Scorpions – ‘Crazy World’ (1990) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

The band’s eleventh studio was recorded in 1990 and was the first album in year (maybe decades) to not include Dieter Dierks as producer. Instead, they went with Keith Olsen and went back to a less polished sound which helped see the album go to #21 in the U.S. upon its release on November 6, 1990. It is also the last album to be certified 2X Platinum in the States. It is also known as the band’s first #1 album in their home country of Germany which I find insane it took that long.

The band is still in tact with Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Mathias Jabs, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell. Little did we know though that this would be the last album to feature longtime bassist, Francis Buchholz. But before he leaves, he actually gets his first songwriting credit with the song “Kicks After Six” which we will talk about soon enough. This album saw the band have a more mature tone in some of their songwriting, but don’t worry there is still the whole sleazy piece of rock as well. The best of both worlds.

SIDE 1:

The album opens with, “Tease Me Please Me”, which is a sleazy little track that seems part Motley Crue, part everything else at the time and that is okay. The song is a rocker that doesn’t take a lot of thought, but it still kicks ass. A fun opening track with a cool riff, some nasty guitar work, Klaus’ gritty vocals and overall catchy as hell. It is straight up down and dirty rock & roll. Yes, please…sign me up.

Don’t Believe Her” is up next and it is proof that the Scorpions were now an American rock band as the sound is like every other band rocking out in the U.S. at the time. I really like the opening guitar work and then it goes very Ratt-like with the tone. The only thing missing was Pearcy’s rough vocals. Instead we get much better with Klaus. The song isn’t something to write home about, but it is still a fun, upbeat song although chorus is pretty weak.

Then it is more radio-fodder with “To Be With You In Heaven”. I thought it was going to be a ballad, but it is too upbeat and too much a rocker to be one, but it doesn’t miss by much. Rarebell has a slamming drumming beat as the base to the song. The song does have those romantic lyrics you’d expect in a ballad and Klaus delivers them flawlessly, but still not a ballad with that dual guitar work from Jabs and Schenker.

The next track was the first ballad and it is the band’s mega-hit “Wind of Change”. The song was written by Klaus Meine and was inspired by the band’s trip to the Moscow Peace Festival in 1989. The song is about the change that was brewing in the Soviet Union and in Berlin. When the Wall fell and the Soviet Union was no more, the song was a unifying song for everyone. The whistling in the song was by Klaus, Mathias was playing the rhythm guitar and Schenker handled the solo. A slow ballad that seem to strike a chord with everyone as it went to #1 in 9 countries and #4 in the U.S. It was certified Silver, Gold or Platinum in 9 countries as well. To say this was a worldwide phenomenon would be understatement. And the YouTube video is closing in on almost 1 Billion views…impressive.

The band ends Side 1 with “Restless Nights” which is very bluesy and almost a doom like vibe to the whole thing. The chorus picks up and is more melodic while the everything is a little dark and foreboding. Even Klaus sings it with a little doom & gloom until his more sunny-vibed chorus. Jabs does lay down a great solo amongst the Meine screams. Still not a huge favorite of mine though.

SIDE 2:

Side 2 kicks off like Side 1 did with pure sleazy, sexualized rock and roll. “Lust of Love” is pretty mindless fun with a great, driving beat and a chorus that lingers long after its gone and you find yourself singing it around the house and your wife looks at you with a suspiciously strange evil eye. It is a rousing metal anthem…well pretty close. I do like it though.

And the next rack is the song with Francis’ first co-writing credit. “Kicks After Six” is more of the same, enticingly good time rock & roll. I have to admit, I like the raucous, sleazy, dirty little rockers. The are fun, joyful and put a little bounce in my step. This one opens with a really cool riff that I think makes the song. Rarebell pounds away the driving beat and the song kicks some major ass for me. Oh, and the solo…don’t forget the solo. Crank it baby!!

“Hit Between the Eyes” keeps the party going with some almost speed metal riffs and what I believe is a killer dual guitar solo between Mathias and Rudolf…love it! Klaus is brutal as he attacks the verses with a feistiness we haven’t seen yet on this album. Probably the heaviest track here and what a 1-2-3 punch we get on this side. A total rocking good time.

Then we get to a different tone on the album and first up is “Money And Fame”. It harkens back to an older Scorps sound, but I’m not really feeling this one. You’d think I like the gloomy feel to it. The talkbox, by Jabs, has been played to death by most bands at this time. The song drags on for me and doesn’t feel like it gets where it is trying to go.

The title track, “Crazy World”, is up next and it does pick up the pace and has a little more rocking feel to it. The “ooohs” by Klaus are a nice touch especially accompanied by some cool riffing. This is a different track from the rest of the album. A little more sophisticated from the sleazy tracks and I kinda dig it. A nice change of pace and a pretty deep cut that maybe should’ve been placed earlier in the set. Who knows.

And finally we get to end and as usual, Scorpions end with a ballad and I think it is one of their best ballads ever. “Send Me An Angel” sees Klaus give his best vocal performance as he conveys both a melancholy vibe yet there is still a shimmering light of hope. The keyboards add to the sadness and they are handled by Jim Vallance who actually co-wrote 7 of the tracks on here as well. You know Jim from his work with Bryan Adams. There is a desperation to the lyrics as he feels so lost but the hope that an angel will come and make everything better. A really beautiful track and one I never tire of hearing. They outdid themselves with this one in my book.

