Kiss released the ultra-slick "Crazy Nights" just a year before.) The Scorps were obviously experimenting with their sound and trying to fit in with this era. Despite being produced by longtime producer Dieter Dierks, the sound here is decidedly more radio friendly and incorporates more synthesized sounds and digital drums. For the most part the guitars play a secondary role to the vocals and drums. The Scorps have never been a band to write thought-provoking or masterful lyrics but with three songs using the word "love" in the title, it's fairly obvious that the band were baiting their hooks with sugar for the trendy radio crowd rather than their core audience; the rockers and metal-heads.

However, that is not to say the album is a total flop. There are a few stand-out cuts. "The Rhythm of Love" is an undeniably catchy, poppy, anthem. "Media Overkill" is a fun straight-forward hard rocker with some talk-box style guitar playing. The song reminds me slightly of Tesla. "Passion Rules the Game" is a slightly progressive and hooky, melodic rock song. The amusingly titled "We Let It Rock....We Let It Roll" is an attempt at another "Rock You Like a Hurricane" or "Blackout", but falls short due to the over-slick production that robs the song of all it's heavy metal cojones. "Walking on the Edge" is a good ballad though it isn't quite on the same level as "Holiday" or "Lady Starlight".

Overall, "Savage Amusement" is one of the weaker points in the Scorpions catalog. The album doesn't have any fist-pounding metal; no stand-up and shout anthems and very little of the band's signature riffs to speak of. The album as a whole just lacks energy and spark. Despite a few bright spots it's a bit lifeless and doesn't compare to the band's classic catalog.

Crazy World Scorpions - Crazy World (Mercury) 1990

1. "Tease Me, Please Me" (4:44)
2. "Don't Believe Her" (4:55)
3. "To Be with You in Heaven" (4:48)
4. "Wind of Change" (5:10)
5. "Restless Nights" (5:44)
6. "Lust or Love" (4:22)
7. "Kicks After Six" (3:49)
8. "Hit Between the Eyes" (4:33)
9. "Money and Fame" (5:06)
10. "Crazy World" (5:08)
10. "Send Me an Angel" (4:34)

"Send Me An Angel" 7" vinyl single

"Crazy World" was the Scorpions attempt to get back to their heavy metal roots a bit. While it is far from my favorite Scorpions disc, the songs remain somewhat heavy, melodic and catchy. One thing is for sure, of their 1990's discs, this one stands up above the rest. "Wind of Change" is probably one of the band's best ballads and also one of my favorite Scorpions songs. The song celebrates the political changes in Eastern Europe at the time, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the increasing freedom in the communist bloc, which later led to the fall of the USSR. Apparently the song was recorded in Spanish and Russian, as well as English. As far as I can tell, the Russian version was only released on an obscure 45 RPM single as the b-side to "Send Me an Angel". I actually found a copy of the single in a box of crap at a bookstore in Phoenix, AZ for 50¢ including the jukebox tag. "Wind of Change" is widely known in Europe as the song of German reunification. The song ran on the charts worldwide including #1 in Germany, the Netherlands, #2 on the UK Singles Chart and #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Face the Heat Scorpions - Face the Heat (Mercury) 1993

1. "Alien Nation" (5:44)
2. "No Pain, No Gain" (3:55)
3. "Someone to Touch" (4:28)
4. "Under the Same Sun" (4:52)
5. "Lliance" (5:16)
6. "Woman" (5:56)
7. "Hate to Be Nice" (4:30)
8. "Taxman Woman" (4:30)
9. "Ship of Fools" (4:15)
10. "Nightmare Avenue" (3:54)
11. "Lonely Nights" (4:44)
12. "Destiny" (3:17)
13. "Daddy's Girl" (4:17)

"Face the Heat" is the twelfth studio album from the Scorpions. The CD opens with a scorcher of a track called "Alien Nation", which I always thought was the strongest track on the album.  It's a slow and heavy rocker, not unlike "The Zoo". However, there are several other standout tracks as well. "Taxman Woman" is a heavy rocker that sounds like it could have been on "Blackout". "Unholy Nation" is a hard rock song that opens with a crunchy guitar riff. The chorus of the song has a simple, memorable hook that could have come right off a Kiss record. Likewise, "Ship of Fools" is an up-beat hard rocker with a meaty guitar riff. "Woman" is one of the album's ballads, but in reality it's a straight-up blues song. The track features some nice guitar work and some outstanding singing by Klaus Meine. "Under the Same Sun" is a more typical Scorpions-type ballad. 

