Saturday, 27 September 2014

CD Review: Taken By Force, by Scorpions (1977)

The fifth studio album from Germany's Scorpions, Taken By Force finds a band in full flight, getting ready to conquer the world.

Still chasing publicity with another controversial cover (this time kids playing war games in a military cemetery), the album features a mix of high energy tracks with a few balladic moments and a full-blown power ballad to close things off. Taken By Force contains almost all the ingredients that would propel the band to greatness, including Herman Rarebell joining on drums to stabilize the band's forceful rhythm section.

The centrepiece of the album is the magnificent The Sails Of Charon, a track several years ahead of its time. Hypnotic and packing dizzying hurricane power into its sensational eastern-tinged 1:20 intro, The Sails Of Charon reveals the ocean of innovation lurking within the band.

He's A Woman, She's A Man is more straightforward, channeling enormous dominance into a classic headbanging riff fuelled by chugging guitar work and wailing Klaus Meine vocals. Born To Touch Your Feelings is standard-fare Scorpions sentimental metal to make love to, an irresistible mix of slow tempo and heroically surrendered emotions. The track ends with the interesting melange of unintelligible but apparently sincere spoken words by assorted women, seemingly friends and fans of the band.

Uli Jon Roth enjoys his final outing before leaving to pursue his Hendrix obsession. In addition to penning The Sails Of Charon, Roth's legacy includes the excellent We'll Burn The Sky, inspired by a poem written by Hendrix's final girlfriend Monika Dannemann.

Two years after Taken By Force, the band polished their craft to a fine shine and released the classic Lovedrive, Scorpions' formal entry into the ranks of global metal's elite.


Rudolf Schenker - Guitar
Ulrich Roth - Guitar
Klaus Meine - Vocals
Herman Rarebell - Drums
Francis Buchholz - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Steamrock Fever - 7
2. We'll Burn The Sky - 9
3. I've Got To Be Free - 7
4. The Riot Of Your Time - 8
5. The Sails Of Charon - 10
6. Your Light - 7
7. He's A Woman - She's A Man - 9
8. Born To Touch Your Feelings - 8

Average: 8.13

Produced by Dieter Dierks.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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