To capitalize on the success that the Scorpions were seeing now with ‘Blackout’ and ‘Love at First Sting’, the label decided it was time for a ‘Best of Scorpions, Vol. 2’. The new compilation, a companion piece to Vol. 1, was released on July 10, 1984. It didn’t do that great as it only went to #175 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. But still not a bad idea to try and reap some rewards off a band riding high.
It followed the same concept as Vol. 1 by picking songs only from the Uli Jon Roth era. This means it is only songs from ‘Fly to the Rainbow’, ‘In Trance’, ‘Virgin Killer’ and ‘Tokyo Tapes. For some reason, no songs were picked from ‘Taken By Force’. like on Vol. 1…which didn’t have any ‘Tokyo Tapes’ songs. Being Volume 2, these are the next level tier of songs so instantly makes this set a little less in goodness. There is one repeat, but Vol. 2 has a live version rather than a studio…we will get to that.
“Top of the Bill”, from ‘In Trance’, is basically same as a song on their newest album “Gas in the Tank”. Okay, not really, but not far off. Klaus’ vocals are ear splitting high at times as his shrieks rip through your head. It is a solid rocker that is both explosive and melodic. It is balls-to-the wall energy and I love the vocal harmonies as they add even more to the dynamic track.
In 1980, not sure if the record label was capitalizing on Scorpions growing success or what they were doing, but the released this 2LP set called “Rock Galaxy”. It isn’t a compilation album…nope. It is a re-release of two of the bands albums…’Fly to the Rainbow’ (1974) and ‘In Trance’ (1975). It was released in 1980, out of Germany, but sold across Europe as you can see from the back cover. It would see re-issues later in Spain and Greece, but my copy is from Germany.
The release I have is a 2LP set and on a wonderful gatefold. The inside picture is of the band and not a great one at that as Klaus is either frightened or he is just totally uncomfortable getting his picture taken. The story of the band is on written in both English and German and is called ‘The Scorpions Chronicle’ or in German as ‘Die Scorpions Chronik’.
The album at least isn’t controversial. It is basically plain and utterly awful. I hope the band didn’t have an input in the cover, because if they did I would question their sanity. We already know record labels were full of idiots so if they chose the cover it then makes sense. However, it is the awful cover that is the main reason I bought this. I already have the two albums, but dang, that cover is so bad I had to have it.
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.