Scorpions – ‘Sting in the Tail’ (2010) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

‘Sting in the Tail’ is Scorpions 17th Studio album. Dang! Not many artist can say they’ve done that many albums. The band was still the usual crew of late with Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Mathis Jabs, James Kottak and Pawel Maciwoda. They had some new producers this time around with Mikael Nord Andersson and Martin Hansen. They hit the studio in May 2009 and wrapped things up in December 2009. They started with 18 songs and narrowed it down the 12 you see here. Out of the original 18, 5 were actually from their ‘Unbreakable’ Session from a couple albums earlier. Since last album was a concept album, they didn’t fit on that one, but they re-worked them and they ended up on this one. The rest were written strictly for this album. And no covers!!

The album was finally released on March 14, 2010 and it landed at #23 in the U.S. and #2 in their home country of Germany. It saw the band go back to their 80’s sound, but with a modern twist on it so it sounds fresh and not dated. I would say they succeeded with that. At this point, this was suppose to be their last album as they announced their retirement and were doing a farewell tour, I guess you could say. Well, we all know how that turned out as they are still going strong today in 2023.

The biggest problem with this album is that there is too much ROCK! No, No!! Not the music…but the word “ROCK”. That word is in four different song titles on the album. 1/3 of the album. That is a little nuts. To make matters worse, if you look at the back cover, the letters in red spell out “It Rocks”. We get it, we get it…Scorpions rock so you have to use the word rock so people know you are rock & roll…rock, rock, rock…ugh!! Outside of that, there isn’t anything wrong with this record…well, not much anyway. So, let us get to it, shall we.

SIDE A:

“Raised on Rock” kicks things off and this is straight out of the 80’s with a whole “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and even mentions “Hurricane” in the first line. It is a nostalgic look back at the music that made the band who they are. It is a celebration of the music that shaped their young minds and made them want to be a Rock & Roll band. The song is full of killer riffs, talk box, hooks galore and a singer whose voice sounds just as great today as it did back when they started. Klaus’ vocals are ageless. The song is a kickass opener.

The title track, “Sting of the Tail” is up next and is full of attitude. It is a more modern sounding song and even has some weird effects on Klaus at times. Another heavy rocker that struts its stuff and bares its muscles which shows that the band is still strong and in beast mode.

A leftover track from the ‘Unbreakable’ Sessions is up next with “Slave Me”. It is a dirtier, grittier, nastier piece and another heavy track. It is hooky and has a lot of edge to it, but the chorus is a little weak and I’m not sure I like the whole idea of anyone being a slave anymore. There is a corny bit where they are all chanting some verses and it is pure cheese. Not a favorite of mine.

The first ballad is the sensational, “The Good Die Young”. It starts off acoustic and when Klaus comes in the beat picks up and the band joins in. Klaus sings in a stern, lower vocal on the verses and when the chorus comes in he hits his stride and that class Klaus vocal hits and all is right in the world. There is one thing the band does well and that is ballads and this is as good as it gets. Sweeping guitars, soaring vocals and so much heart and soul poured in for good measure. One of my favorite tracks on the album as this is classic Scorpions here. Another cool thing about this song is the vocals were helped by Nightwish’s own, Tarja Turunen. Her voice blends nicely with Klaus.

With “No Limit”, we get generic rock, but it is still a ton of fun, fast driving rock. Some great riffing, solos and just an overall blast of a ride. This is pure late 80’s Scorpions and I couldn’t be happier. This could’ve fit easily on Savage Amusement.

“Rock Zone” is full of pounding drums and crunchy riffs all turned up a notch. It is more generic rock with nothing to offer, but still sucks you in even with that silly-cliched chorus. There is nothing special here, just flat out rock to get you off your feet and rehash the whole “rock” theme of the album. And there is really nothing wrong with that.

