Loudwire.com 1977 Metal Album Of The Year—-Scorpions /Taken By Force

Taken By Force

Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band’s inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock[3][4] to heavy metal.The lineup from 1978–92 was the most successful incarnation of the group, and included singer Klaus Meine (vocals), Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar), Francis Buchholz (bass guitar), and Herman Rarebell (drums). The band’s only constant member has been Schenker, although Meine has been the lead singer for all of the band’s studio albums, and Jabs has been a consistent member since 1979.

During the mid-1970s, with guitarist Uli Jon Roth part of the line-up, the music of Scorpions was defined as hard rock.After the departure of Roth in 1978, Matthias Jabs joined and, following the guidance of producer Dieter Dierks, Scorpions changed their sound towards melodic heavy metal, mixed with rock power ballads. Throughout the 1980s the group received positive reviews and critical acclaim from music critics, and experienced commercial success with the albums Animal Magnetism (1980), Blackout (1982), Love at First Sting (1984), World Wide Live (1985) and Savage Amusement (1988).

Their best-selling album Crazy World (1990) includes the song “Wind of Change“, a symbolic anthem of the political changes in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is one of the best-selling singles in the world with over fourteen million copies sold. Scorpions have sold over 100 million records in total.[11] They have released 18 studio albums, 27 compilation albums and 74 singles. Six of their singles have reached number one on the charts in different countries. Their albums, singles, compilations and video releases have reached 200 times gold, platinum and multi-platinum status in different countries.

Rolling Stone Magazine described the Scorpions as “the heroes of heavy metal”, and MTV called them “Ambassadors of Rock”. The band was ranked number 46 on VH1‘s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme, with “Rock You Like a Hurricane” at number 18 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. “Still Loving You” ranked 22nd place among the greatest ballads. Scorpions have received prestigious awards such as three World Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Rock wall, and a presence in the permanent exhibition of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2015 the group celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Taken By Force is the fifth studio album by German hard rock band Scorpions, released by RCA Records in 1977. This was the first Scorpions album to feature drummer Herman Rarebell and the final studio album to feature guitarist Uli Jon Roth. Roth left the band in 1978 following the end of the album’s tour, and was eventually replaced by Matthias Jabs.

The lyrics to “We’ll Burn the Sky” were initially a poem written by Monika Dannemann, the last girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix, as a tribute to him after he died. Later, she became involved with Scorpions’ guitarist Uli Jon Roth (himself an admirer of Jimi Hendrix) and they worked together on some songs. The music for We’ll Burn the Sky was written by the Scorpions founder and rhythm guitarist Rudolf Schenker.

The Analysis—-

Steamrock Fever—-Coming out the speakers right at the start, the familiar strains of Meine’s vocals are welcome and strong. It is amazing how well the man’s voice has held up all this time. The musical landscape is a bit different than modern-age Scorpions…a bit more chaotic and a little less metal…although the guitars are strong. I like the song…but it is different than I expected. You do notice….one constant….the chorus….built for arena rock even back then.

We’ll Burn The Sky—-The one constant with the Scorpions is even apparent here…the ability to write and preform a hell of a power ballad. Although the track starts off with that feel, it comes more to life by the second or third bar…..delivering a punch you didn’t expect. Klaus sounds fantastic…the sharp guitar blasts are classic. The mood swings of the song are nice…and Rarebill really does well on the drums. This is nice.

I’ve Got To Be Free—-With really nice power chords at the beginning of the song, you also get a nice taste of the range that Klaus has with his vocal. This has a bit of a blues lean to it…but much of Metal did at this time. The double track vocal gives the song a fuller sound. I like the sharp bursts of guitars….they are always there…but never, ever over power the voice. this is a great song.

The Riot Of Your Time—-Nice and acoustic at the onset, the guitars in the backdrop keep the track really interesting. I sit here waiting for a huge explosion of rock….and indeed….it gets there. Klaus yells and sings…..the overlays on the vocal are classic. This is really a great track! The emotional acoustic guitars in sharp contrast with the backdrop of pure electric guitars. It sounds funny to hear him singing about if we are still alive in 1995 or 1999……indeed we all still are.

The Sails Of Charon—-Kind of an odd subject for this band to contemplate, the intro is really odd and experimental in sound. The odd sounds take a bit to introduce the music…and once it begins I’m rather perplexed. This has a huge blues lean at the onset….the static of the guitars are so well produced though….really at the front of the mix and sounding powerful as all get out. The drums are really present as well….this is a romp…..that’s for sure. Klaus enters with a Dio inspired vocal that does not really fit my image of the band I know……but this was 1977. Not a bad track….just not expected….Klaus does hit some impressive notes though…..not terrible.

Your Light—-Really powerful right t the onset, the music just suddenly falls away and introduces a bass line that is almost funk inspired. The band does not sound genuine on this track…really not something I can relate to.

He’s A Woman-She’s A Man—-Power chords abound on this track…this is stellar! The driving bass line is exquisite…..and the blues lean is really pleasant. Meine delivers another vocal that is just a hint of the things to come. This is a nice tongue in cheek track that has an undeniable catch to the melody and the chorus. It manages to stick in your brain…..just for the melody line from the rhythm section. I love this song….still plays really well today…..a new theme song for Ru-Paul’s Drag Race……lol.

Born To Touch Your Feelings—-This is just classic! Beginning with acoustic guitars….strings and what I think are Oboe’s in the backdrop….the huge ballad feel is incredible. This is intricate….drawn out and filled with emotion. The moods of the song switch back and forth…but you never lose the melancholy feel the track began with. This just shows….the band had that power ballad shit down pat even back then!!! This is fantastic!

***1/2 out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

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