Scorpions – ‘Return To Forever’ (2015) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

The band’s 18th Studio album was a long time in the making. The work started back in 2011 as they were throwing around ideas for new projects to do. One of those ideas was to go through their old catalog and find unreleased songs. Songs that dated back their heyday. The found enough songs to fit 3 CDs and then those CDs were sent to the producers, Mikael Nord Andersson and Martin Hansen. From their the band kept narrowing down and I believe in 2012, the recorded demos of around 12 of those songs and had intentions of recordings 6 more to give them 18 to choose from. The goal was to end up with 12-15 tracks from the unreleased tracks to use for an album.

Well, one thing led to another and they also worked on new songs as well. All in all, by the time the album came out, between new tracks and old tracks, they actually ended up with 19 tracks that have been released for the album. The standard edition only had 12, which is what we have here with the Vinyl. However, the US Deluxe Edition actually has all 19 songs so no need getting the Japanese Edition for this one. That is a ton of songs to sit through which is why I am focusing on the vinyl edition and keeping it simple.

The band is unchanged at this point. We have the 3 kings of Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker and Mathias Jabs. Then we have the usual pair of James Kottak and Pawel Maciwoda. The album was finally released on February 20, 2015. Why did it take so long to finish and release? Well, the band had been touring extensively during this time with the acoustic shows, they symphony shows, I think there might’ve been a farewell tour sprinkled in. It was a crazy world for them during these years. Now sadly, this would be the last album with this line-up as James Kottak would leave the band in 2016 to be replaced for Motorhead’s drummer Mikey Dee who is still with them today. Let’s get to the music, shall we.

LP 1:

The album opens with a new song that sounds like it should be the closer. “Going Out With a Bang” celebrates the band’s 50 year history. They are still going strong, still rocking the world and they sound refreshed and ready to still kick ass. The song has a little blues influence to it, but mostly it just rocks out with some cool riffs and Klaus doesn’t sound like he’s aged a single bit. Amazing.

To keep things going, another new song, “We Built This House” definitely is no Starship “We Built This City” and thank the Lord for that. This song is one of the best songs on the album as it is about the band’s 50 year relationship as well. They have built a Scorpions empire that was built on the foundations of rock and they have held true to that philosophy all this time. The chorus is the big payoff here as it has some amazing backing vocals and that classic Klaus sound and damn, what a hook. A beautiful, incredible track.

“Rock My Car” is from way back in 1985 and sounds just like it. It has that classic Scorpions energy and simple chorus. The song is about driving on the Autobahn, but double entendre in the sexual nature is there as well. A little sleazy is cool and breezy for me. A total rocker, a total blast.

The next track, “House of Cards” was written by Schenker back in 1988/89, but lyrics weren’t done until 2001 by Klaus when they were thinking of using it for the Acoustica album. This tells you it is an acoustic track, a soft, lovely ballad about love that turns to hate. The acoustic guitars are gently played as Klaus’ vocals sweep through them effortlessly. The band knows how to do ballads and this one doesn’t disappoint.

“All For One” is about the camaraderie of the band and how that philosophy has helped the band survived their time together. It is a cheesy piece that rocks out, but really isn’t good at all if I’m being honest and I always honest so it sucks…okay, there, I said it. Next…

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Band” is up next and tells the story of the debauchery of the Sunset Strip as the sex, drugs & rock & roll are pretty inspiring. The song was recorded first for the MTV Unplugged show in Athens, but here we get the studio version. And I do love this song. It has a nostalgic feel to it, a high energy, fast paced rocker that races through with a pedal to the floor vibe. Anthemic and energetic that kicks major ass. Turn it up to 11 and go!

LP 2:

The 2nd LP kicks off with “Catch Your Luck And Play” which was written back in 87/88 and was slated for ‘Savage Amusement’. Originally titled “Bite of the Snake”, but since the chorus was weak, it was left off. Thankfully, Klaus re-wrote the chorus for this version and it is probably a little better. It does have a great riff-filled opening, it is bright, a little upbeat and sunny, but the chorus is still weak to me. It has a singalong, anthemic vibe, but it still lacks a lot. Nice solo and a nice Klaus scream, but not enough to save it.