When a band has a catalog as big and decade spanning as The Scorpions, people's opinions on their best releases will usually vary greatly. For me I became a Scorpions fan in the very early 1980's with the purchase of the single "The Zoo". From there I discovered "Lovedrive" and the wonderful Uli Roth years. Soon after they released their powerhouse metal album "Blackout" and I was hooked. As such, those 70's and early 80's albums have long been my favorites. I also always felt their output went seriously downhill after the "World Wide Live" album, which many fans of those early albums would agree with me on. However, there are many, many fans who list albums like "Crazy World", "Savage Amusement" and "Face the Heat" as their favorites. It's sometimes impossible to get past the nostalgic hold music holds to enjoy the newer music as much. I know that's true of me as "Face the Heat" was an album I liked but somehow just never got heavily into, until now. Prompted by a fan who suggested I give this disc another spin, I found myself enjoying it as much as some of those older Scorps albums. 

"Face the Heat" was produced by the band and the late Bruce Fairbairn, who has also produced for AC/DC, Yes, Aerosmith and several other legendary artists. My CD copy is a German pressing and has two bonus tracks, both ballads. The regular album ended with a ballad called "Lonely Nights", so with the added two ballads, the German pressing becomes a bit too ballad heavy at the end. 

Live Bites Scorpions - Live Bites (Mercury) 1995

1. "Tease Me Please Me" (4:46)
2. "Is There Anybody There" (4:08)
3. "Rhythm Of Love" (3:41)
4. "In Trance" (4:01)
5. "No Pain No Gain" (4:02)
6. "When The Smoke Is Going Down" (2:37)
7. "Living For Tomorrow" (6:56)
8. "Concerto In V" (3:00)
9. "Alien Nation" (5:28)
10. "Crazy World" (5:29)
11. "Wind Of Change" ( 5:45)
12. "Edge Of Time [studio track]" (4:05)
13. "Heroes Don't Cry [studio track]" (4:29)
14. "White Dove [studio track]" (4:18)


'Live Bites'? Sounds like a snack, or a breakfast cereal. As much as I love the Scorpions their catalog really began to go downhill after "Love at First Sting." However, this live disc does a pretty good job of pulling out the better material from the '88-'93 material. The inclusion of "In Trance" was a nice bonus as well. I really wish they would perform more Uli material. In anycase, along with the live tracks there are three dull, new tracks. There are two barely conscious power ballads and one mediocre pop metal song. A bit brutal I suppose, but when a band has released such killer material in the past, hearing this type of brainless material is sort of annoying. I wonder if these were just left over tracks from past discs. Hmmmmm. In anycase, the live material is enjoyable.

Saw the Scorps live in 2002 with Whitesnake and Dokken opening. Of their newer material they only played "Tease Me, Please Me" and "Wind of Change." Thankfully nothing was played off of their 1999 turd "Eye II Eye". Otherwise they played mostly material from "Animal Magnatism", "Lovedrive", "Blackout" and "Love at First Sting." I was surprised to hear them play such classic material as "Coast to Coast" and "Lovedrive". They even played "We'll Burn the Sky" from the amazing "Taken By Force." Great show. I guess the Scorps finally figured out what their fans want to hear. Here's hoping for another killer metal platter from Germany's favorite export in the future.

Instinct Scorpions - Pure Instinct (East West) 1996

1. "Wild Child" (4:16)
2. "But The Best For You" (5:19)
3. "Does Anyone Know" (5:55)
4. "Stone In My Shoe" (4:37)
5. "Soul Behind The Face" (3:59)
6. "Oh Girl (I Wanna Be With You)" (3:48)
7. "When You Came Into My Life" (5:27)
8. "Where The River Flows" (4:09)
9. "Time Will Call Your Name" (3:56)
10. "You And I" (6:13)
11. "Are You The One?" (3:11)

"Pure Instinct" is a faceless Scorpions release. This album sounds like any number of American melodic metal bands, with the exception of Klause Meine's unique vocals. This CD is chock full of ballads and attempts at radio rock, 5 out of 11 songs here are ballads. "Pure Instinct" seems to be the Scorpions on autopilot. In a word, this CD just seems uninspired. That's not to say that it's a totally bad album. "Wild Child" and "Stone In My Shoe" are decent enough rockers. "Wild Child" could easily have fit on just about any of the past few Scorpions albums and probably would have been a hit. Still, in comparison to this band's classic catalog, "Pure Instinct" ranks close to the bottom. Another controversial album cover for the Scorpions with a naked family behind a cage.

