Review Summary: Why don't you have a seat right over there.
Attention was very much the idea behind their album cover of Scorpion's fourth release. It wasn't so much the bands blatant disregard of their image, but that the record label needed to create a public stunt to gain notice. So they decided that Virgin Killer
would be shipped to the stores with a pre-pubescent girl on the cover even if it meant that they themselves went to jail. If a band tried that today they would no doubt end up in deep trouble. Twenty-plus years later, the image still creates controversy where it is shown in record stores, online, and Wikipedia even had to defend themselves against the Internet Watch Foundation and the FBI for merely using the picture.
The album itself is hard rock at its strongest roots, as the Scorpions have themselves their first idiosyncratic hit. Virgin Killer is a cut-the-crap straightforward rock album, with the complexities of their style eliminated from their previous releases to where everything is now intended to be accessible. This worked well, as the band reached recognition outside of Europe and the album spread to even marking across the Japanese music charts. Either that, or Japan has been perverted since the 70’s.
The title track is just as riveting as the album cover. The introduction screeches into play like a panther screeching on a hot summer day, and then it rolls into a fierce storm of a radio worthy rock epic. As for other rocking jams, "Polar Nights" and "Hell Cat" are the forefront of the songs you can get the feel for in a single listen. The rest of the album is raw, revolting; exactly what makes it great, and only great. The last of the record is standard formula, with curdling guitar licks as well as melodic guitar licks, almost a back and forth on the same songs that throws you in and out of the music. At times the band seems to be thrashing notes out of key as if it were still part of the music. Lead vocalist Klaus Meine is akin to AC/DC’s Bon Scott, but only if he had lost his signature voice and decided to actually sing and not scowl. It's a good thing Meine is a convincing singer, because Scorpions wouldn't have gone very far otherwise. A perfect example of this is the opening number "Pictured Life", a virtually ideal example of everything the Scorpions have been acclaimed for, their resonance, harmony and hard rock image that has so favorably harnessed their influence.
"In Your Park" and "Crying Days" are the only things close to ballads, and it's almost an insult to describe them as such. Although not implicit with their heartfelt emotion, the rock feeling is almost at war with itself. The mood isn't depressive but rather more of a celebration, not generally something you would expect. "Catch Your Train" and "Backstage Queen" are hardly acceptable and merely immature pieces of rock with a cliché southern feel. Consider those last two filler. Virgin Killer
is certainly worth its replay value, which is almost impossible to say for many typical hard rock albums. If you've looking for a solid classic rock album to jam to in your car, this sincerely works. Just don't expect the in-your-face attitude of ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ to be verily present on Virgin Killer