Track Listing:

  1. Tease Me Please Me – Keeper
  2. Don’t Believe Her – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  3. To Be With You In Heaven – Keeper
  4. Wind of Change – Keeper
  5. Restless Nights – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  6. Lust or Love – Keeper
  7. Kicks After Six – Keeper
  8. Hit Between the Eyes – Keeper
  9. Money And Fame – Delete 
  10. Crazy World – Keeper
  11. Send Me An Angel – Keeper

The Track Score is 9 out of 11 Tracks or 82%. I like this one and the fact they didn’t over produce this one like ‘Savage Amusement’.  The sleazy songs were so much fun and sometimes you just need down & dirty.  The more sophisticated tracks like “Winds of Change”, “Crazy World” and “Send Me An Angel” also were a nice dichotomy to the album.  You got some slick and some sick…that is what you need sometimes.  It was good to bring Keith Olsen in to produce as the guys needed to shake things up a bit.  My Overall Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars as this is their last great album for some time to come…at least in my book.

NEXT UP: CRAZY WORLD – 4 TRACKS FROM CRAZY WORLD – PROMO VINYL (1990)

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
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106 thoughts on “Scorpions – ‘Crazy World’ (1990) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

      1. I remember they completely lost me with this one back then. But so did Def Leppard with Slang and now I love that album, so I’ll give it another chance, but I’ll make sure to skip that glasnost song.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. After some reassessment I admit that I was too harsh on their early 90s stuff. With some goodwill I can now accept ‘Crazy World’ as the cap-off to their fantastic hair metal era, and I even like the next one, after getting over the fact that it’s not the beloved 80s Scorps anymore. But now I’ll quit the 90s while I’m ahead and skip to their 2000s stuff to keep the winning streak going.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. “Humanity” is a huge step up from most of their 90s stuff (faint praise, I know), I have to get used to the more modern sound though. I had no idea Desmond Child was involved, no wonder most songs are catchy as hell!

                Liked by 1 person

  1. I’d have to think this went to number one in Germany on the strength of Wind of Change and the fact that the chart would then have been for a unified Germany rather than, previously, just West Germany

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No, no, no! One of their worst albums! So much filler!

    Tease Me Please Me – Keeper
    Don’t Believe Her – Keeper
    To Be With You In Heaven – Keeper (1/2)
    Wind of Change – Keeper
    Restless Nights – DELETE
    Lust or Love – DELETE
    Kicks After Six – DELETE A MILLION TIMES
    Hit Between the Eyes – Keeper
    Money And Fame – DELETE!!!!
    Crazy World – DELETE!!!!!!!
    Send Me An Angel – Keeper

    Liked by 1 person

          1. John, I legit dislike this album and don’t see what others like about the filler. In fact this means you and I need to meet in the ring for a battle. I’ll bring Harrison as my ringside manager. We need to settle this once and for all! CRAZY WORLD SUCKS! It was a few hits, a rocker or two, and filler!

            Liked by 1 person

                    1. It reminds me of the self-titled Mötley Crüe album, as far as it’s only enjoyable if you accept that it is by a different band. (Ok, technically they were the same band, but they sound totally different on that one).

                      Liked by 2 people

                    1. Hearing stories about Michael Schenker on coke provides me way more entertainment than the band ever has. I believe there’s one that says Michael threatened to burn down his own house if his manager didn’t find him coke in two hours. He didn’t find the coke, so Michael allegedly burned down his house with his wife and child still inside. They were fine though. Later they said someone asked Michael why he didn’t threaten to burn his manager’s house down instead. He supposedly said that would have been dishonorable.

                      Like

                    1. Thanks for the pitch, I gave Face the Heat another spin and I like it a lot more now. Heavier and less melodic than their 80s output, but not the cheesefest I had in memory. I still wouldn`t rate it as high though, as it lacks that classic Scorps touch for me.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    1. Ok, I still need to catch up on those later albums, but I am sure they are better than “Pure In-Stink-t” or “Face 2 Face(palm)”. I tend to forget that they put out newer stuff after those career killers.

                      Liked by 1 person

        1. He’s a better actor than Charlie, but neither of them are any match for their dad. I remember seeing Wall Street for the first time, and it being so apparent how much better Martin Sheen is as an actor than Charlie.

          I forgot about Stakeout! John T. Dreyfuss got to work with Emilio!

          Liked by 2 people

            1. He’s probably responsible for a lot of acute alcohol poisoning from all the people who made a drinking game out of every time he says, “Bob” in What About Bob?

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with everything you said in this review. Kicks After Six is a great track as its just fun as are a lot of these songs on here. Even the C.I.A track has grown on me over the years. For myself this was the last or second last Scorps I bought until Rock Believer!
    Great stuff Snowman

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The boost to nearly 1B views of the Wind Of Change video has probably been helped with the resurgence of the song the past few years due to “The Wind of Change” podcast that was released in 2020. I’d never heard of the Podcast until this year, nor had I ever heard of the conspiracy theory of the song being written from within the CIA as a propaganda campaign during The Cold War. Can’t say I believe it, but it’s an interesting theory and the podcast host does his best to at least create some doubt that it was just a song written by Klaus Meine.

    Rock on Scorpions and rock on 2L2O.

    Liked by 1 person

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