Deadly Sting: The Mercury Years Scorpions - Deadly Sting: The Mercury Years (Mercury) 1997

1. "Loving You Sunday Morning" (5:36)
2. "Lovedrive" (4:51)
3. "Holiday" (6:47)
4. "Make It Real" (3:50)
5. "Zoo" (5:29)
6. "Blackout" (3:48)
7. "Can't Live Without You" (3:45)
8. "No One Like You" (3:56)
9. "China White" (6:57)
10. "Dynamite" (4:12)
11. "Bad Boys Running Wild" (3:55)
12. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" (4:12)
13. "Coming Home" (4:49)
14. "Big City Nights" (4:09)
15. "Still Loving You" (6:27)
16. "Coast to Coast" [live]
17. "Don't Stop at the Top" (4:03)
18. "Rhythm of Love" (3:48)
19. "Passion Rules the Game" (3:59)
20. "Walking on the Edge" (5:08)
21. "Believe in Love" (5:23)
22. "I Can't Explain" (3:21)
23. "Tease Me, Please Me" (4:44)
24. "Don't Believe Her" (4:55)
25. "Wind of Change" (5:12)
26. "Hit Between the Eyes" (4:35)
27. "Send Me an Angel" (4:33)
28. "Alien Nation" (5:44)
29. "Under the Same Sun" (4:52)
30. "Woman" (5:56)
31. "In Trance" [live] (4:19)
32. "Over the Top" (4:24)
33. "Life Goes Around" (3:41)

"Deadly Sting" is a well thought out compilation that has the songs laid out chronologically from 1979 to 1995, thus covering the years in which the band enjoyed their most commercial success. The two disc collection features two unreleased tracks and a cover of the Who's "I Can't Explain." Of course all the favorites are here as well: "Loving You Sunday Morning," "The Zoo," "Blackout," "No One Like You," "Big City Nights," "Still Loving You," "Rock You Like a Hurricane," "Rhythm of Love," "Wind of Change," and "Don't Believe Her." I found this disc for $5.99 and it was well worth it since I obviously have huge holes in my Scorpions collection after "Blackout."

Eye II Eye Scorpions - Eye II Eye (Koch Records) 1999

1. Mysterious (5:28)
2. To be No. 1 (3:57)
3. Obsession (4:09)
4. 10 Light Years Away (3:52)
5. Mind Like a Tree (5:34)
6. Eye II Eye (5:01)
7. What U Give U Get Back (5:02)
8. Skywriter (4:55)
9. Yellow Butterfly (5:44)
10. Freshly Squeezed (3:58)
11. Priscilla (3:17)
12. Du Bist So Schmutzig (3:55)
13. Aleyah (4:19)
14. A Moment in a Million Years (3:38)

1999 was a very strange year. The entire world was worried about Y2K when the computers of the world would all self destruct and cause major devastation across the globe. Obviously people were so concerned with this possible disaster that they totally missed the happenings in Germany. 1999 was the year that aliens landed in Germany and abducted The Scorpions, replacing them with some techno, dance, pop, rock band. This simply has to be the case as their 1999 release "Eye II Eye" isn’t even remotely heavy metal. It’s not even hard rock. It’s barely even rock and roll. What the heck is this?

The first two tracks are funk based pop. There are a few small glimmers of light that give you the clue that this might be the Scorpions. The ballad "Obsession" sounds vaguely like that band, that is until the techno beat kicks in mid-way through the song,. There is a melodic guitar solo hidden within this track that sounds a bit like Brian May, though this really doesn’t help the song at all. After this track, just about every other song is a sticky sweet pop ballad, including the title track. "Mind Like a Tree" sounds like it could have rocked hard, but is instead hidden behind a terrible digital guitar tone and a pop sheen. Is there even a real drummer on this album? Somehow I doubt it. Oh the travesty! Even the cover art looks like something from a Devo or Kraftwerk album. How did the world not see that our German heroes of heavy metal and hard rock were taken from us? Geez, not even Def Leppard sunk this low. Well, ok, maybe they did, but this is The Scorpions! Remember, Virgin Killer, Polar Nights, In Trance, The Sails of Charon, The Zoo, Rock You Like A Hurricane? Remember the metal? Uli Jon Roth come rescue this sinking ship! This is the album that is best forgotten about.