“Rollin Home” is a new song inspired by a story Klaus told Hansen about a wreck the band had in the van they toured with way back when. Another nostalgic song and a huge chorus that would get the audience singing along with at a concert. I feel the song could be bigger, but feels a little restrained and held back. Still, it is a solid song that you’ll probably find enjoyable.

The next track dates back to the very early 80’s and was attempted to use on almost every album around that time, but it never fit. Now they’ve re-worked it and we finally get “Hard Rockin’ the Place”. A more modern sounding track, a little darker, a little edgier, some gritty guitar parts, thumping bass and pounding drums. Everything you want rolled up in to one rocking track. For a song written so long ago, they made it sound current and fresh.

“Eye of the Storm” is another ballad that originates from around 1991. A song about a postcard sent home from the road after a long time on the road. Sort of their version of “Home Sweet Home”. Another gentle, breezy song filled with Klaus’ emotive vocals. A very touching piece.

The final song recorded & written for the album is “The Scratch”. It has a big Swing vibe to it as it was influenced by the man himself, Benny Goodman. Apparently, there were 18 guitar parts recorded for it and all on the same day. Damn. But the showcase are the drums and the bass as they really shine here. You’d think this would be so cheesy, but you’d be wrong. They make it a fun, rocking track that is catchy as hell. The big chorus is great to singalong with and have a swingingly good time.

The final track on the album is “Gypsy Life” which was written around 1999 and thought about being used for Acoustica. Another song about life on the road as this whole album has a big nostalgic feel to it. This one has a sadness to it, a little darker than the other ballads. And another prime example of a voice that never ages as Klaus really gives it his all and sounds amazing. I’ve said if before and will say it again, these guys know how to do ballads right.

Track Listing:

  1. Going Out With A Bang – Keeper
  2. We Built This House – Keeper
  3. Rock My Car – Keeper
  4. House of Cards – Keeper
  5. All For One – Delete
  6. Rock ‘N’ Roll Band – Keeper
  7. Catch Your Luck And Play – Delete
  8. Rollin’ Home – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  9. Hard Rockin’ The Place – Keeper
  10. Eye of the Storm – Keeper
  11. The Scratch – Keeper
  12. Gypsy Life – Keeper 

The Track Score is 9.5 out of 12 Tracks or 79%.  Most bands around this long, the material tends to dry up, but not with Scorpions. They still sound fresh and ready to rock.  Yes, a lot of these are old songs, finally released, but the new songs are so good and this album was way better than expected.  Their output hasn’t really suffered and it is impressive.  The album has a whole nostalgic vibe to it and maybe because of that it feels comfortable like we’ve heard it before and already know the songs. It feels like home and for that I really enjoyed this album.  It didn’t all work, but enough does to make this a must have and a great listen.  My Overall Score is a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars as it isn’t the best, but it is above average and some really great songs, especially “We Built This House”, as it is now one of my favorite Scorpion tracks.



  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 in Athens (2013)
  39. Return to Forever (2015)
  40. Rock Believer (2022)
  41. The Albums Ranked Worst to First

11 thoughts on “Scorpions – ‘Return To Forever’ (2015) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

  1. Then and now, I thought Rock My Car was an absolutely hilariously bad song title. But it is so very Scorpions, isn’t it?

    Always a neat idea to go back and look for old song ideas, worked for Van Halen, but doesn’t work for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rock My Car is gawdawful song title, but it sounds like the Scorpions for sure. The last three albums are not great albums, but they aren’t bad either. It was cool to hear some old songs that never got recorded and some decent new ones as well. They’ve all been respectable albums, that is until Rock Believer blows them all away!!


  2. Geez, guess I will have to check this one out. I don’t think I have heard one track from this at all. It will be kinda like a new release for me! Great stuff man…Look forward your review of Rock Believer as I do have that one!


  3. I played this over the weekend since I knew it was coming up. Pretty good stuff, nothing mind-blowing but pretty fair quality. I played the whole deluxe edition, that is a lot of songs and probably a bit much for one sitting.


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