My very first album from The Scorpions, I used to play this ad nauseum during my high-school years, and it still sounds great to me, even after many decades.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: The Scorpions
ALBUM: Virgin Killer
SERIAL: APL-1 4225
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Germany
LINEUP: Klaus Meine – vocals * Uli Jon Roth – lead guitars * Rudolf Schenker – rhythm guitars * Francis Buchholz – bass * Rudy Lenners – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Pictured Life * 02 Catch Your Train * 03 In Your Park * 04 Backstage Queen * 05 Virgin Killer * 06 Hell-Cat * 07 Crying Days * 08 Polar Nights * 09 Yellow Raven
WEBLINKS: Site Link
At the time of writing this review, thirty years have since passed. Yes, 1976 was a long time ago and for many of you readers, some of you weren’t even born! Disco was rife, AOR hadn’t even been invented yet, and heavy rock was just about to kick into action. Believe it or not, Germany was cranking out excellent bands, The Scorpions being one such outfit. This was their fourth studio album, with the few years of experience and professionalism now starting to show.
The Scorpions took a bit of flak for the original cover of the album showing a naked prepubescent girl with cracked glass/mirror over her private parts. The revamped cover is a bit more straight-forward. Thank god that was the version I had as a schoolboy. My parents might have had second thoughts had they seen it.
‘Pictured Life’ gets us underway in typical Scorpions fashion, dual guitars trading riffs on either side of the aural soundscape. The first of the rampant rockers is ‘Catch Your Train’, the wailing feedback from Roth’s guitar a highlight for me. ‘In Your Park’ takes us on a mid-tempo but soulful excursion (an album highlight). It’s followed by the fun-time raucous of ‘Backstage Queen’, another above-average rocker.
‘Virgin Killer’ is another melodic fast-paced rocker with a twist. This one and ‘Hellcat’ (sung by Uli Roth) have a familiar overdriven sound reminiscent of the Pat Travers Band who was just starting out his career at this time. Probably my least favourite track is the dreamy (some would say dreary) mid-ballad ‘Crying Days’, though the Roth guitar solo is pure class.
The album finishes off with two scorchers: ‘Polar Nights’ (though the vocal from Uli Roth isn’t the best) and the effortless tender ballad ‘Yellow Raven’.. remember the line ‘where do you go.. fantastic dream bird.. answer to my yearning.. take me away from here..’
Some albums age well over time.. some don’t. Many will drop kick this album into the past and watch it sail back down through the years. For me it is a different case, as I used to play this album ad nauseum during my high-school years, and it still sounds great to me, even after four decades.
As a measure of their popularity, this album is held in high regard among their earlier works. The Scorpions would follow this effort up with another studio album ‘Taken By Force’, and the fantastic double live album ‘Tokyo Tapes’, which would be their last album with Uli Roth and their label RCA. Phase 2 of The Scorpions career would take off with 1979’s ‘Lovedrive’.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)