Review Summary: Years before the Scorpions said they'd rock you like a hurricane...they did.
Sometimes great music is overlooked, and this seems to be the case with the four albums recorded by the Scorpions with guitarist Uli Jon Roth. Taken by Force was the last studio album recorded with Uli, who left the band in 1978 due to creative differences. Although not as well known as the later ballad-filled and commercially successful albums produced by the Scorpions, Taken by Force and the albums which preceded it are full of great music.
1. Steamrock Fever (3:37).
This song is a straight forward rocker. As with most Scorpion’s songs, the lyrics don’t make much sense, but either way they’re still catchy! This song is definitely worth a listen. Not the best on the album, but it’s a solid song and one you’ll find yourself wanting to sing along with. 3.5/5
2. We’ll Burn the Sky (6:26).
The song starts off with a nice clean intro, and a nice solo from Uli. Then Klaus comes in with some vocals giving the song an almost mysterious sound. Around the minute mark the clean guitar stops, and in comes another classic Scorpions riff. This is what it’s all about…classic German engineered Scorpions riffage!!! After a fast verse, it’s time for the chorus. Klaus delivers soaring vocals over some of Uli’s signature melodic guitar licks. The song then goes back into the same clean guitar riff in the intro. The song ends with an almost minute long solo from Uli, which clearly shows that the man knows his way around a fret board. This is a great song, although sometimes it seems to drag on for a bit too long. 5/5
3. I’ve Got to Be Free (4:00).
Supposedly written by Roth himself. Yet another classic, Scorpions style riff and another solid song. There is a great, catchy chorus, and its about something everyone can relate too – the desire to run your own life. The only problem I have with this track is with the vocals in the first verse, but once you hit the chorus its smooth sailing until the end of the song. There’s another good solo from Uli in the middle making it well worth the listen. 4.5/5
4. Riot of Your Time (4:09).
This is yet another song that starts off with a clean guitar and Klaus singing. The band transitions perfectly from clean guitar to hard rock, and then proceed to do the same when going back to clean guitar. The second chorus is followed by a nice instrumental section, definitely a strong point of the song. This is a great song to round out the first half of the album. 4/5
5. The Sails of Charon (4:23).
Want to know where Yngwie got his chops? Look no further. Not really, but you get the picture. This guitar intro to this song is legendary – and after hearing it you’ll never believe it was recorded in 1977. Who needs Van Halen when you’ve got Uli? This is the song that got me interested in early scorpions. Even if you ignore the rest of the album, this song is a must listen. 5/5
6. Your Light (4:31).
The song begins with a funky bass line, which pretty much makes the entire song. The song builds for a minute, and then abandons the funky bass line and upbeat drumming for a slower, melodic section featuring another one of Uli’s solos. Then the bass line returns and Uli displays his guitar wizardry once again. The second solo in this song is my favorite Uli solo ever…it’s just brilliant and even has a Hendrix sort of feel to it. This track took a while to grow on me, but now it is definitely one of my favorites. 5/5
7. He’s a Woman – She’s a Man (3:15).
Ridiculous, but great. I love the lyrics and I love the song. Catchy as hell – as is the usual for the Scorpions. The riffs from this song are some of the heaviest riffs I’ve ever heard from any band in the seventies. The one in the chorus would be right at home in the songs of any thrash band. It’s a fun, energy-filled song, and a great listen. 4.5/5
8. Born to Touch Your Feelings (7:40).
No…that’s all I have to say about this one. Read the title, laugh, and ignore this song. I don’t know why this was included on the album…I hate it. Out of all seven minutes and forty seconds only thirty seconds are listenable. 1/5
Overall this is a great album. Aside from the last song, each track is pretty solid. If you’re a fan of hard rock, great guitar, or the Scorpions then this album will definitely hold your interest. I’d have to say Uli is the star of the album, but being a guitarist I’m more than slightly bias when it comes to these issues. This sure is one hell of an album if you disregard the final track. Whether the scorpions rocked harder with Uli or without is a matter of opinion, but it’s a fact that no matter what their lineup, the Scorpions could release a solid album.