Scorpions – ‘Lovedrive’ (1979) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

We are now on the band’s sixth studio album and the first one with new guitarist Mathias Jabs. Mathias replaced Uli Jon Roth who was unhappy with the direction of the band and left to form his own band called Electric Sun. With Mathias on board, we now have what is considered the “classic” line-up because it was the line-up that had the most success. That line-up was Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell. But Mathias wasn’t the only lead guitarist on this album.

After leaving UFO, Michael Schenker returned to Scorpions to help work on the ‘Lovedrive’ album. Originally thought to only be on about 3 songs, Michael is on most of the album as he contributed backing vocals as well as lead guitar work on 5 songs. But he was not planning on touring with the band at least not until the band parted ways with Mathias Jabs. He joined in February 1979 at the beginning of the tour. However, it didn’t last long as by April, Michael left the Tour while they were in France. After what was said to be very intense negotiations, Mathias Jabs rejoined the band. Talk about drama!!

The album was released on February 25, 1979 and saw the band really solidify their “classic” Scorpions sound with a pure hard rock sound mixed in with very melodic ballads. The album started giving the band some success in the States with the album going to #55 on the Billboard Charts. It reached #10 in France, #11 in Germany and #35 in the UK which also saw Scorpions chart two singles there as well. It is the first album I really remember from the Scorpions and the first one in this series I was really familiar with before writing the review.

Now like with their previous albums, Scorpions continued with the controversial covers. This time around we had a woman with an exposed breast covered by gum which was being stretched by a guy who apparently had touched her breast. The back cover had the breast completely exposed. This didn’t fly very well in the States where an alternate cover was issued…which is the one I have. Klaus always found it funny that the U.S. had issues with it as so many woman exposed their breasts to the band while they were on tour. Fair point!!

SIDE A:

The album opens with “Loving You Sunday Morning” and though not as explosive as some of their other opening tracks, it still rocks out. It has an incredibly catchy chorus like all great Scorpion song. It is melodic with some great melodies and ever a killer solo by Michael Schenker with Klaus singing behind it at the beginning with some great screams. I love the chugging beat and the rhythm section was fantastic. I fun track to open things up.

Then they turn up the heavy and rudeness with “Another Piece of Meat”. Klaus vocals are aggressive and harsh which fits the song perfectly. The most metal song on the album and I love the speediness of the chorus as it feels so urgent. The almost speed metal guitar licks race through yet sucks you in as you only want another helping of this “Meat” to fill you up as it leaves you hungry for more. I like the fact the lyrics were all Rarebell as it is nice to see the drummer contribute. And on solo, is Michael again.

Then we get the first ballad with “Always Somewhere”, a sharp contrast to the previous track. This time around, everything is soft and gentle to the touch. Klaus almost whispers at times and at times he almost screams the chorus but filled with tenderness. The chorus might be a little cheesy, but it is very contagious and inviting. On the solo this time around is Mathias.

Then we get a pure instrumental track with “Coast to Coast”. It is said to be one of their best which is hard to argue with that thought. A very simplistic, not overly flashy piece but it works. The guitars are the vocals on here and we get some great melodies and harmonies with the guitars. Michael takes on the solo with this one as well. Francis lays down some great bass line fills, Herman’s drumming sits nicely in the pocket and then both Schenker boys just show what they can do best.

SIDE B:

The second half opens with the rocker “Can’t Get Enough” and Klaus goes full on scream at times as he is so aggressive with this one and it is awesome. A high energy rocker with some wailing guitar work by Mathias Jabs as he rips some killer riffs and solos. This song will wake up the neighbors so crank it to 11 and they will thank you!!

“Is There Anybody There?” sees the band do something totally unexpected. The song is heavily influenced with a reggae sound with some fine picking by Mathias and drum work by Herman. Klaus feels at home with the vocals as he sounds crisp, clean and fantastic. The driving beat will get you moving and put a smile on your face as the chorus is so contagious, light and airy. Grab a cold one and head to some island fun.

Then we get the title track, “Lovedrive” which brings back the rock. The quick paced opening guitar riffs and groove are driving fast at breakneck speeds. This is pure classic Scorpions that will grow to love over the next decade. Catchy chorus, soaring guitars, Klaus screams and groovetastic beats. Michael is back on the solo and lets one rip. The ending is a crazy Rarebell drum barrage that goes out with a bang!

The final track is another ballad and might be one of their best. “Holiday” is an acoustic, heartfelt masterpiece. A six minute journey that is both tender and sweet at times and feels like a long dance with a loved one. It does ramp up some energy for a brief moment before going back to the softer side of the band. The burst of energy is what helps it take it to another level.

Track Listing:

  1. Loving You Sunday Morning – Keeper
  2. Another Piece of Meat – Keeper
  3. Always Somewhere – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  4. Coast to Coast – Keeper
  5. Can’t Get Enough – Keeper
  6. Is There Anybody There? – Keeper
  7. Lovedrive – Keeper
  8. Holiday – Keeper

The Track Score is 7.5 out of 8 Tracks or 93%.  Maybe because I already loved this album or was overly familiar with it, but I think it is awesome.  I was so excited to get to this era of the band as it is the era I grew up with so I might be a little biased with it, but I don’t care.  It is cool that Michael Schenker was back and to have Mathias Jabs as well only added to the greatness. You can definitely tell their different styles on the solos and where Michael is a little more flashy, Mathias plays it better for the song and seems more versatile.  Both bring a nice touch. I thought Klaus had never sounded better as he seems to have found his zone.  The songs were more melodic, more catchy and just more inviting.  The only real complaints is there were only 8 tracks and too many ballads, though the songs were great.  As a result, My Overall Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars.  It isn’t their best, but it is a step in the right direction.

NEXT UP: BEST OF SCORPIONS (1979)

THE SCORPIONS COLLECTION SERIES:

  1. Lonesome Crow (1972)
  2. Fly to the Rainbow (1974)
  3. In Trance (1975)
  4. Virgin Killer (1976)
  5. Taken by Force (1977)
  6. Tokyo Tapes (1978)
  7. Lovedrive (1979)
  8. Best of Scorpions (1979)
  9. Animal Magnetism (1980)
  10. Rock Galaxy (1980)
  11. Blackout (1982)
  12. Hot & Heavy (1982)
  13. Love at First Sting (1984)
  14. Still Loving You Maxi Single (1984)
  15. Best of Scorpions Vol. 2 (1984)
  16. Gold Ballads (1984)
  17. World Wide Live (1985)
  18. Savage Amusement (1988)
  19. Rhythm of Love – Single (Box Set) (1988)
  20. Best of Rockers ‘n’ Ballads (1989)
  21. Crazy World (1990)
  22. Crazy World – 4 Track From Crazy World Promo Vinyl (1990)
  23. Tease Me Please Me Promo CD (1990)
  24. Don’t Believe Her Promo CD (1990)
  25. Send Me An Angle Promo CD (1991)
  26. Face the Heat (1993)
  27. Live Bites (1995)
  28. Pure Instinct (1996)
  29. Big City Nights (Compilation) (1998)
  30. Eye II Eye (1999)
  31. Moment of Glory (with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) (2000)
  32. Acoustica (2001)
  33. Unbreakable (2004)
  34. Humanity: Hour 1 (2007)
  35. Sting in the Tail (2010)
  36. Comeblack (2011)
  37. MTV Unplugged – Live in Athens (2013)
  38. Return to Forever (2015)
  39. Rock Believer (2022)
  40. The Albums Ranked Worst to First

26 thoughts on “Scorpions – ‘Lovedrive’ (1979) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

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