Saturday, 28 November 2009

CD Review: Lovedrive, by Scorpions (1979)

Germany's Scorpions enter their golden era which saw them achieve world-wide fame with this compact set of eight power heavy metal tracks celebrating the good life. This was the band's sixth studio album, but their first big international hit.

Scorpions where clearly looking for publicity by pushing the boundaries of their album cover art, and this being 1979, they succeeded in attracting all sorts of publicity with the strange image of a back seat couple with something weird involving gum happening to the woman's breast. The CD release years later ditched the image altogether in favour of a blue scorpion, but the original artwork remains strongly associated with this set of songs.

The last Scorpions album to feature Michael Schenker, who by this time was venturing into his many other projects, Lovedrive has the advantage of three guitarists propelling the music: both Schenker brothers and Matthias Jabs. The songs are perfectly suited to the strength of the band: crunchy guitars leading from the front, Klaus Meine's unique shrieky vocals, and the energetic Herman Rarebell bashing away at the drum set.

The instrumental Coast to Coast and title track Lovedrive are the pick of the songs. Coast to Coast succeeds in evoking a breezy continental road trip, while Lovedrive gallops on the back of a sing-along chorus powered by simple but effective guitar work.

But Lovedrive also includes not one, not two, but three soulful power ballads. In an eight-track set, this is a high ratio, but Scorpions made this sub-genre their own, and made heavy metal much more accessible to a female audience. Almost Somewhere and Is There Anybody There? are good, while Holiday is quite excellent.

Can't Get Enough is throw-away filler material, but there was more than enough excellent music on Lovedrive to establish Scorpions as one of the world's premier metal bands entering the 1980's.


Klaus Meine - Vocals
Rudolf Schenker - Guitars
Michael Schenker - Guitars
Matthias Jabs - Guitars
Francis Buchholz - Bass
Herman Rarebell - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Loving You Sunday Morning - 7
2. Another Piece of Meat - 8
3. Always Somewhere - 8
4. Coast to Coast - 10
5. Can't Get Enough - 5
6. Is There Anybody There? - 8
7. Lovedrive - 10 *See Video Below*
8. Holiday - 10

Average: 8.25

Produced by Dieter Dierks.
Mastered by Howie Weinberg.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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