The Scorpions were created in 1965 by Rudolph Schenker and have always been at the forefront of German rock music. Klaus Meine has been the lead singer on every Scorpions album and has one of the most distinctive voices in the game, handling the ballads equally well as the all-out rockers. At first, Rudolph’s brother Michael (Schenker) was the lead guitarist and focal point of the band, but his shining light got noticed by those British ruffians UFO and they soon stole him away. Next on lead six string was Uli Jon Roth, but then he got recalled to the planet of his origin, so since 1978 Matthias Jabs has made the position his own.
The classic era of Scorpions is thought to be from 1978-1992, with the line-up completed by Francis Bucholz and Herman Rareball. They were known primarily as a hard/heavy rock band, but their well crafted ballads also garnered them favorable recognition.
“Animal Magnetism” was the Scorpions seventh album and the first to feature Matthias Jabs as sole lead guitarist. The album comes from the beginning of that classic period and shows off a band ready to take on the world. The songwriting is pretty evenly shared out between the group, showing that they were all heading in the same direction. But that doesn’t mean the songs all sound the same, far from it.
The album opens up as it means to go on with a livewire rocker in the shape of “Make It Real”, with forceful lyrics, screaming guitars and a thunderous rhythm section.
The big ballad and centerpiece of the album, “Lady Starlight”, is an emotional lament and to this date (2018) is the only Scorpions song to be recorded with strings and orchestral winds. Klaus Meine’s vocals are obviously heartfelt and probably came from experience. Rudolph Schenker holds the musical reins on this one whilst Matthias Jabs puts in a sensational solo to bring the song to its close.
“The Zoo” is an early classic from the Scorpions that has probably been played at every one of their concerts since this album was released. It is a storming rocker that is guaranteed to get the crowds going in live surroundings. The sight of Rudolph Schenker windmilling his arm around while rushing to the front of the stage is one of the most symbolic sites of rock music.
The closing title track meanwhile is clearly influenced by Led Zeppelin, but then everybody has their influences so why not take from the best?
The Scorpions are still going strong today and Mickey Dee (ex-Motorhead) has found a nice little job on the drum stool, driving on the band from the back. All the while, rumors of the Scorpions being ready to call it a day continue to be rife every year. They have now released eighteen studio albums and countless live albums plus compilations and DVD’s. They have played over 5,000 concerts in over 80 different countries. Who knows what is next for them. With over 100 million sales behind them they already have a fantastic legacy.
The Scorpions (on Animal Magnetism)
Klaus Miene – vocals
Rudolph Schenker – guitar
Matthias Jabs – lead guitar
Francis Bucholtz – bass guitar
Herman Rareball – drums
Make It Real
Don’t Make No Promises (Your Body Can’t Keep)
Hold Me Tight
Twentieth Century Man
Falling In love
Only A Man
Note: Written By Mott The Dog, swooned over by Hells Bells, both of whom can be found at Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR, North Pattaya.