Acoustica Scorpions - Acoustica (Sony) 2001

1. The Zoo (5:48)
2. Always Somewhere (4:13)
3. Life Is Too Short (5:14)
4. Holiday (5:56)
5. You And I (5:18)
6. When Love Kills Love (4:53)
7. Dust In The Wind (3:48)
8. Send Me An Angel (5:26)
9. Catch Your Train (3:39)
10. Wanted To Cry (But The Tears Wouldn't Come) (3:43)
11. Wind Of Change (5:34)
12. Love Of My Life (2:25)
13. Drive (4:00)
14. Still Loving You (5:45)
15. Hurricane 2001 (4:37)

How the unplugged thing ever became a trend I do not know. I think it was Nirvana that started the trend, but regardless, unplugged rock and roll should be a crime. However having said that there are a few acoustic releases that I do enjoy. Kiss MTV Unplugged comes to mind and was very enjoyable. They really did something special with those tracks. Sevendust also released a great collection of acoustic songs. However, for the most part I find acoustic albums to be mostly worthless. I would not say that "Acoustica" is completely worthless, but it's definitely not necessary listening. The most interesting songs are the heavier numbers that took some interpretation to make them work. Opening track "The Zoo" is one such track. The track is given an almost bluesy feel. I also found "Catch Your Train" to be an interesting take on a classic Uli Roth-era song. They give the songs a folksy/country feel which is quite odd but also works well. The addition of some female backing vocals really adds to the appeal. A cover of Queen's "Love of My Life" was an interesting and fun inclusion and one where you can actually hear some crowd interaction. It's also worth mentioning that Klaus Meine sounds great on all these songs.

Unfortunately the majority of the album is just bland, acoustic takes on ballads. Now I like some Scorpions ballads. "Holiday" is a bona fide classic, but here it just sounds life-less. Really acoustic versions of "Winds of Change", "Always Somewhere" and "Send Me an Angel" are not all that different from the originals which were also at least partially acoustic. The album ends with an atrocious reworking of "Rock You Like A Hurricane" that has been renamed to "Hurricane 2001", probably because this version does not rock in the slightest. This is a song that definitely needs distortion and thumping bass. So, while there are some real gems on this album, it's more or less just a collection of acoustic ballads. 

Box of Scorpions Scorpions - Box Of Scorpions (Hip-O/Universal) 2004

1. "I'm Goin' Mad" (4:51)
2. "Speedy's Coming" (3:33)
3. "Fly To The Rainbow" (9:35)
4. "In Trance" (4:42)
5. "Pictured Life" (3:23)
6. "Virgin Killer" (3:42)
7. "Catch Your Train" (3:34)
8. "Steamrock Fever" (3:36)
9. "We'll Burn The Sky" (6:26)
10. "He's A Woman - She's A Man" (3:13)
11. "Backstage Queen" (3:38)
12. "Top Of The Bill" (6:46)
13. "Dark Lady" (3:39)
14. "Robot Man" (5:38)
15. "Loving You Sunday Morning" (5:36)
16. "Holiday" (6:30)

1. "Coast To Coast" [instrumental] (4:38)
2. "Lovedrive" (4:47)
3. "Make It Real" (3:49)
4. "Don't Make No Promises (Your Body Can't Keep)" (2:56)
5. "Twentieth Century Man" (3:00)
6. "The Zoo" (5:28)
7. "Blackout" (3:47)
8. "Can't Live Without You" (3:45)
9. "No One Like You" (3:56)
10. "Dynamite" (4:12)
11. "Bad Boys Running Wild" (3:54)
12. "Rock You Like A Hurricane" (4:11)
13. "Coming Home" (4:58)
14. "Big City Nights" (4:07)
15. "Still Loving You" (6:26)
16. "Another Piece Of Meat" (3:39)
17. "Don't Stop At The Top" (4:03)
18. "Rhythm Of Love" (3:48)
19. "I Can't Explain" (3:21)

1. "Tease Me Please Me" (4:43)
2. "Believe In Love" (5:23)
3. "Don't Believe Her" (4:54)
4. "Wind Of Change" (5:11)
5. "Send Me An Angel" (4:32)
6. "Hit Between The Eyes" (4:32)
7. "Alien Nation" (5:43)
8. "Under The Same Sun" (4:52)
9. "Woman" (5:55)
10. "Over The Top" (4:24)
11. "Life Goes 'Round" (3:41)
12. "You And I" (6:13)
13. "Mysterious" (5:28)
14. "Hurricane 2000" (6:01)
15. "Cause I Love You" (3:44)
16. "Bad For Good" (4:04)



