Scorpions
Love At First Sting


4.5
superb

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
September 17th, 2008 | 67 replies | 13,880 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A strong set of songs backed by solid, if unspectacular, musicianship. A good hard rock offering, that deserves its classic status, and which will be a good call for any fan of the genre.

3 of 7 thought this review was well written

Formed somewhere in the 60’s (!), by 1984 the Scorpions had firmly established themselves as one of the leading forces of European hard’n’heavy. Years before Sweden became a focal point for metalheads everywhere, Germany fought England and the USA for the title of World Hard-Rock Champion. Klaus Meine and Co were at the forefront of that fight, alongside countrymen Accept. Even after the loss of not one, but two star guitarists (first baby brother Schenker, Michael, and then Uli Jon Roth, who became a hippy) the band came through, and found a permanent replacement in Matthias Jabs, who remains the group’s rhythm guitarist to this very day. Starting with 1979’s Lovedrive, the collaboration would prove to be a successful one.

The bass and drums were a little more complicated though. Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell, the group’s main rhythm session, left for a short while around 1983, and established session players like Jimmy Bain, Bobby Rondinelli and Neil Murray were tested in their place. In the end, however, both would come back and stay on for ten more years (eleven, in Rarebell’s case). With their line-up woes once again resolved, the group set to work preparing their newest album.

And that album would be none other than Love At First Sting, perhaps the Scorpions’ biggest commercial hit to this day. It is from this record that most of the group’s hits originate, and the tracklist reads almost like a greatest hits. Bad Boys Running Wild, Rock You Like a Hurricane, Big City Nights, Crossfire and Still Loving You make up for more than half of the album, and if we add to this list a great unknown song in the form of Coming Home and two more than decent tracks like As Soon As The Good Times Roll and The Same Thrill, we are left with a record that has exactly one filler song. Not bad, huh?

And since the fillers are so few, let’s start with them, shall we? I’m Leaving You is the only outright bad song on this record, and is partially dragged down by some of the stupidest lyrics I’ve ever heard in a song. A sample:

Quote:
Ooh, girl, I'm leaving you
Yes, I'm leaving you
I've got to go tonight
Baby, you shouldn't feel so blue
Shouldn't feel so blue, when I'm gone
I can't stay
See that verse? That makes up 80% of the song’s lyrics. Seriously. He just keeps repeating it, and then tacks on this section:

Quote:
Keep me in your mind till I
Come back to love ya
Keep me in your mind till I
Come back to love ya
Keep me in your mind till I
Come back to love ya ...
And that’s it. That’s all he says throughout the entire song. It’s endless, excruciating, and creates a huge anti-climax on the album’s third track, after two above-average rock’n’roll songs had really got us going.

But while I’m Leaving You is the only instance of a bad song on this album, it is not the only instance of bad lyrics. This problem manifests itself as soon as the album opens, with the verse lyrics of Bad Boys Running Wild presenting another exercise in stupidity. Take a look:

Quote:
Out in the streets
The dogs are on the run
The cats are all in heat
Out in the night
Spiders all around you
Spinning webs and make you pray
Tie you up and you can't get away
Either the Germans were going for a really deep, obscure metaphor, or they’re just stupid. I vote on the latter.

This phenomenon becomes even more puzzling when we ascertain that the group are, in fact, capable of writing good lyrics. Crossfire, a claim for peace and good will among men, Coming Home, a dedication to their fans, and Still Loving You, a song about fixing a broken love, all sport meaningful, well-written lyrics. Which makes us wonder – what the heck happened on those two songs!?

Fortunately, most people aren’t listening to hard rock albums for their lyrics. What they – what we – want is huge guitar riffs and triumphant choruses. And this, the Scorps deliver in spades. In fact, I’m Leaving You itself is partially saved by decent riffing and a great solo; unfortunately, they’re not enough to make it a good song. However, all the other songs on here have above-average riffing and choruses – and it’s not until you’re singing along to those dumb lyrics on Bad Boys that you notice how the quintet’s music actually got to you! Schenker's scorching leads and Matthias' sharp guitar Jabs (see what I did there...?) get your head banging and your fist pumping, with good backup being provided by Rarebell's strong rhythms and Buchholz solid, if unadventurous, bass lines. As for Klaus Meine...well, his strong German accent and slightly over-high pitch are an acquired taste, but certainly most hard-rockers will be able to overlook this weakness in the face of all the good music being presented to them.

