The Scorpions camp felt it was time for another live album. This would be the band’s third to date and was released April 3, 1995. Now, the disc is not one show as that would be the smart thing to do and this instead is the easy way out. They took shows from several concerts from 1988 to 1994. The cities were Leningrad (Russia), San Francisco (US), Mexico City (Mexico), Berlin (Germany) and Munich (Germany). The album has the normal crew of Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Mathais Jabs, Herman Rarebell and current bass player, Ralph Rieckermann. However, most of the bass playing is long time member Francis Buchholz. The best thing about the album is that they did include 3 studio tracks which is the real reason to buy. No definitive time on the recordings, but I believe they range for 1988-1995, just no where I can prove that out.
As far as live albums go, it does sound fantastic. The guitar sound is actually killer, almost to amazing which makes me wonder if any touch up was done. And Klaus’ vocals are spot on, the drum sound is hard and heavy. There is no denying these boys can play live. They kick off with “Tease Me Please Me” and it would be a good song to start with as it totally rocks out and gets you on your feet. Then we get a real treat with the ‘Lovedrive’ track “Is There Anybody There”. I love the reggae vibe to the song. I really unexpected choice for the live show, but very welcomed. Really cool. Back to the heavy rock guitar sound with “Rhythm of Love” and they nail it here before going in to the only song that is a found on another live album and that is the fantastic “In Trance” and this is a classic track. Man is it good.
The first misstep for me is “No Pain No Gain” as I’m not a fan of this song, but they do make it sound a little better than the studio track here. It fits better in the live setting than album setting, but not by much. Then from ‘Blackout’ we get “When the Smoke is Going Down” and another surprise track for me. I didn’t like this song as the ending to that album, but mixed here in the middle of the show and listening to Klaus sound incredible on this one, I dig it here. Next up is “Living for Tomorrow” and this song had been released previously on the 1992 compilation called ‘Still Loving You’. On here, two slow songs in a row really can start to drag the show down. Klaus speaks to the crowd in Russian as it was recorded in Leningrad.
The song ends with a fury and then goes in to Schenker’s guitar solo which he calls “Concerto in V”. It is a fantastic solo that then smoothly bleeds in to the killer freaking riff from “Alien Nation”. The boys really tear it up here and take this song to another level. This is a great live track as it is hard and heavy and totally rocks out. We get “Crazy World” up next from San Francisco and Klaus is yelling at the crowd to go nuts. Another heavy song to the keep the energy going and one that I think is pretty good live as the guitar work on it is great as Schenker and Mathias really tie one on with this one. Then the final live song is, of course, “Wind of Change”. I’m tired of that song as it has been so overplayed which is a CIA ploy, but we won’t go there (LOL!). An album that comes in like a lion goes out like a lamb. I get that it isn’t a full show and they were trying not to repeat tracks, but this is a strange set of songs…although it does sound great.
The first new song is “Edge of Time” and is the only rocking track of the three. But it doesn’t rock out that much. Klaus’ vocals are really high pitched and a little irritating with his vocal delivery and that tone. The song plods along with a monotonous beat and I am bored to tears. The chorus is decent, but that is about it. “Heroes Don’t Die” is up next and is a ballad. It is a sad piece and so slow and dreary. The pacing is unbelievable boring a drags on and goes nowhere. Please let it end soon. The final track is a cover of the band Omega’s song, “White Dove”. Another ballad and another track that is too slow and boring. These three tracks feel like someone looked around the room to see what songs were still available and just picked three with no thought to it at all.
And that is ‘Live Bites’. I don’t really like live albums that aren’t full shows, but there are some great moments on here and a few surprises with songs we haven’t had live before from the older years. However, it doesn’t feel like a cohesive piece to me as the songs don’t feel right together. And then you throw on the unreleased studio tracks that do nothing to add to the excitement of a live album and you have a mess. My Overall Score is a 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars. If they would’ve left the studio tracks off, I would’ve scored it higher, but those songs are terrible to me and kill the mood. Thanks for stopping by and now to the era of the band I don’t know very well.
NEXT UP: PURE INSTINCT (1996)
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