Klaus Meine - lead vocals; Matthias Jabs - lead guitar, backing vocals; Rudolf Schenker - rhythm guitar, backing vocals; Francis Buchholz - bass, backing vocals; Herman Rarebell - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Initially recorded by the King Biscuit Flower Hour and later transmitted over FM radio on Super Groups, this three song live recording captures the German metal band Scorpions live on stage in Tokyo over three decades ago.
Thanks to the increasing popularity of albums like Love Drive (1979), its follow-up Animal Magnetism (1980), and eventually the groundbreaking Blackout album in 1982, and following with many years of relentless road work, Scorpions would finally enjoy international recognition.
Over the course of these years, Scorpions had developed from a serious contender to a band with an unmistakable sound based on the hard rock ingredients of predecessors like Zeppelin and Cream, but with a multiple guitar barrage of power riffs and guitar pyrotechnics, not to mention the expressive vocal delivery of frontman Klaus Meine. Meine wisely wrote his lyrics in English, which was a key factor in getting across to American audiences. By the end of 1983, following a high profile performance at that summer's US Festival before 375,000 fans (which would also be broadcast on MTV to millions more), Scorpions would find themselves at the top of the international metal brigade.
Best known for their 1980s rock anthem "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and numerous singles like "Send Me an Angel," "No One Like You," and "Wind of Change," Scorpions non-hit material from this era holds up equally well, and three fine examples are presented here.
The recording opens and closes with a pair of tracks from the 1979 album Love Drive. Both the irreverent title song and the frantic-paced closer, "Another Piece Of Meat" display the group's increasingly polished, hard-edged melodic rock sound featuring Klaus Meine's dramatic and dizzying, high-pitched vocal delivery. Sandwiched in between is the surging Schenker/Meine collaboration "The Zoo," perhaps the definitive song from the band's new album at the time, Animal Magnetism. Showcasing the explosive guitar work of Jabs and Schenker and with the rhythm section of Buchholz and Rarebell working in a much slower context, this may be the most dynamic of the three tracks. It's no wonder this song captured the attention of so many radio programmers, leading to extreme anticipation for the Scorpions' next album, Blackout, which would finally cement their reputation in North America.
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