Box sets are all the rage in the last few years. I personally think they are cool for the die-hard fans as they usually included nice books, unreleased materail, and a nice overview of the band's career. The Box of Scorpions, while being a decent overview of the band's career, has nothing much for the die-hard who already owns 99% of the band's releases. This box set is nothing more than a glorified 'best of' collection. Of course, that is quite a testimony to the band that they had to have a three disc collection 'best of' when many band's couldn't fill up a single CD with hits. This box is also shy on packaging. While there is a decent size booklet, that includes a biography, as well as a discography, but there isn't much in the way of photos. The photos that are included focus mostly on the Matthias Jabs-era of the band, completely ignoring the Uli Roth years. At least they included a good amount of material from those years. Disc 1 is made up almost exclusively of the awesome Ulrich Roth years, save for the first song off "Lonesome Crow" and the last two songs, which began the new era of Scorpions. I must say that whoever chose the tracks did a good job of picking some of the band's finest material. Of course having been a die-hard fan since I was in high school in the early 80's, there are a few songs I would have included that are not included, but you can't included every song. Shoot, I might have included the entire Taken By Force and Blackout albums. As it stands, this is a decent overview of the Scorps, more than enough material for a casual fan and an excellent listen for the die-hard. (Thanks Jeff! You rule!)

Unbreakable Scorpions - Unbreakable (BMG) 2004

1. "New Generation" (5:51)
2. "Love 'Em Or Leave 'Em" (4:03)
3. "Deep And Dark" (3:37)
4. "Borderline" (4:53)
5. "Blood Too Hot" (4:15)
6. "Maybe I Maybe You" (3:30)
7. "Someday Is Now" (3:23)
8. "My City My Town" (4:55)
9. "Through My Eyes" (5:23)
10. "Can You Feel It" (3:47)
11. "This Time" (3:34)
12. "She Said" (4:32)
13. "Remember The Good Times" (4:24)

I must confess that I have not really been thrilled with a new Scorpions disc in many, many years. I honestly thought they lost their edge long ago when their quest to become the number one radio rock band started around 1986 or so. They did have some decent material during that time up through Crazy World. After that it was sort of a downward spiral of compilations, live albums, live compilations, etc. Then in 1999 the band delivered the experimental Eye II Eye which totally failed. However, a ray of hope filled this longtime fan when in '02 the band toured with Dokken and Whitesnake and only played songs from their classic metal days and even through in a few Uli Roth-era songs for good measure. I thought to myself, perhaps the band is finally going to give the fans what they want. Did they redeem themselves? Yes & no. While they have returned with a very good record, it doesn¹t in anyway measure up to their classic material. However, that is not to say I don't like this and am not giving it plenty of spin time. After all, it¹s not Eye II Eye. They have experimented with some new sounds & updated themselves here, however they haven't totally lost their identity or isolated their core audience either. Perhaps the best track is the rockin' album opener "New Generation". "Blood Too Hot" rocks hard as well and is a very memorable cut with some screaming guitar that is reminiscent of the "Blackout" days. Likewise "Deep and Dark" is a catchy song that would have fit nicely on "Savage Amusement" or "Crazy World." There are a few songs that I didn't care for. Usually the Scorps excell at writing ballads but "Maybe I Maybe You" didn't really hold my attention. However, overall, this is the most enjoyable album the Scorpions have released in almost a decade. Here's hoping that this is just the beginning of a trend of good releases to come for them.

Humanity Scorpions - Humanity - Hour 1 (BMG) 2007

1. "Hour 1" (3:26)
2. "The Game of Life" (4:04)
3. "We Were Born to Fly" (3:59)
4. "The Future Never Dies" (4:03)
5. "You're Lovin' Me to Death " (3:15)
6. "321" (3:53)
7. "Love Will Keep Us Alive" (4:32)
8. "We Will Rise Again" (3:49)
9. "Your Last Song" (3:44)
10. "Love Is War" (3:20)
11. "The Cross" (4:29)
12. "Humanity" (5:34)
13. "Cold" (3:52)

