The band started recording their 9th studio album in Stommein, West Germany which is where producer, Dieter Dierks, studio was located. The album was recorded in 1983 and 1984 and finally saw its release on March 27, 1984. The line-up was intact with Klause Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Mathias Jabs, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell.
However, some of the early recordings that took place were actually in Sweden and had former Rainbow members, Jimmy Bain on bass and Bobby Rondinell on drums. Jimmy Bain’s name was brought up by Herman and then later Herman got sick and Bobby stepped in. The band then left Sweden and did a two week tour in the States with the normal members of the band. After the tour it was determined that everyone felt great and they headed to Germany to record with the original members.
The album became Scorpions biggest selling album of all time going triple platinum with well over 3,000,000 copies sold in the U.S. alone. Thanks in large part to MTV and the smash song “Rock You Like a Hurricane” which is a staple at sporting events and a song I think everyone in the world knows. The album went to #6 on the Billboard 200 album chart, but it was really the constant rotation on MTV that got the U.S.’s attention. I know it got mine. They played all their videos and even the ones from Blackout which made a lot of people run out and get that album as well. “Love at First Sting” was the band’s pinnacle album. The smooth, high glossed rock was so well polished it gave off a platinum sheen. And in fact, it was one of the first fully digital metal albums ever made. They have reached the top…or had they?
The album cover had a little side-boob action and prior to its release, the label showed it to the major retail chains and no one complained about it so they thought everything was good. It wasn’t until after the album’s released that one major U.S. retailer started getting complaints from customers. That retailer was Wal-mart. They were big, but not as big as they would end up becoming years later. Anyway, the label created a simple, controversial-free cover using a band picture which was taken from the album sleeve (as you will see further on in the post).
The album opens with “Bad Boys Running Wild” which is a beast of a track. It opens with a little speed metal sound and some killer riffs, but it is a straight up rocker based on a strong metal foundation supporting it all. With its catchy groove and chorus, they opened the album with a statement that they were running wild so hold on tight.
Every band needs a signature song and Scorpions did that on their 9th album with the song “Rock You Like a Hurricane”. It only went to #25 on the Top 40 chart, but it has lived on and given the band one of the quintessential 80’s rock songs ever made. There is no one that doesn’t know this song the second that opening riff kicks in. It is a rock anthem like very few achieve. For ever how many songs the album sold, most were sold because of this track. With heavy riffs, killer solos and one of the most catchiest choruses ever, this song took the band to a level they probably never thought they would see.
Then we get “I’m Leaving You” which is a pure rocker. Some hints of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that was going on, but just hints. There isn’t much to it, it is very repetitive and seems simple compared to what we’ve heard so far, but it works. It is a decent enough track.
Then we get to one of my all-time favorite tracks from the band, “Coming Home”. It opens as a gentle, sweet ballad that feels airy and atmospheric and it lulls you to sleep. Boy do they have you fooled because the song then kicks in to a metal onslaught of power and explosiveness. The riffing on this song is second to none. It is most impressive. Klaus attacks the lyrics with such force matched by the Rarebell drumming and guitar work by Schenker and Jabs. It is by far the most interesting song on the album.
The final song on Side 1 is another metal track with “The Same Thrill”. An almost speed metal opening turns in to a fast paced, energetic, exhausting rocker that races through to end the first side. It is not as interesting as the last song, but it will work as a pure metal rock fest of a track that is pure adrenaline fun!
To kick off Side 2, we get another rocking track with “Big City Nights” which was the third single on the album. This one leads more to the 80’s pop rock, very radio friendly and although a rocker, a little calmer. Yet, it is very effective with its cool riff, contagious chorus and of course, that great Klaus vocal. What is there not to like.
“As Soon as The Good Times Roll” sees something completely different for the band. Is that Ska??? No Doubt it ain’t, nor Madness, but it is a nice change of pace and who doesn’t love a little variety in an albums sound. It is a nice rhythm and groove. A little dull at time and might be the only real weak spot on the album for me. Still like it though.
“Crossfire” opens with a military style drumming and then a great pair of riffs from Schenker and Jabs. Everything is toned down yet not a ballad. A solid, even a little sexy song that thanks to Klaus’ great vocals and some great background vocals. They aren’t delivering the same old stuff here, they are keeping it interesting. I think it is a very underrated track and often overlooked.
Then we get to the ballad of all ballads for me. “Still Loving You” is one of my favorite Scorpions ballads and one of my favorite all time as well. About a couple in love that knows its over, but try to make it work one more time. The song opens with some gentle, soft riffing and Klaus singing in almost a whisper. Then the power part of the ballad kicks in and the guitar licks are blissfully beautiful and the chorus is gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking and lovely at the same time. I think this might one of Klaus Meine’s best vocal performances on any album.
- Bad Boys Running Wild – Keeper
- Rock You Like a Hurricane – Keeper
- I’m Leaving You – Keeper
- Coming Home – Keeper
- The Same Thrill – Keeper
- Big City Nights – Keeper
- As Soon As the Good Times Roll – Keeper (1/2 Point)
- Crossfire –Keeper
- Still Loving You – Keeper
The Track Score is 8.5 out of 9 Tracks or 94%. Quite simply one of their best albums…at least for me. It takes you a ride and a delivers different twists and turns and not the same old crap song after song. It had variety and that is the spice of life. It has one of the most iconic 80’s rock songs of all time with “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and one of my all time favorite ballads as well with “Still Loving You”. And if that wasn’t enough, it might have my all time favorite Scorpions song with “Coming Home”. What more could you want from an album…nothing!! My Overall Score is a solid 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars! It don’t get much better than this!!
NEXT UP: “STILL LOVING YOU” – MAXI SINGLE (1984)
THE SCORPIONS COLLECTION SERIES:
- Lonesome Crow (1972)
- Fly to the Rainbow (1974)
- In Trance (1975)
- Virgin Killer (1976)
- Taken by Force (1977)
- Tokyo Tapes (1978)
- Lovedrive (1979)
- Best of Scorpions (1979)
- Animal Magnetism (1980)
- Rock Galaxy (1980) – Bonus Edition
- Blackout (1982)
- Hot & Heavy (1982)
- Love at First Sting (1984)
- Still Loving You Maxi Single (1984)
- Best of Scorpions Vol. 2 (1984)
- Gold Ballads (1984)
- World Wide Live (1985)
- Savage Amusement (1988)
- Rhythm of Love – Single (Box Set) (1988)
- Best of Rockers ‘n’ Ballads (1989)
- Crazy World (1990)
- Crazy World – 4 Track From Crazy World Promo Vinyl (1990)
- Tease Me Please Me Promo CD (1990)
- Don’t Believe Her Promo CD (1990)
- Send Me An Angle Promo CD (1991)
- Face the Heat (1993)
- Live Bites (1995)
- Pure Instinct (1996)
- Big City Nights (Compilation) (1998)
- Eye II Eye (1999)
- Moment of Glory (with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) (2000)
- Acoustica (2001)
- Unbreakable (2004)
- Humanity: Hour 1 (2007)
- Sting in the Tail (2010)
- Comeblack (2011)
- MTV Unplugged – Live in Athens (2013)
- Return to Forever (2015)
- Rock Believer (2022)
- The Albums Ranked Worst to First