The Scorpions - Blackout

The Scorpions – Blackout

90 / 100

‘Blackout’ is obviously one of the most well known metal albums of the 1980’s from The Scorpions.

Written by: Dangerzone

ARTIST: The Scorpions
ALBUM: Blackout
LABEL: EMI (Europe), Mercury (USA)
SERIAL: 064-64-686, SRM-1-4039
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Klaus Meine – vocals * Matthias Jabs – lead guitar * Rudolf Schenker – rhythm guitar * Francis Buchholz – bass * Herman Rarebell – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Blackout * 02 Can’t Live Without You * 03 No One Like You * 04 You Give Me All I Need * 05 Now! * 06 Dynamite * 07 Arizona * 08 China White * 09 When The Smoke Is Going Down



‘Blackout’ is obviously one of the most well known metal albums of the 1980’s from The Scorpions, but theirinability to pen a consistent album since 1984 it might be vaguely tempting to suggest that it’s easy to forget what a fine band they once were. Like a lot of bands along the way The Scorpions somehow forgot what heaviness was, leaving this as one of their more genuine metal offerings, with a growing leaning towards the chart busting ballads that sunk them musically later down the road.

This broke them easily in the US, but one of the more noteworthy aspects to the album was Meine’s throat problems which led to a year long delay that supposedly saw Don Dokken record vocals in case Meine was permanently sidelined. Fortunately Meine recovered saving the world from a Dokken fronted Scorpions that would have surely impeded future progress!

The Songs

Comparing future efforts like ‘Savage Amusement’ and ‘Crazy World’ to ‘Blackout’ would be like suggesting Journey are at their AOR peak in 2006. The band was firing on every cylinder, with none of the keyboard shenanigans that watered down later albums, even the softer tracks not as throwaway.

The US youth took The Scorpions to their hearts through commercial yet heavy cuts like ‘No One Like You’, which incidentally can be heard every day without fail on any rock station throughout the nation to the point that it has become unlistenable. The powerful opening tandem of ‘Blackout’ and ‘Can’t Live Without You’ bought a maturity to the bands production, capturing their unique riff work perfectly and making up for the disappointment of 1980’s ‘Animal Magnetism’.

The first power ballad appears in ‘You Give Me All I Need’, that’s heads above ‘Wind’s Of Change’ thanks to the rawness of the guitar work. ‘Now!’ and ‘Dynamite’ rate as the bands heaviest work bar none, and I’m inclined to say this wipes out Krokus and Accept to name just a couple. This is exactly what the band should have always sought to achieve metal wise and it’s tragic they never really pushed on. The might of the riffing would silence anybody thinking The Scorpions weren’t metal at any stage of their history.

‘Arizona’ therefore seems tame with it’s lightweight fumblings, but the epic menacing atmospherics of ‘China White’ are as intense as ever nearly a quarter of a century later. Bowing out on a tame note is ‘When the Smoke Goes Down’, the type of lighter waving ballad that helped fill arenas for the band for the rest of the decade.

In Summary

Shifting millions this established The Scorpions once and for all and it would be hard to find anyone not familiar with at least several tracks off the album. 1984’s ‘Love At First Sting’ was a worthy follow up but already some of the bite of ‘Blackout’ had gone. A single listen of ‘Now!’ spells out the band’s intent, the inspiration was there and results in an album that simply cannot be overlooked.

Quite how they would plummet to the depths of 1996’s ‘Pure Instinct’, an album of sickly ballads, and 1999’s techno flirting ‘Eye II Eye’ is lamentable and shameful. All you want from a band like The Scorpions is hare brained, no-nonsense metal, which isn’t on anyone’s agenda these days making ‘Blackout’ a real product of the glory daze indeed.

The Scorpions on Video

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