The Scorpions have managed to stay afloat all these decades despite changing tides and musical trends. With each decade they have managed to reinvent themselves without totally abandoning their heavy metal and hard rock roots. "Eye II Eye" was a bit of a let down in their catalog as it seemed that the Scorps were taking a stab at the alternative rock cat. It failed. 2004 saw the Scorpions climb back up with the excellent "Unbreakable". Three years have passed since that album was released. 2007 brings us "Humanity - Hour 1". My initial thoughts upon first hearing "Humanity" is that it doesn't really sound like The Scorpions. The band, or their label, or whoever, have drafted in pop producer and songwriter Desmond Child and producer James Michael. Every song is co-written by at least one or more mainstream songwriters and no song has more than one band member on the writing credits. As such, The Scorpions have ended up sounding like a polished, modern, pop rock band, far from the shrieking metal of "Blackout" and "Virgin Killer." There are lots of melodic, mellow, rock and pop moments here and some definite attempts at radio hits. "The Future Never Dies" is a radio ballad if I ever heard one. The album is heavy on ballads. However, ballads are not all that uncommon for the Scorpions. They have had their share of ballad hits such as the incredible "Holiday", "Winds of Change" and "Still Loving You". It's just that those songs had Scorpions personality, while these songs sound a bit more generic to me. All this doesn't mean that "Humanity" is a bad album. In fact, with repeated listens it's quite enjoyable. The performances on this album are very strong, with Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs providing some very good rhythm and lead work and Klaus sounding as forceful as ever behind the mic. The new rhythm section of Pawel Maciwoda (bass) and James Kottak (drums) sound solid enough. The opening track "Hour 1", "You're Loving Me to Death" and "The Cross" and "Humanity" are all standout tracks. "The Cross" features some guest vocals by Billy Corgan. While "Humanity - Hour 1" is a good CD it is nonetheless a Scorpions album by name only. By itself it is an enjoyable disc, but compared to albums like "Lovedrive", "Blackout", and "Virgin Killer", this CD isn't a standout moment. I picked up my copy of "Humanity" the week it was released in the U.S. at Best Buy for $7.99, which is a good deal for a new release. I believe also had the CD listed for this price the week of it's release. However, the Best Buy version featured the bonus track "Cold" which apparently isn't available on most other domestic versions of the CD.

Sting in the Tail Scorpions - Sting in the Tail (Universal Media) 2010

1.   Raised on Rock (3:57)
2.   Sting in the Tail (3:12)
3.   Slave Me  (2:44)
4.   The Good Die Young (5:14)
5.   No Limit  (3:24)
6.   Rock Zone (3:17)
7.   Lorelei (4:31)
8.   Turn You On (4:25)
9.   Let's Rockv 3:22)
10. SLY (5:15)
11. Spirit of Rock (3:43)
12. The Best Is Yet to Come ( 4:34)

With the release of the Scorpions seventeenth studio album, "Sting in the Tail", The Scorpions have announced that they will call it a day. As such, "Sting in the Tail" is set to be their swan song. I suppose if you are going to go out, do so on a high note. "Sting in the Tail" sounds like the lost album between "Love At First Sting" and "Savage Amusment". Whereas "Humanity Hour" was a Scorps album in name only and "Eye II Eye" was just weird, "Sting in the Tail" is the album fans have waited for. There are ass kickers such as "Raised on Rock", "Sting in the Tail", "Turn You On" and "Rock Zone". Guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Mathias Jabs tear it up and Klaus Meine has never sounded better than on this effort. There are also the ballads that the Scorpions are known for. On this album there are three, which is a bit too many for my liking, though some of these are quite good, especially album closer "The Best Is Yet To Come". The song features an ironic title, considering this is set to be the Scorpions final studio album. The song is easily as good as classic songs like "Holiday" and "Winds of Change". "The Good Die Young" features former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen. Tarja is mostly used for background vocals and doesn't really distract from the song at all. Here inclusion is mostly for marketing purposes, though I don't really think that this album needs the marketing gimmicks.

"Sting of the Tail" sounds like a Scorpions record. Jabs and Schenker's twin guitar assault, Klaus Meine's instantly recognizable vocals and some solid songwriting complete the album. The album is new, yet sounds warm and familiar. Even the production, while being modern, isn't so modern as to distract from the warm feel of the album. Frankly, "Sting in the Tail" comes off sounding like classic Scorpions but with a renewed vision. As a farewell album, this is a good way to go out. If the album does well, perhaps the band will take a cue from Kiss or Ozzy and change their mind about retirement.

Related collections:
Michael Schenker | Uli Jon Roth | UFO

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