SIDE B:

The second side kicks off with another stellar ballad with “Lorelei” which is about the water-spirit Lorelei who lives on top of the rock of Loreley, above the river Rhine. The song is a conversation between Klaus and friend who was going off to war and hopes of his friends safe return home. It is a beautiful piece with so much heart and emotion. A very touching song for a friend…another favorite on the album.

Next up is “Turn You On” another left ‘Unbreakable’ song. It is a spirited track, bringing back the hard rock and full of spunk and energy. The problem is it is very generic, more so than the others. A paint by numbers composition that does nothing for me.

“Let’s Rock” is more of the same. Some cool riffs, but been there, done that already vibes. Nothing new, nothing exciting. Too many “rock” songs on this one.

“SLY” is about a girl named Sly. That girl was conceived while her parents were listening to “Still Loving You”…S.L.Y. The story is that when this song was a hit, people in Europe (France especially) were apparently making love a lot while listening to this song. It is another ballad as the band still loves to pile those on since they have so much success with them. This one is good, but not great. I love the concept behind it, but it isn’t as grand as the others on here.

Okay, one more “rock” song with “Spirit of Rock”, but seriously now, do we need another? I don’t think so. More generic crap and pure and utter filler. Ugh!!

At least the album ends on a high note with “The Best is Yet to Come” even if it is the fourth ballad on the album. It is a positive energy, feel-good, inspiring song. It makes you want to raise your hand in the air with a lighter and wave it back and forth. Well, I guess today it is turn on your flashlight on your phone, raise it up and wave it back and forth. Either way, you know what I mean.

Track Listing:

  1. Raised on Rock – Keeper
  2. Sting In the Tail – Keeper
  3. Slave Me – Delete
  4. The Good Die Young – Keeper
  5. No Limit – Keeper
  6. Rock Zone – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  7. Lorelei – Keeper
  8. Turn You On – Delete
  9. Let’s Rock – Delete
  10. SLY – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  11. Spirit of Rock – Delete
  12. The Best Is Yet To Come – Keeper

The Track Score is 7 out of 12 Tracks or 58%.  Not the greatest score for the songs, but the songs that are good, I think are really good. It might not be their best album, but it has some great moments and I still find it enjoyable overall.  The first half of the album is actually great and the back half only has a couple stellar moments.  The problem is the album is filled with filler and a lot of ballads even though they are some of the best moments of the album.  This will never be considered a top Scorpions album, but a band and their 17th album, it is still a respectable piece. And if this is how they were going to go out, not a terrible way to end..but thankfully we know they can come back and do better.  My Overall Score is 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars.

NEXT UP: ‘COMEBLACK’ (2011)

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. 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

17 thoughts on “Scorpions – ‘Sting in the Tail’ (2010) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

  1. This was where I picked the band up again after skipping out for a long time. I’m sure it was the “retirement” talk that got me to give them another go. I like the album but I’m with you on there being a fair bit of filler, I felt like they could have canned a few tracks. But this was nice to hear after a lot of what they had been doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From this point on, they stick to a formula on the albums which is fine and I like a lot of the songs, but the albums aren’t great…just really good. Until maybe the last one!!

      Like

  2. I think I swiped this from on those places back in the day where you weren’t supposed to download from John. lol
    Honestly though I cannot remember this one at all …am I bad lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. nice job. I remember when it came out and then missed the tour and thought I would not get a chance to see them. thankfully they called off retirement!

    Like

  4. “This was supposed to be their last album as they announced their retirement and were doing a farewell tour”.

    Marketing 101 for aging rockers.

    For this album, I think the band felt confused. Do they continue with the Humanity tone or bring back “the bitch is hungry” vibe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “For this album, I think the band felt confused. Do they continue with the Humanity tone or bring back “the bitch is hungry” vibe.”

      I think this is the best I have ever seen it worded. “Bitch is hungry” vibe! Nailed it! Well done. I may quote you in the future. LOL

      Liked by 2 people

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