Friday, 21 January 2011

CD Review: Love At First Sting, by Scorpions (1984)

Scorpions reach the peak of their career and creative output with a selection of tracks that is little short of spectacular. Love At First Sting contains five heavy metal classics, capturing the band's full range from unstoppable anthemic rockers to emotion-packed power ballads, with a couple of tracks managing to combine both.

Klaus Meine never sounded better on vocals from hushed tones to high-pitched show-stoppers, and he is perfectly complemented by the guitar duo of Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs, leading a sonic assault that in turn thrills and enthralls. Herman Rarebell's drums are thunderous, and he comes to the fore on the astoundingly simple Crossfire, the highlight of his Scorpions career.

The only two blemishes on the album are the flat The Same Thrill and As Soon As The Good Times Roll, while I'm Leaving You is just modest in its ambition.

The other six tracks are all instantly recognizable and celebrated in all corners of the world where metal is played. Bad Boys Running Wild kicks-off the album with a taste of what is to come, the band sounding tight, motivated and energetic. The sting really kicks in with Rock You Like A Hurricane, an anthem with a signature opening riff, booming drums, and a chorus that demands to played at sports arenas world-wide. Coming Home melds a slow, yearning intro into a galloping, muscular melody driven by Rarebell's unstoppable drums and terrific guitar work. Big City Nights is another anthem, perfectly evoking a neon-drenched car trip into parts unknown. The aforementioned Crossfire became an international banner anti-war song, Rarebell's military drums passing into legend as Meine conveys the agony of war victims.

And finally Still Loving You closes Love At First Sting with a devastating power ballad, maximizing both the power and the ballad, in an almost unfairly perfect example of controlled metal songwriting. Still Loving You is a song that instantly grabs hold of the soul and sets a captivating mood, mixing love, desperation and resolve as it builds to a devastating climax with Meine's vocals and Schenker's guitar trading in magical torment. It's a fitting climax to an album that offers love at first sting, and still provides love long after the novelty is gone.


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

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Bad Boys Running Wild - 8
2. Rock You Like A Hurricane - 10
3. I'm Leaving You - 7
4. Coming Home - 10
5. The Same Thrill - 6
6. Big City Nights - 10
7. As Soon As The Good Times Roll - 6
8. Crossfire - 10
9. Still Loving You - 10 *see below*

Average: 8.56

Produced by Dieter Dierks. Engineered by Gerd Rautenbach.
Mastered by Bob Ludwig.  Arranged and Mixed by Dieter Dierks and Scorpions.

All Ace Black Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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