Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Scorpions - Love at First Sting

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Love at First Sting, the ninth studio album from the German heavy metal band the Scorpions. World-wide, it went to number 48 in New Zealand, number 19 in Austria, number 17 in Sweden and the UK, number 15 in Canada, number 9 in Switzerland, number 6 in Germany, and number 4 in Finland and France. Here in the US, it spent sixty-three weeks on the Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 6.

The line-up for the band on this album was Klaus Meine (lead vocals), Matthias Jabs (guitar and backing vocals), Rudolf Schenker (guitar and backing vocals), Francis Buchholz (bass and backing vocals) and Herman Rarebell (drums and backing vocals).

Side one begins with "Bad Boys Running Wild", the B-side to the third single. This rocker is about guys out on the streets, looking for a good time.

"Rock You Like a Hurricane" was the album's first single. It went to number 78 in the UK, number 37 in Canada, number 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 17 in France and number 5 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. I was a huge fan of this song long before we started going to the Carolina Hurricane hockey games; used as a theme song, it is played before every game to pump up the crowd. The driving beat, strong and pronounced, gets my heart thumping along in time. Back in college in 1984, this was a campus party favorite too.

"I'm Leaving You" keeps the party going with another percussion-driven mid-tempo tune.

"Coming Home" was the B-side to the first single. Things start out like a ballad, soft and slow, for the first verse. The band then does a one-eighty degree turn, tearing into a rapid-fire, guitar-shredding rhythm.

"The Same Thrill" does not let up either, firing on all cylinders from start to finish.

Side two opens with "Big City Nights", the album's third single; it went to number 76 in the UK. I remember this one, mostly from the chorus; it got a good bit of radio airplay back in the day as well.

"As Soon as the Good Times Roll" is up next. It is easily my least favorite track of the nine here.

"Crossfire" features a march-like drumbeat through out.

The closing track "Still Loving You" was also second single. It went to number 64 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 36 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, number 14 in Germany, number 5 in the Netherlands, number 3 in Belgium and Switzerland, number 2 in France and number 1 in Portugal. The album cut is six and a half minutes long, giving the band plenty of room to unfurl this aching heart ballad.

Back in the day, the album's singles were all over the local album-rock stations. It has been quite a long time since I have heard most of the songs from Love at First Sting though. While a good album, there is a lot of sameness to on the tracks, for me. A little more variety would have helped the record get better marks in my book.

For their eighth studio album, 1982's Blackout, click here.

1 comment:

HERC said...

After Animal Magnetism [1980] and Blackout [1982], I had high (apple pie in the sky) hopes that the next album from the Scorps would be as good if not better and based on the first single "Rock You Like A Hurricane", which preceded the album by a month or so, it gave the indication that the album could quite possibly live up to those expectations.

Unfortunately, Love At First Sting proved to be a major disappointment for this fan. It was watered-down Scorpions, a play for major superstardom in the United States and it acheived that goal but for me it was the beginning of the end.

I saw the band on tour behind this album on April 4, 1984 and the older songs were magnificent as was "Rock You Like A Hurricane" but the rest of the new tracks were lame, in the vernacular of the day. Several of the performances on the tour were recorded and released as the double album World Wide Live in June 1985, which the group also toured behind with a limited number of dates including a September 1985 open air show I attended which remains one of the hottest (temperature-wise) shows I have ever atteneded; I believe someone even died at that show from heatstroke.

On a slightly off-topic tangent, does anyone else feel that "Rock You Like A Hurricane" could use more bass? I've always felt it was lacking in that primal punch.