The Scorpions have been going strong since the release of their debut album, LONESOME CROW, in 1972. Over the last 35 years, the band has released 21 albums and has become a worldwide success. Of course the band’s fame has dwindled here in the U.S. since their ’80s heyday but they still play to sell-out crowds all over the world.
I’ve been a Scorpions fan since 1982’s BLACKOUT. I was a child of the MTV generation and I got a daily dose of German Metal when videos like ‘No One Like You’, ‘Big City Nights’, and ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ were in heavy rotation. Even today, the local Rock radio stations here in New England still play the band’s biggest hits regularly. The band still has a presence.
I consider the Scorpions one of those influential bands in the same group as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple. Actually, I would put them in the second tier with the likes of Aerosmith, KISS, & Queen. The band arrived in the early ’70s and set the example of what would be called Euro-Metal or Teutonic Metal. Take a listen to their early albums and they are a raging slab of hard guitar driven Metal that influenced many a band from Europe. I don’t think the get the true credit they deserve.
What made the band more interesting for me was that they were from Germany. Honestly, all I ever knew about Germany was their involvement in the World Wars (I’m a big WW II history buff), but the Scorpions opened my eyes (and ears) to bands like Accept, Destruction, Helloween, Cutty Sark, Warlock and so many more from Germany. The also opened up the rest of Europe because, at such a young age, I was only influenced by bands from the U.S. and the U.K. Of course, now I enjoy all sorts of different bands, from many different countries, in a variety of styles.
My favorite albums are from the ’80s era I grew up with: BLACKOUT, LOVE AT FIRST STING, WORLD WIDE LIVE, SAVAGE AMUSEMENT and CRAZY WORLD. The cool thing for me was to go backward and discover the early Uli Jon Roth era Scorpions. Albums like VIRGIN KILLER and IN TRANCE are absolute classics in my collection. The live album, TOKYO TAPES, was my first introduction to this lineup and it still blows me away today.
I enjoy the band’s whole catalog, even including 1999’s EYE II EYE, and I think that they have released some seriously strong records from the mid-90s on. FACE THE HEAT (1993) was a strong record in a changing musical climate, PURE INSTINCT (1996) met the same fate but still seems to be seriously overlooked by fans. I really enjoyed UNBREAKABLE (2004) as the band returned to their classic sound but I find the new record, HUMANITY HOUR 1, to be one of the band’s best. Unfortunately, their are rumors from band members that this could possibly be the Scorpions’ last album…..that would be a shame and a complete waste of creativity. One thing the Scorpions have proved with the new album is that they can still put out solid Hard Rock better then the newer flavors of the month can. They write good songs and know how to play their instruments…..a winning combination for success. If HUMANITY HOUR 1 is indeed the band’s last studio effort, then they have gone out on top.