We are now on the band’s sixth studio album and the first one with new guitarist Mathias Jabs. Mathias replaced Uli Jon Roth who was unhappy with the direction of the band and left to form his own band called Electric Sun. With Mathias on board, we now have what is considered the “classic” line-up because it was the line-up that had the most success. That line-up was Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell. But Mathias wasn’t the only lead guitarist on this album.
After leaving UFO, Michael Schenker returned to Scorpions to help work on the ‘Lovedrive’ album. Originally thought to only be on about 3 songs, Michael is on most of the album as he contributed backing vocals as well as lead guitar work on 5 songs. But he was not planning on touring with the band at least not until the band parted ways with Mathias Jabs. He joined in February 1979 at the beginning of the tour. However, it didn’t last long as by April, Michael left the Tour while they were in France. After what was said to be very intense negotiations, Mathias Jabs rejoined the band. Talk about drama!!
After the debut album, ‘Lonesome Crow’, Michael Schenker was given an offer he couldn’t refuse. A chance to play guitar with the amazing band UFO. He was only kid so why not jump at the chance. They had asked Uli Jon Roth to join Scorpions after helping them finish out the tour, but Uli chose not to do it and instead stayed with the band he was also in called Dawn Road. Rudolf Schenker really wanted to work with Uli so he decided to break up the band and go join Dawn Road. Dawn Road already had Francis Buchholz (bass), Achim Kirschning (keyboards) and Jürgen Rosenthal (drums), but they amazingly found themselves needing a singer. Uli convinced Rudolf to invite Klaus Meine to come sing in the band…and he agreed.
Dawn Road had four members plus two old Scorpions members. Dawn Road basically outnumbered the Scorps. However, they decided to change the band name to Scorpions mainly because that name was more well known than Dawn Road and the Scorpions were back in business. They recorded the follow-up album ‘Fly to the Rainbow’ in April 1974 and on November 1, 1974, the album was released. The album ended up selling better than ‘Lonesome Crow’ and saw the band’s sound go from psychedelic rock to a more straight-forward hard rock sound…but not the 80’s rock sound yet…still some years off. One interesting thing to note is that 3 of the songs on the album were co-written by Michael Schenker which some how was part of the deal for him leaving the band.
The album cover is not quite what you’d expect from the Scorpions. The color scheme is not very metal and Uli Jon Roth has no idea what it means and I am guessing the band had no say in what it would be. The same design firm that did the debut album, which was great, did this one as well and I am not sure what drugs they were taking, but they had to be high as a freaking kite to come up with this nonsense. I do like the back cover with the band’s name on the guys ass..that’s kinda funny. My copy of the album is a standard U.S. release and nothing special so enough about that. Let’s get to the music.
Welcome to the start of the Scorpions Collection Series. We will be going through my entire Scorpions collection and only what is in my collection. I wont’ be covering anything that I don’t own on this series as I have all the studio albums. I even have some bonus stuff like promos, singles and whatever else I have found. We will start at the beginning and work all the way up to ‘Rock Believer’ which was released only a few months back. I hope you enjoy!
In 1965, Scorpions was born. Rudolf Schenker is the founding member and at the time he even handled the lead vocals. Scorpions have changed their style over the years, but back in 1965, they were more in to Beat Music. Thankfully for us that all changed by the time their first album came out in 1972. Other members at the time were Wolfgang Dziony on drums, Achim Kirchhoff on bass and Karl-Heinz Vollmer on lead guitar. Rudolf handled the rhythm guitar. Out of this original group, the only 2 to make it to the debut album were Rudolf and Wolfgang.
In 1968, they hired a new bass player after Achim had left and he was replaced with Lothar Heimberg. It wasn’t until 1969 when lead singer Klaus Meine showed up along with Rudolf’s little brother Michael Schenker on lead guitar. At the time of his joining the band Michael was only 14 years old. And when the debut album came out he was the ripe old age of 16 years old. Insane!! So now the line-up was complete.
Things started looking better when they entered and won a contest in which allowed them to record two songs with the CCA label to be used as a single, however, they were never released. The band did re-record those songs when they went in to record their debut ‘Lonesome Crow’ back in October 1971. The album was recorded in about 6 to 7 days. The album would be released in February 9, 1972 in West Germany and strangely as the soundtrack to an anti-drug movie called ‘Das Kalte Paradies’. The U.S. released would come in May 1973 over a year later.
The year is 1990 and we are getting to the end of the Hair Metal era, but at the time, no one knew that end was coming. Ratt released their fifth album in August of 1990 and it brings us to the end the long running stream of Platinum albums. It is also the last Ratt album with the line-up that has been on all 5 of their albums.
Stephen Pearcy – vocals
Robbin Crosby – lead guitar
Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
Juan Croucier – bass guitar
Bobby Blotzer – drums
After the disappointing reception for ‘Reach for the Sky’ (although it did go Platinum), the band needed to make a change. That change was not to use Beau Hill as producer on the next album as he had produced all previous albums to much success. The band (or label) brought in powerhouse songwriter Desmond Child. You know Desmond…he had great success writing with Kiss, Aerosmith and a few Bon Jovi classics.
And did he ever get involved in the songwriting as he has writing credits on 10 of the 11 tracks on the album. Not only did Desmond assist with songwriting, he was also the executive producer along with Sir Arthur Payson. While Ratt did maintain the classic Ratt sound which was a little bluesy and little sleazy, the songs were much more polished and contained more hooks than a fisherman’s tackle box. It definitely leaned to a more Glam rock image than prior albums.
Are you ready for Friday New Releases? There are an absolute abundance of records today. So many to choose from and where the heck do you begin. I have more I want to hear than I have any week this year. It is going to be busy non-stop music week. I hope there is something for you. The ones I want are in Blue and I can’t wait to get started!!!!
Colton Dixon – Identity – (Sparrow): Colton Dixon has finally returned with a new album. Colton is a Christian artist and he is a former American Idol Alum, but don’t let any of that scare you away. He is an amazing talent. This album is broken up into three parts about the spiritual journey of your Body, Mind & Spirit and should be very interesting.
James Blunt – The Afterlove – (Atlantic Records UK): The fifth studio album from James Blunt drops today. I have followed him since the beginning even after hearing “You’re Beautiful” way too many times. He always delivers stellar songs and he has a unique voice that I enjoy over and over.