Scorpions – ‘Best of Scorpions, Vol. 2’ (1984) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

To capitalize on the success that the Scorpions were seeing now with ‘Blackout’ and ‘Love at First Sting’, the label decided it was time for a ‘Best of Scorpions, Vol. 2’. The new compilation, a companion piece to Vol. 1, was released on July 10, 1984. It didn’t do that great as it only went to #175 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. But still not a bad idea to try and reap some rewards off a band riding high.

It followed the same concept as Vol. 1 by picking songs only from the Uli Jon Roth era. This means it is only songs from ‘Fly to the Rainbow’, ‘In Trance’, ‘Virgin Killer’ and ‘Tokyo Tapes. For some reason, no songs were picked from ‘Taken By Force’. like on Vol. 1…which didn’t have any ‘Tokyo Tapes’ songs. Being Volume 2, these are the next level tier of songs so instantly makes this set a little less in goodness. There is one repeat, but Vol. 2 has a live version rather than a studio…we will get to that.

SIDE A:

“Top of the Bill”, from ‘In Trance’, is basically same as a song on their newest album “Gas in the Tank”. Okay, not really, but not far off. Klaus’ vocals are ear splitting high at times as his shrieks rip through your head. It is a solid rocker that is both explosive and melodic. It is balls-to-the wall energy and I love the vocal harmonies as they add even more to the dynamic track.

“They Need a Million”, from ‘Fly to the Rainbow’, opens with some brilliant acoustic guitar work which makes you think a ballad, but a minute or so in the electric guitar comes in soaring and ripping a cool riff accompanied by more great drumming from Jurgen. The overall sound has a very Spanish feel and is totally unexpected and in a good way.

“Longing for Fire”, back to ‘In Trance’, opens and for a second I thought it was Kiss, but that didn’t last long. There is some fantastic guitar playing by Uli with some great riffing by Rudolf to accompany him. The bass line is repeated throughout and pretty high in the mix. Klaus goes through the motions with the vocals and is my only complaint, but the solo work is most impressive while the song itself is not so much.

“Catch Your Train”, from ‘Virgin Killer’, takes things up a notch. The rhythm guitar, bass and drum give a chugging feeling reminiscent of a train and drives it forward. The verses are exciting with Klaus giving it his all, but that chorus is a hook machine with the lyrics phrased perfectly. It is high energy, exciting track and for me the best on the album. It sounds like the Scorpions I grew up with in the 80’s.

Then the go in to one of my favorite early Scorpions songs with “Speedy’s Coming”, but the live version off ‘Tokyo Tapes’. It doesn’t disappoint as it really lives up to its name as the tempo is insane on this and so is that guitar work. Pedal to the floor, tire’s burning out, smoke-filled fun.

“Crying Days”, back to ‘Virgin Killer’, harkens back to their more progressive tendencies without the actual length as this is a normal timeframe. It sees Klaus lay down a great vocal while the guitar riffs and solos almost feel like they are floating through space. I like the nod to the old and yet keep it fresh sounding and I think it is a really cool track.

SIDE B:

Side B kicks off with what was a brand new unreleased track on ‘Tokyo Tapes’ and was live. It is called “All Night Long” and is a blistering track. The guitars and rhythm section sound great and Klaus’ vocals are actually rather clean and outstanding. What a range he has live and it really takes it to another level. 

“This is My Song”, from ‘Fly to the Rainbow’, which isn’t really much of a rock song. It leans more pop, but still has some cool moments with some dual guitar work with Uli and Rudolf as well as a wailing solo. And if that isn’t enough, listen to Francis on bass…what a cool groove he is laying down. Lyrically, not the most stellar track, but musically, it does kick some ass.

Next up is “Sun in My Hand”, from ‘In Trance’, which is an Uli sung song. It opens with some killer riffing and then chugs along in a Cream-like fashion. Uli’s vocals on this one aren’t as superior as his playing. I’ll be honest, I prefer Klaus, but Uli at least adds variety even if it doesn’t work every time.

“We’ll Burn the Sky” ends the compilation. Taken from ‘Tokyo Tapes’ so we get a live version. It starts off slow then picks up the tempo and power then goes back and forth between ballady and rocker. A 6 minute song on the studio album is stretched to over 8 minutes live thanks to the band as they take the solo and extend it out and all join in on the fun and just plain jam!

I will admit it is not a bad listen, but it isn’t their best songs from that time period as those are on Vol. 1. But if you aren’t wanting to go back and buy all their albums, you could be just the two Best of albums and have a great selection of tracks, but you’d be missing out on a lot. My Overall Score is only a 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars as the first one was better and they skipped anything from ‘Taken by Force’. Plus, songs aren’t remixed or anything different. Studio tracks that are better heard on the studio album.

NEXT UP: GOLD BALLADS (1984)

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) – Bonus Edition
  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

16 thoughts on “Scorpions – ‘Best of Scorpions, Vol. 2’ (1984) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

  1. Many people hadn’t heard of The Scorpions before “Love At First Sting” so I see the logic of releasing this. I do like the Spanish feel on “They Need a Million” and the guitar work on “Catch Your Train” and “We’ll Burn the Sky.”

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