In fact, the songwriting here is of undeniably high standard. All the songs – even, yes, I’m Leaving You - have at least one point of interest, although not all of them are to the same standard. The clearest standouts are Big City Nights – an all-around good, mid-tempo hard rock track – poignant ballad Still Loving You – that may irk some due to Klaus Meine’s ultra-falsetto vocals, but which boasts undeniably good lyrics and musicianship – and Coming Home, a more varied and less straightforward track that starts off as a ballad and evolves into fast-paced rock’n’roll, with great soloing to boot. As for Rock You Like a Hurricane, it has been slightly overplayed throughout the years, but it’s still a great, highly commendable track. And those martial drums and minimal lead on Crossfire are just kick-ass.

But these are the better-known songs. What of the unknown tracks? Well, I’m Leaving You has been amply discussed already, and you should have gathered what I think of it by now. The Same Thrill is one of those fast, 70’s and 80’s hard rock tracks that always seem to amount to filler, but in this case, it works, if only because of the catchy, amusing backing vocals on the second and third choruses. As Soon as The Good Times Roll boasts another interesting set of lyrics and a more trippy vibe on the verse riff, which works surprisingly well with Meine’s more subdued vocal tone.

All in all, then, a strong set of songs backed by solid, if unspectacular, musicianship (only Rudy Schenker truly shines on the album, although Rarebell has his tour de force on Crossfire, too). A good hard rock offering, that deserves its classic status, and which will be a good call for any fan of the genre.

Recommended Tracks
Bad Boys Running Wild
Coming Home
Big City Nights
Crossfire
Still Loving You



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It's easy to see why Love At First Sting is one of Scorpions' most acclaimed albums....


Comments:Add a Comment 
yteslax
October 12th 2009



4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I am not a German first of all and please while you write your reviews do not go racist. Keep it as "Members of Scorpions are stupid" or whatever... Besides just looking to lyrics is very narrow approach (since you have mentioned it in your review a little bit) but it is not all about nice riffs. We do not need lyrics sound like a great poem because we are just talking about the music. Other things (such as vocals, instruments etc) can fill the missing space for feelings. Otherwise more than half of the lyrics of Beatles could be stupid. But sometimes simple/stupid words can be nice to express some feelings...

BigHans
November 11th 2009



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm Leaving You is classic!

BigHans
July 13th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

M/

TheNotrap
August 5th 2011



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Love At First Sting and the previous record are in my opinion Scorpions best albums. Probably their most US market oriented record to date but also their best. Songs like Bad Boys Running Wild, Rock You Like a Hurricane, Coming Home, Big City Nights and specially Still Loving You (the best rock ballad ever made) made Love At First Sting an absolute classic in my book.

Digging: Savage Grace - Master Of Disguise

KILL
August 5th 2011



71372 Comments


hahaha scorpions fuck yea

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

TheNotrap
August 5th 2011



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Cheesy I know but this album is dam good

TheNotrap
November 11th 2011



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Best german hard rock?

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2011



20363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely the best german hard rock band. I prefer Blackout over this though but this is a close second.

TheNotrap
November 11th 2011



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

JT come to Lisbon!
Let's party!!!!!!

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2011



20363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha if only I could afford it.

KILL
November 11th 2011



71372 Comments


love at first fist

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2011



20363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/

rockandmetaljunkie
February 4th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would have 5'd this but some weak tracks prevented me.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2012



20363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Blackout is more consistent IMO.

TheNotrap
February 4th 2012



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

An absolute classic.
This, Blackout and Lovedrive are easily their best albums.

xfearbefore
July 1st 2012



1245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can't stop listening to the song "I'm Leaving You". So catchy it's scary.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2012



20363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rules.

rockandmetaljunkie
July 1st 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Blackout is more consistent IMO."

Blackout is by far their best 80's record.

ReturnToRock
July 27th 2012



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wait, Notrap, dafuq were you doing in my hometown eight months ago?

Also, I'm Leaving You is catchy, but also immensely stupid.

TheNotrap
July 27th 2012



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Hahaha I'm from Lisbon man.



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