Scorpions – ‘Eye II Eye’ (1999) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

For the band’s fourteenth album, ‘Eye II Eye’, Scorpions decided to take a hard left turn and change up their sound as that was what most bands were doing during the 90’s. They decided to follow trends instead of being themselves. They had become insecure and started listening to the record companies and producers rather than go with their gut. Per Mathias Jabs, ‘Eye II Eye’ was the band’s biggest mistake. In fact, it almost destroyed them with their fans as it was too much a change. Thankfully the would recover, albeit years later.

The album was released on March 9, 1999 and though it did chart in their home country of Germany (#6), it failed to gain any ground whatsoever in the UK and the US. Their one single, “Mysterious” did chart on the US Mainstream Rock track going to #26, but outside of that, there was nothing. Producer Peter Wolf from Austria was brought in to man the boards and the album was recorded at Little America Studios in Austria. Peter help co-write a bunch of the album and some other guests were brought in including Marti Frederiksen and the wonderful Mick Jones from Foreigner.

The band was still Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker and Mathias Jabs as the man group and you can tell as they are the only 3 on the cover. The rest of the band saw Ralph Rieckermann on bass and for the first time saw James Kottak on drums. This would end up being Ralph’s last album with the band. And on one song on backing vocals we have long time drummer, Herman Rarebell which I thought was really cool. The sound of this album was a little pop and a little techno at times with very little rock which is why the fans weren’t happy with this release. Should we see what all the fuss was about? Okay, why not…

“Mysterious” opens the album and you get a little electronica, almost dance type music. Have the Scorps gone all boy band on us?? When the song finally kicks in to full band mode, it improves a little. The chorus is catchy and all, but this is not the Scorpions you remember and love. Nope, this is a brand new band trying to follow trends and find itself as they are completely lost at this point and it’s obvious. At least there is a guitar solo that toughens the song up a little, Overall, not a bad song when you compare it to the rest of the album.

Then we get the Def Leppard Slang-like song “To Be No. 1” and although Leppard made that album work, Scorpions make it feel painful. It isn’t rock, it isn’t metal, it is pop, plain and simple. Fake electronic drums and synths ruining every inch of the song. Even Klaus doesn’t sound like Klaus. An experiment gone very wrong.

Next up is “Obsession”, it slows things down with the first of many ballads. This isn’t as good as what they’ve done in the past as another song that doesn’t sound like the Scorpions, except maybe Klaus on this one. It drones on and on, feels very generic with no exciting points in the song. They are trying to be sensual and sexual and it isn’t working.

“10 Light Years Away” is the first song with any real promise. Some nice acoustic guitar, great bass playing and even some nice percussion. Another ballad type song with a more upbeat chorus. It still isn’t rock, but it is a little more palatable than what has come before it. Still not a total winner either.

Finally now we get to a total winner with “Mind Like a Tree”. The heaviest song so far with a great guitar riff and some dual guitars at that. The song is haunting at time as the chants get a little eerie sounding which is a massive plus. It still isn’t Scorps, but it as close as we might get, so I’ll take it.

The title track, “Eye to Eye” is up next with more keyboards and seems to be another ballad. Klaus isn’t really singing as he is softly singing almost speaking the lyrics. The chorus sees Klaus give a little more while the music doesn’t and so for that reason feels off. Really boring track and more pop non-sense.

And then it gets worst with “What You Give You Get Back” and if they are giving this and then we should give it right back and maybe get a refund. More garbage, more ballads or just soft pop crap. Chorus takes it to an even cheesier level and you need to drink a bottle of wine with this cheese to make the pain go away.

Then comes “Skywriter” which feels like more of the same ballady-type junk. It has a little more power especially in that chorus, but that doesn’t make it any better. I hate the drum sound on and Klaus doesn’t even feel like he cares about the lyrics. Ugh!

