Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lovedrive - Scorpions

This is the sixth album by German Hard Rock band ScorpionsThis is also the album where Michael came back, well at least he's credited as a guest so something like that. It is also the first to feature Matthias Jabbs and Herman Rarebell both who stuck around for a number of years (Jabbs is still in and Rarebell left was last on the 1995 Live Bites record). I decided to review this in honor the the 2015 50th Anniversary remasters that recently came out. This album is basically the beginning of their sound that would bring them the most success. Though, you could argue it appeared on earlier albums, this is when it was defined and this is basically how they'd sound for their 80's period. Also I'm using that 2015 remaster to do the review instead of my previous CD copies.
  1. Loving You On A Sunday Morning: You know, this is a weird song. It's kind of fits, and makes Anybody Out There? fit also. I love this song, and how weird it is. I almost feel like this is left over, or was written with the same frame of mind, from Taken by Force. In fact, while its production and "sound" fits perfect here, the writing and musicality wouldn't be to uncomfortable on that other album. There is a psychedelia present that also sort of reminds me a tab of Lonesome Crow. Seriously, and I love the sharp guitars. Nice and loud and powerful. This is a pretty straight forward song, it's just this chorus.... damn I honestly feel if I added a few sounds, back ground sounds, this could be a trippy section. Also great solo from Jabbs and oh how by the end of the song is this chorus stuck in my head.
  2. Another Piece of Meat: Ah, a phrase I use in my head when thinking about..... Well kind of to laugh. This is pretty fast paced and is just a straight rocker. There is this like wind thing that revs up before the track and it's pretty nice touch. This track makes me want to get out my Strat and just rip and shred along with the Sheckner brothers (both of who play on this tune). Plus Another solid chorus, so.... something this band is pretty great at making. Listen to Mikey shred, damn it's so tasty. 
  3. Always Somewhere: A ballad, and damn is it powerful. This is one of those "best ever ballads" the group churned out even into their less rocking period. Seriously, these are some fucking amazing power ballads. I can barley do a review of this tune, it's so ingrained in my consciousness as one of those, tear jerkers/introspective tracks. Klaus and Rudolph really pull off one of the best songs by the band here. It's pretty gorgeous, to be completely straight. And that chorus, power ballad royalty. I know I said that, but I need to stress that.
  4. Coast to Coast: Great song, that I love. And instrument that is pretty straight forward, but here we get another lead guitar song from Michael. There is just something about this melody that is so perfect, I mean this could have be just as powerful with lyrics, but they chose not to use any. Plus nice bass playing Francis, and I love that little "ah" that sounds like he just drank a Cold Sprite. I can only assume that sound was from Klaus.
  5. Can't Get Enough: At this point I can't argue with you about that one. :) This is another rocker and damn does it have energy. This is up there with Another Piece of Meat and I love the almost shrieked refrain of the title of the track. Klaus you remind me why I'm proud to be German. This band fucking rocks. The freak out at the end sort of reminds me of the album Virgin Killer and maybe like Hell Cat, I could be remembering wrong but that's what came to mind.
  6. Is There Anybody Out There?: This is a tad odd. This is the only time I think they ever did a reggae number. This is pretty reggae, and it's odd that they did it now (then). 1979 the only reggae that was existent was ska of Oingo Boingo and like The Police, in rock outside of actually reggae. And reggae was huge in Britain around 1973ish. I could be wrong, but I think it's an odd choice for them to do this, here. But that being said, it's one of their best songs they ever did. It's very simple, and at parts reminds me a tad of Taken by Force, but this is a powerful song. Like I feel like it could almost be a cover of a traditional song along the lines of a Malagueña Salerosa. Thematically that is, like a very sad tale of someone who can't love the person they want. Except here it's they are all alone and want love. Someone searching for love. But this is a really neat song that literally I never skip, even if it comes on by accident. I love this song to death.
  7. Lovedrive: The title track is actually proabably the weakest tune on the album. Don't get me wrong, the chorus is up to snuff, but everything else seems like it's already been done. Also this kind of, in the choruses reminds me too much of Judas Priests' cover of the Joan Baez tune Diamonds And Rust. Although, solid solo in the tune. This is also the last track to feature lead from Mike.
  8. Holiday: Closing we get one of the greatest closers of all time. While they tried to close on a ballad after this, and before, I kind of feel like this is the best one. Not best ballad, but best end. This also just like forces me to contemplate my decisions and my life up to this point. It's kind of weird. The first half is acoustic and very pretty, pleasent and almost like Born to Touch Your Feelings. Then it goes into a more rocking power chord section, with amazing backing harmonies. I can hear that gorgeous bass tone in the new 2015 version I never heard before. Damn that little Spanish fill, it is tasty. Matthas does a great job here soloing. I mean it really fits the mood and to the ending.... great. It works. Also if you want a sort of extended version, in the 2015 edition there's a 2 minute longer demo.
Overall I have to give this a 8/10. This, like every other Scorpion record is worth checking out. This is in their heyday. They have yet to make a bad record. But from 1972 to 1984 the lowest I'd have to give a record is like a 7 the highest is a 10. Every record also had a number of amazing songs on each album. While this isn't my favorite record, it's still an amazing record. These guys always get the short end of the stick to shitty bands from the 80s. I'll let you know a secret, these guys kick the shit out of most of their 80's contemporaries. Hands down, no argument, listen to this record and the ones before and maybe you'll be enlightened yourself. I'm serious, they didn't put out a bad record ever and their mediocre ones started in 1988 with Savage Amusement

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