It started back on August 1, 2022 and it ends today. The Scorpions Collection Series has been a run ride and after 40 posts, we come to the conclusion. And that conclusion will take the 19 Studio albums and 1 compilation and rank them from the best album to the worst. The 1 compilation is really a studio album. ‘Comeblack’ is 1/2 re-recorded hits and 1/2 covers so in my book, it is a studio album.
Scorpions started way back in 1965, but their first album after many ups and downs finally came out in 1972. It was ‘Lonesome Crow’. There are two classic line-ups of the band in my book. You have the 1st with Rudolf Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Klaus Meine, Francis Buchholz and Rudy Lennars. Then their heyday of the 80’s saw Rudolf Schenker, Klaus Meine, Francis Buchholz, Mathias Jabs and Herman Rarebell. Yes, Micheal Schenker was in the band and there have numerous drummers and the like, but I would say these two were my favorite line-ups. The final album came out in 2022 and it was called ‘Rock Believer’, so we have 50 years of albums and over 50 years of the band and it was a hell of a ride going through this series.
Now, let us get to the brass tacks here and start this ranking…and away we go….
THE WORST – ‘EYE II EYE’ (1999):
I think it is fair to say this might be the worst Scorpions album of them all. And since I’ve heard them all, I think I’m qualified to make that statement. I am all fine with experimenting, but with such a drastic change, it is a little too much all at once. The techno sound, the rapping, the almost full album of ballads was too shocking for most humans to handle. Now, there are a handful of great tracks on here, but not enough to save this pile of garbage (though good enough for a Scorps playlist). My Overall Score is a 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars as the Scorpions are not a boy band, they are not a pop band and they are definitely not a techno band. They are a hard rock, heavy metal giant that got lost in the 90’s like a lot of 70’s/80’s bands did.
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.
It has been almost two years since I’ve done a Turntables & Vinyl post. And since today is the 2,000th Post on the site, why not do another. 2,000 Posts!! That is insane. I can’t believe I have bored you for that long now and yet you still come back. Thank you for that.
These Turntable & Vinyl post are basically about my collection or interesting things about collecting and this one is about collecting. As far as collecting goes, I haven’t gone down the rabbit hole of getting every variant of an album, but I have found myself, a little unknowingly, picking up duplicate albums with the big difference being they have a completely different album cover. I don’t have a lot, but I am noticing more and more that if I know there is a different album cover, I am now actively looking for it. However, most of the time it has been by utter accident that I found a different cover and didn’t know it existed.
This post is going to show you the handful that I have and then show the ones that I am actively hunting down. But first, why do artist have different album covers in the first place? Most of the time it is simply down to controversy. Some album covers have a little nudity or something offensive that pisses off the wrong people so in order to sell those albums in certain stores a new cover is done. In other parts, it is simply different tastes in different parts of the world. And then it might be a reissue so they change up the cover a little, either way, I think it is cool and so I am now collecting alternate covers.
This is my most recent acquisition and it is from Joe Satriani. The one on the left was the album cover I originally had and all I knew about and it turns out it is the European release cover and the one used in the 1988 reissue. But apparently there was alternate cover because I found the one on the right in a record store in St. Augustine Florida. It really isn’t the alternate cover because I believe it is the original release cover from 1986 and the one i had first was actually the alternate cover. Both are awesome.
Here is another one where I had the alternate cover first, the one on the left, before i had the original cover, the one on the right. The original cover was the UK only release of the original album. The giant snake on the left is the alternate cover for the releases outside of the UK. Not sure why the difference, but both are equally cool.
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…
Another year, another Scorpions album. The band recorded their fourth album during 1976 and it was released on October 9, 1976. The album saw the band continue down the hard rock road and refining their sound more and more closer to what they became most famous for, but this album didn’t see them push much further in sales. The album did better outside of Germany seeing some success in Japan, but the U.S. still hadn’t jumped on board yet. In Japan, the album landed at #32 and sold over 100,000 copies but success elsewhere was coming, but not with this album.
With the last album, ‘In Trance’, the album cover saw a little controversy. ‘Virgin Killer’ looked at ‘In Trance’ and said “Hold my Beer”. The original album cover for this album was of a nude prepubescent girl with a broken glass effect over her private parts. This did not sit well with a lot of the buying public as some considered it child pornography. The album cover was not designed by the band as they generally had no say in the album artwork, that was handled by the label and this picture was handled by Steffan Böhle who was product manager for RCA Records. Some countries wouldn’t sell the album unless it was sealed in black plastic so the cover wasn’t visible. As a result, an alternate cover that featured the band members was issued and is the cover I have. I had the opportunity about 6 months ago to buy the original cover album at a record show, but they wanted $150 for it and I didn’t want to spend that much…maybe someday.
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)