Review Summary: Why don't you have a seat right over there.
You're looking at it, and it only proves how much attention Scorpion's fourth release got. It wasn't so much the bands blatant disregard of their image, but that the record label apparently thought it would be a great idea to create a public stunt to gain the band notice. 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. A band would end up in some deep shit if they tried that today. Twenty-plus years later, the image still creates controversy where passersby ask that the album cover be changed and or censored online, and even Wikipedia has had an incident of having to defend themselves against the Internet Watch Foundation and the FBI for merely using the picture.
And I find myself wondering why I reviewed this, as I'm not a fan nor have I really wanted to listen to Scorpions and its total embedding into the "dad rock" quip. However, the album itself is hard rock at its roots as something that my dad would likely blast in his car while I was pouting in the back seat. Now it's a tiny part of me that has forced me to write a review on it, so it's a part of my life that I can't really ignore. The 80's metal scene would gain a lot of influence from this as well, influencing a spread chart of future bands that are huge today. And it's all so strange, since Virgin Killer is very cut-the-crap straightforward, 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 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 sing instead of 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