With their 1979 album, ‘Lovedrive’, Scorpions were starting to see international success. In the States, the album went to #55 and was certified Gold. In the UK, two of the singles charted. The band was enjoying their new success and the label was ready to capitalize on that success. On November 17, 1979, the band released their first compilation called ‘Best of Scorpions’. The album reached #180 on the Top 200 album chart and didn’t garner I think the fever the band and label were hoping.
The songs from the compilation come from four of their first five albums. There were no songs chosen from their debut album, ‘Lonesome Crow’. All the songs were from ‘Fly to the Rainbow’, ‘In Trance’, ‘Virgin Killer’ and ‘Taken By Force’. There were also no songs from the newest album ‘Lovedrive’. All the songs were from the Uli Jon Roth era of the band. I’ve read some of the songs were new mixes, but not all and the ones that were sounded pretty much the same. I am sure they cleaned them up so they would all sound consistent here on the album. Let’s jump right in…
After 5 albums and the band in peak shape, it was time for a live album. While touring Japan in 1978, they recorded the two shows at Nakano Sun Plaza on April 24th and 27th. From those shows they pieced together a sensational double live album. Not only was it the band’s first live album, it was also the last album they would do with their label, RCA Records. If that wasn’t enough, it is also the last album to feature Uli Jon Roth as he left the band after the Japanese tour and prior to the release of this album. The band would audition close to 140 guitarists until they finally found the right fit in Matthias Jabs, but more on him with the next review in the series. This one is all about the live album.
The album would be released in Japan in August 1978 and around 6 months later, get released in Europe and then the U.S. The album finally saw Scorpions receive some success as they charted in 4 different countries reaching #10 in Germany and they went Gold in France. In an era of great live albums, there is no reason this shouldn’t be up there with some of the best as this takes some already great songs and turns them up a notch. I listened to this album in the car and on the turntable and once with headphones and let me tell you this is a headphone listen for the best experience. Trust me, you pick up so much more.
Ten months after the release of 1974’s ‘Fly to the Rainbow’, Scorpions recorded then released their third studio album on September 17, 1975 in Europe, but wouldn’t see a U.S. release until March 1976. This time around they had a new drummer as Jurgen Rosenthal left the band because he was drafted in to the Army. He was replaced by Rudy Lenners. The rest of the band was the same with Klaus Meine on lead vocals, Rudolf Schenker on rhythm guitar, Uli Jon Roth on lead guitar (& vocals) and Francis Buchholz on bass.
As far as a sound for the record, Scorpions continued on their hard rock road and left behind those epic 10 minutes songs for an album of 10 tracks within the standard 3 to 5 minute range. They were tighter, more melodic and we even get more Uli Jon Roth on vocals as he gets two songs this go round. This was also the first album that featured producer Dieter Dierks who would go on to produce all their album up to 1988’s Savage Amusement. I guess you could say he was the 6th member of the Scorpions.
This album was also the first album to include the now famous Scorpion log. If that wasn’t enough, it was the start of a set of album covers that would become rather controversial. This one, and the copy I happen to have, shows a beautiful lady standing over Uli’s guitar and one of her breasts is exposed. They would later change the cover to blackout that part hiding her breast. Honestly, this one is really hard to see and you have to be really looking for it to see it, but it is there. This wouldn’t be the last cover of the band to get censored. Censored cover or not, the album helped propel their sound and their popularity, but they were still not near their highest of highs yet. That wouldn’t come for several years.
That is right…starting August 1, 2022, we will begin the next series here on 2 Loud 2 Old Music and it is the Mighty Scorpions!! This is another “Collection Series” so will be everything I have in my collections from The Scorpions so I might miss a few things. We will start from the beginning with ‘Lonesome Crow’ in 1972 and go all the way to 2022’s release of ‘Rock Believer’. 50 Years of the Scorpions and it is time to celebrate them for the greatness that they are!!!
We will do studio albums, live albums, compilations and singles and whatever I have you will see. So what will we see…a list is at the bottom, but for now here you go.
The 70’s Studio Albums…
The 80’s Studio Albums…
The 90’s Studio Albums…
And the 2000’s…
But we don’t stop there…we will cover their live albums…
Their greatest hits compilations…
And I even have a handful of singles and promos…
So, buckle up and get ready to walk through the history of the Scorpions!! And it is a lot…take a look at it all in its beautiful glory!!
Below is a list of the order of the reviews (it is subject to change)…I can’t wait to dive in deep with these German Rock Gods!! See you real soon…
Lonesome Crow (1972)
Fly to the Rainbow (1974)
In Trance (1975)
Virgin Killer (1976)
Taken by Force (1977)
Tokyo Tapes (1978)
Best of Scorpions (1979)
Animal Magnetism (1980)
Rock Galaxy (1980)
Hot & Heavy (1982)
Love at First Sting (1984)
Still Loving You Maxi Single (1984)
Best of Scorpions Vol. 2 (1984)
Gold Ballads (1984)
World Wide Live (1985)
Savage Amusement (1988)
Rhythm of Love – Single (Box Set) (1988)
Best of Rockers ‘n’ Ballads (1989)
Crazy World (1990)
Crazy World – 4 Track From Crazy World Promo Vinyl (1990)
Tease Me Please Me Promo CD (1990)
Don’t Believe Her Promo CD (1990)
Send Me An Angle Promo CD (1991)
Face the Heat (1993)
Live Bites (1995)
Pure Instinct (1996)
Big City Nights (Compilation) (1998)
Eye II Eye (1999)
Moment of Glory (with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) (2000)