Scorpions – ‘Big City Nights’ (1998) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

Scorpions is no stranger to releasing compilation albums. In fact, there are 28 official greatest hits compilations over their career. That is insane. Out of those 28, some are worth getting, like ‘Deadly Sting’ or ‘Best of Rockers ‘n Ballads’ and some are not…like this one!! This is a complete money grab except it was released at a time where Scorpions weren’t getting much publicity so I am sure this was overlooked by everyone. There are no unreleased tracks, no single mixes, no nothing excited that would make this worth getting. So why do I have it? I found it in a bin for like $2 so why not. It isn’t worth anymore than that, I promise!

It was released on July 11, 1998 on Rebound Records & Universal Music Distribution. There is one interesting thing about it, some copies have the song “No One Like You (Live)” was weirdly replaced with the studio version, but still listed it as “Live” on the track listing. My copy is the boring old version with the actual live version. And that is it, nothing else interesting about this release. So, I will at least go through the songs and give my input on them.

“Big City Nights” is up first and it is off the album ‘Love at First Sting’ and was the third single off the album. This one leans 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.

“Animal Magnetism” is pure Sabbathy Heavy Metal. It is dark, eerie and scary as hell. Klaus’ vocals are hauntingly evil and the song is so out of left field, it works on every level. I always love these kind of surprises on an album. Of course, the album it came off is…well…’Animal Magnetism’.

Scorpions end their album, ‘Crazy World’, 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 that album. 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.

The next batch of tracks are from ‘World Wide Live’ and include 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. “Still Loving You” is one of their best ballads, if not the best. It has those sad, sad guitars at the opening and 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 is it better than the studio…maybe! The last track is “No One Like You”. And what can you say, it is a killer studio track and just as rocking and rowdy live as well. Another beast of a song.

There is another live track on here and it is from ‘Live Bites’, “Wind of Change”. It is one of their most famous songs and it is done very well here, the problem with it isn’t the song, but my tiredness of it. Purely skippable and one of those songs if I never hear again, I’m okay with it.

“Kicks After Six”, from ‘Crazy World’, is up next and I have to admit, I like the raucous, sleazy, dirty little rockers. It is fun, joyful and puts 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!! And for those that don’t like it, I’m sorry you are wrong!! LOL!!

The first single off ‘Savage Amusement’ was “Rhythm of Love” and was the most successful song on the album going to #6 on the Mainstream Rock Chart, but only to #75 on the Hot 100 which isn’t that great. It is a power ballad and rather quick on the album to throw that in if you were asking my opinion. It is hooky and catchy as hell which are two ingredients you need for a good ballad. The guitar riffs are great and the solo rips through perfectly. The only problem with it is it sounds like every other ballad out there which I believe was the point. One call fact about the song is the backing vocals include the great Lee Aaron.

Next up is “No Pain No Gain” which is another rocker and even has a little talk box added to it. It has a promising start with some great riffs and guitar work, but the chorus is flat and not memorable as it is too generic and simple. Usually that is a good thing for the Scorps, but it didn’t leave me wanting more when it was said and done. Not a favorite of mine.

“Can’t Live Without You”, from the album ‘Blackout’, is another quick little number which relies on a single guitar riff throughout and seems so simplistic, but it is so memorable as the chorus is so catchy and very repetitive. Throw in a rocking solo and the band delivers another solid rocker.

There is nothing wrong with these songs, they are great tracks, but this compilation is totally pointless and no thought whatsoever in putting it together. No unreleased tracks, no real liner notes and nothing special that makes this worth buying. Please skip it if you see unless you only need it to complete the Scorpions collection. My Overall Score is a 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars!

NEXT UP: EYE II EYE (1999)

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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