With the massive success of ‘Love at First Sting’, Scorpions were riding high. So the label felt it was time for another live album as it had been 7 years since the last one. During the ‘Love at First Sting Tour’, numerous shows were recorded and a double live album was pieced together. The shows were as follows:
- Bercy, Paris, France (1984-02-29)
- The Forum, Los Angeles, CA, USA (1984-04-24 & 1984-04-25)
- Sports Arena, San Diego, CA, USA (1984-04-26)
- Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, CA, USA (1984-04-28)
- Sporthalle, Cologne, West Germany (1984-11-17)
The album was released on June 20, 1985 and went all the way to #17 on the US Billboard 200 Chart and sold over 1,000,000 copies giving it platinum status. The band could do no wrong. The classic line-up was in place with Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Matthias Jabs, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell. And of course, the album was produced by long time Scorps producer Dieter Dierks.
The gatefold had a great live shot of the band looking out at the massive crowd. On the left side of the cover, you had all the concert dates listed and along the right you get all the crew members and everyone involved with the tour, a pretty nice touch. The album was originally only released on Vinyl and Cassette. The CD was released later and had to drop a few songs due to time constraints. That was later rectified in 1997 when they did a reissue. The songs on the album cover the albums ‘Lovedrive’ up to ‘Love at First Sting’ and nothing that was on ‘Tokyo Tapes’, their last live album which is the way to do it. Let’s get to the music.
The album opens with the crowd screaming, then a sustained boom and the “Countdown” begins…not a real countdown, that is just the name of the small instrumental piece that opens. Then they go straight in to “Coming Home”, but smartly remove the long drawn out instrumentation at the beginning so it plays better live”. As with a lot of live shows, songs seem sped up a little and that is true on “Blackout” as well. They play the song as is and no changes and it completely kicks ass. With “Bad Boys Running Wild”, Rudolf takes over lead from Matthias and that opening riff sounds so raw here and seems pretty badass. Klaus sounds amazing. They are whipping through the songs and giving the crowd what they want to hear.
“Loving You Sunday Morning” cuts the intro you get on the album and cuts straight in to the good stuff. The song chugs a long and doesn’t seem to have the power and heart of the studio track. Still sounds good though. “Make it Real” is up next and although is pretty much unchanged from the studio, the “Fantasy” vocals by Klaus don’t have the same bite as the studio. I get chills on that one, but not here. Lacks the power and dramatic tone.
At this point, Klaus finally talks to the crowd in California and then the band goes in to the killer track “Big City Nights”. This one gets the crowd going and the band is really digging it as well. Klaus actually grabs a guitar for the next track as he plays rhythm guitar while Rudolf and Matthias share lead duties on the instrumental “Coast to Coast”. Honestly, I think I might like the live version of this song better than the studio track. It sounds heavier, grittier and feels like that is how it is meant to be heard. After the song, he talks to the crowd about doing a live recording and they go nuts.
The band goes acoustic next with the song “Holiday” and acoustic turns this song up a notch and makes it even better. You can hear the crowd singing along too. Really cool stuff. I believe they are in Paris for this one and that crowd is in to it. This acoustic “Holiday” makes a great intro for “Still Loving You”. One of their best ballads, if not the best, has those sad, sad guitars at the opening. Klaus softly speaks/sings the vocals and he can still hit those high notes. The song stays true to the studio and is a great here, but it is better.
The second LP opens with the rock anthem “Rock You Like Hurricane” and here, live, it is a beast. Such a great, high energy rocker for the live show. Perfect. “Can’t Live Without You” is not a favorite track of mine, but live it has better life. Sped up and a ton of guitar work. Klaus is really working up the audience for the first couple minutes of the song and then it kicks in. The highlight is the dual guitar work of Schenker and Jabs. Totally awesome! The band goes cranking in to “Another Piece of Meat” and Klaus revving up the crowd. The song is put in to overdrive with extremely fast guitar playing and the drumming is break-neck speed. A killer live track. And the final track on this side is “Dynamite” and it doesn’t slow anything down. The band seems to go a little nuts. A total rockfest. (Note: the Apple version goes in to “The Zoo” and “Dynamite” moved further down.
The final side kicks off with the tremendously bad ass song, “The Zoo”. Matthias does the talkbox on here and the guitar work is fantastic. The song chugs along like a train and sticks to what makes this song so great. Nothing is really changed. The song ends perfectly in to “No One Like You”. A perfect song to end the album, but it isn’t the end of the album…nope. They still have some life left in them. They go in to “Can’t Get Enough (Part 1)”…why is part 1? Because in the middle of the song we finally get a guitar solo from Jabs and Schenker with a song called “Six String Sting” which is them letting loose and they do just that. The band finishes off “Can’t Get Enough” with Part 2 and the show comes to bombastic end.
This is one of the first Live albums I ever bought. I had others from my brothers, but this one I got with my money which is why I love this one so much. It holds a place in my heart. The band just goes out and plays the songs and gives the crowd all the hits and more. It sounds live, the crowd feels like they are in to it and I love to hear Klaus sounds amazing live. It came at the height of the bands success and helped cement their name in history as one of the best Rock & Roll bands either out of Germany or the world for that matter. My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars as you can’t go wrong with this one.
NEXT UP: SAVAGE AMUSEMENT (1988)
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