Scorpions – ‘Acoustica’ (2001) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

The Scorpions were in a mood to keep doing things their own way and after doing an album and touring the classically orchestrated Scorpions rock, they decided to strip it all back and do some shows acoustically. The band performed 3 shows at the Convento do Beato in Lisbon, Portugal in February 2001 and those shows were recorded. From those 3 shows, the album called “Acoustica” was made. The album was released a few months later on May 14, 2001.

The show was a little unusual for the band as it was just the normal guys. Yes, Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Mathias Jabs, Ralph Rieckermann and James Kottak performed, but they weren’t alone. The actually had three guitarists and the third was Johan Daansen which really fills the songs up with that acoustic guitar sound. On keyboards was Christian Kolonovitis who also helped the band arrange the songs for the acoustic set. Christian was also the one who was the conductor and arranged the Scorpions songs for the Moment of Glory Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra album the prior year. James might have been on drums, but they also had a percussionist by the name of Mario Argandona. And to fill up the stage even more, there was a cellist, Ariana Acu and a group of female vocalists to help with backing vocals. They were Hille Bemelmanns, Liv Van Aelst and Kristel Van Craen. They really went all out to bring a different experience and I would say it worked pretty well.

The band also were great in giving us a few things extra on this release. We got the biggest hits, no doubt, but that wasn’t all. We actually were treated to 3 brand new songs (four if you got the DVD). And on top of that, we got a handful of great covers from The Cars, Kansas and Queen. With all that, it made this a very worthwhile purchase to get all the songs we hadn’t heard before. But was it all worth it? Let’s see.

The set opens with “The Zoo” and it has this cool groove which is almost like ‘Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles. Then we get the ballad “Always Somewhere” and the crowd claps along and at times sings along, there are female backing vocals and Klaus sounds stellar. Ballads usually work well in the acoustic setting and this one is no different. After this one we get the first of three new songs. First one up is “Life is Too Short” and this one brings some string orchestration. It is another ballad but it really shows the maturity of the band. I would really love to hear a studio version as this is really a great song. The chorus is really catchy which helps draw you in and as the song builds it just keeps getting better.

With the bongos and the latin flair, “Holiday” feels like a sunny vacation at the beach. A great and unique approach to the song. This is followed by “You and I” off ‘Pure Instinct’. The song was mostly acoustic and the album so fits naturally here. The crowd is really in to this one, they’ve added more piano. The biggest difference is the drums are pulled back and not as prominent, but it still works. It is a little more laid back. The second new song is “When Love Kills Love” and I think it is another great song, the cello is a nice touch, but overall a little cheesy with the female backing vocals on the chorus. I think it could work in to a better studio version. But it is another ballad, a little more uptempo at times, but still a ballad in this format.

Then we get the first cover and this one is “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas and I feel they nail this one as the guitar work is exceptional and sounds like the song. They didn’t stray from the heart of this. The percussion work on here is wonderful as well. Klaus handles the vocals perfectly and nice to hear the band actually do some covers. The violin I believe is handled by a cello here. The tempo is a little faster than you’d expect, but still great. Then we get “Send Me An Angel” which they change up the opening and it sounds a little like a fast “Under Pressure” that is until the piano kicks in and the cello to bring back that familiar sound. The female vocals water the song down a little and overall isn’t as exciting as the original, although the crowd seems to love it.

“Catch Your Train” becomes a bluesy piano honky tonk at times. The quick tempo, the raucous keyboards, the drum beat all makes you want to kick off the dust and grab your boots and line dance with the crowd (not sure if that is a good thing or not). The final new song is “I Wanted to Cry (But the Tears Wouldn’t Come)” and it slows things back down as it opens softly and slowly with a piano. Klaus joins in and sounds great as usual. It is another great new song that I could see being a great studio album, but might be the weakest of the three for me personally. As we get nearer the end, you know it is coming and as the whistling starts you know what your are getting, “Wind of Change”. A crowd favorite and singalong and if the crowd loves it, isn’t that all that matters.

Then we get to a couple covers, first being “Love of My Life” by Queen. The band does a great job and another the crowd really goes nuts over. The real surprise and beauty is the cover of The Cars’ “Drive”. The band hits this one out of the park. It sounds like the Cars musically with some great keyboards and drums. Klaus really hits his stride with this one and brings us all the emotion this song intends. One of my favorites of the night as it was so unexpected. To finish the show we get one of their best ballads ever with “Still Loving You” and this one adds the cello and piano to give it a slightly different vibe, but it still sounds beautiful and Klaus, well, he owns this song vocally. Not my favorite version of the song though as it doesn’t have enough umph to it. And finally we get “Rock You Like a Hurricane” except they call it “Hurricane 2001”…not sure the needed to call it something different each time you do the song, but okay. Acoustically, the song is still rocking and a lot of fun. Honestly, surprised they ended with this instead of “Wind of Change”, but I’ll take it.

Scorpions try something different and unlike the orchestration disaster of “Moment of Glory”, I found this one much more enjoyable. We got some fantastic covers as well as three new songs that all sounded great and I would like to see them explore those further. I liked the little changes they did with “Holiday”, “The Zoo” and “Catch Your Train”, it showed they can be adventurous in their music and try new things. They did go a little safe with some of the song choices, but overall, it all worked even with the cello, the female backing vocals and everything else they brought to the stage. My Overall Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars as I found this to be a nice change of pace even if it was all acoustic. There is something about a live acoustic show that I do enjoy.



  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. Bad for Good: The Very Best Of Scorpions (2002)
  34. Unbreakable (2004)
  35. Humanity: Hour 1 (2007)
  36. Sting in the Tail (2010)
  37. Comeblack (2011)
  38. MTV Unplugged – Live in Athens (2013)
  39. Return to Forever (2015)
  40. Rock Believer (2022)
  41. The Albums Ranked Worst to First

15 thoughts on “Scorpions – ‘Acoustica’ (2001) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

  1. Yeah I didn’t like this either from Scorpions. The songs felt lifeless to me.

    When I watched Eric Clapton in Unplugged it was unbelievable. Plus he wrote a couple of new songs for that format.

    Kiss had fun with their 70s songs.

    Tesla worked because they wrote most of the songs on acoustic guitars.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not to sound like a negative Nelly, I’m with Dee Snider on this one. During a Twisted Sister show I attended, Dee said he’ll go unplugged when they take the electric guitars from their cold dead hands.

    I don’t think that many songs from that era sound good stripped down.

    For the record, I bought a lot of these albums in my youth. I don’t listen to them much anymore. Perhaps my ears don’t appreciate this format anymore?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are such a Negative Nelly!! LOL!! I won’t listen to a lot of these, but this one I might pull out. I think I liked it because Moment of Glory was so bad. Anything sounds great in comparison.


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