One of my favorite heavy metal bands of all time is Scorpions. Few bands have made a global impact on the world and helped it prosper. Their participation in historical events such as Roger Waters’ performance of The Wall in Berlin (1990), their US festival appearance in San Bernardino, California (1983) or the famed Leningrad show in the Soviet Union (1988), even the song “Wind of Change” from the album Crazy World, which highlighted the changing socio-political climate of Eastern Europe, have surely cemented this band in the annals of both modern and metal history – but Scorpions have achieved much more.
Consider the band’s improbable past; Scorpions have been active since 1965 and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide! Their discography boasts 18 studio albums (with another due in 2015) and 7 live albums. Few bands have hit the road harder than Scorpions, having played over 5000 live concerts in over 80 different countries!
With so many albums to choose from, it’s difficult to single out a favorite but more often than not 1982’s Blackout ends up in my CD player. Most consider this album, and 1984’s Love at First Sting, to be Scorpions at their peak and I agree with them – future releases by the band went with a more polished, commercialized sound that followed in the ‘pop metal’ footsteps of bands like Def Leppard or Mötley Crüe, whereas the two aforementioned albums were more aligned with the original NWOBHM movement.
Blackout is Scorpions’ pinnacle achievement, with its searing guitars, provocative lyrics and catchy choruses. Although the music can be considered straight up heavy metal, the album still manages to hold an appeal that transcends age, gender or even musical preference. Highlight tracks are: “Blackout”, “Can’t Live Without You”, “No One Like You”, “You Give Me All I Need” & “Dynamite”.
A little know tidbit about this release is the fact that vocalist Klaus Meine had surgery on his vocal cords prior to the recording of this album and demos had been cut with Don Dokken on vocals! Of course, Meine returned and recorded the album but one or two tracks are still rumored to have Don Dokken’s backing vocals.
Blackout is an essential album for any fan of heavy metal music. Bands like Scorpions are the true building blocks of the heavy metal pyramid. They should be treasured for their achievements and celebrated for transcending the underground. \m/
2. Can’t Live Without You
3. No One Like You
4. You Give Me All I Need
8. China White
9. When the Smoke Is Going Down
Scorpions on Blackout were:
Klaus Meine – Vocals
Matthias Jabs – Guitars
Rudolf Schenker – Guitars
Francis Buchholz – Bass
Herman Rarebell – Drums