“Yellow Butterfly” is a little heavier track and while some techno sound, there is still a cool riff and a little more punch in their step with this one and let me tell you, this album needs a punch. Just when you think it might be a rocker, it goes right back to ballad and a sort of Middle Eastern vibe to it. It is like nothing else you’ve heard from the band and honestly, compared to the rest of the slower songs on the album, this chorus is the best and there is cool parts to it. I think I really like this one.

The band goes to another weird level with this pop trash that might be trying to go a little hip hop with how Klaus is almost rapping, but not quite. His vocals are real gritty and he is trying to sound tough, but the music behind it isn’t tough. It is fake drums and some techno and simply awful…at least for me. “Freshly Squeezed” isn’t fresh, but you do want to squeeze someone by the throat when you hear it.

“Priscilla” opens with a little more tempo and some guitars and starts off promising, but like most everything else on this album ends in disappointment as it is just a corny ass song about a fucking cockroach…no really. I’m not kidding. Listen to the song and those lyrics and I think you’ll agree. How they mighty have fallen.

The next song I thought might be cool as it is the first mostly German song they’ve ever done called “Du Best So Schmutzig”, but I was so wrong. Now, James Kottak does join in on sharing the vocal duties with Klaus, but it is pure rapping…yes, you read that right, he raps. This is Scorpions doing German Hip Hop!! Again, I’m not kidding. I don’t joke about this stuff although this is a joke. It might quite possibly be the worst song I’ve ever heard by the band.

The album has been full of crap, but the last two songs are far from it. First is “Aleyah” which I hated at first, but the guitar riff grew on me as did the chanting of the title of the song. After more listens, I realized this was one of the better songs on the album. A little more of a rocker, a catchy chorus with more haunting chants of “Aleyah”. Finally, something that is hard rock!!

Scorpions end the album with a ballad which is not uncommon, but as far as the other ballads on the album, this one actually works on every level. It is classic sounding Scorpions with that emotive Klaus vocal, some beautiful piano, a little orchestration. “A Moment in a Million Years” is everything I want in a ballad as it has heart and soul. Another classic and beautiful Scorpions ballad.

Track Listing:

  1. Mysterious – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  2. To Be No. 1 – Delete
  3. Obsession – Delete
  4. 10 Light Years Away – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  5. Mind Like a Tree – Keeper
  6. Eye to Eye – Delete
  7. What U Give U Get Back – Delete
  8. Skywriter – Delete
  9. Yellow Butterfly – Keeper
  10. Freshly Squeezed – Delete
  11. Priscilla – Delete
  12. Du Best So Schmutzig – Delete
  13. Aleyah – Keeper
  14. A Moment in a Million Years – Keeper

The Track Score is 5 out of 14 Songs or 36%.  I think it is fair to say this might be the worst Scorpions album of them all.  And since I’ve heard them all, I think I’m qualified to make that statement.  I am all fine with experimenting, but with such a drastic change, it is a little too much all at once.  The techno sound, the rapping, the almost full album of ballads was too shocking for most humans to handle.  Now, there are a handful of great tracks on here, but not enough to save this pile of garbage (though good enough for a Scorps playlist).  My Overall Score is a 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars as the Scorpions are not a boy band, they are not a pop band and they are definitely not a techno band.  They are a hard rock, heavy metal giant that got lost in the 90’s like a lot of 70’s/80’s bands did.

NEXT UP: MOMENT OF GLORY (WITH THE BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA) (2000)

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

15 thoughts on “Scorpions – ‘Eye II Eye’ (1999) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

  1. The point at which I stopped buying everything this band put out.

    I remember being at a guy’s house talking about this. The new Scorpions video came on and he said, “We need to watch this to the end and see who it is, because I hate this and I want to know who I hate.” He could not tell it was Scorpions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was out after Live Bites but I recall many a review where they got destroyed in the reviews over this release. Your allowed to make any comment as your the biggest Scorps fan I know

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  3. My first time listening to this as well. I think it helps that I can’t stand that whistling song. Listening to this is not actually worse. I’m laughing here.

    I think Klaus sounds okey.

    Is this one freely available in dollar bins?

    Scorpions – Interview (Eye II Eye)

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