Review Summary: “You know what album is the ***ing sh*t, people?”
By the early 1980s, rock 'n' roll music had been through many phases. Emerging from folk and pop music, it went through experimental, psychedelic phases that were popular during the 1960s, and became heavier and more technical in the 1970s with the first wave of heavy metal and the emergence or punk and progressive rock. Heavy music was underground, and was rather unconventional. However, the early 1980s proved how hard rock and heavy metal could be mainstream. During a time when people were fed up of the fear-riddled events of the 1960s and '70s, '80s pop culture was all about feeling good. The doom and gloom of heavy music transitioned to a more light-hearted approach. The Scorpions are a perfect example of this attitude, with 1982's Blackout
being the embodiment of perfect cross between pop and hard rock.
Starting off guns blazing with its title track, Blackout
has many fast-paced guitar riffs to go around. Likening to releases such as In Trance
, the Scorpions perform straight-forward hard rock throughout the album. Whether it be the sheer energy of “Now!” and “Blackout”, or the grinding heaviness of “China White” and “Dynamite”, it has enough content to satisfy any headbanger's needs.
With this base comes the rest of the album. Supported by simple, but catchy guitar riffs, and minimalist rhythm, the band infuse pop perfectly with their hard rock sound. Tracks such as “Can't Live Without You” and “Arizona” focus mostly on Meine's vocal melodies and guitar fills, and are ultimately fun and catchy. It's no wonder that lead single “No One Like You” is such a classic, with it's immensely catchy chorus and trademark guitar solo!
However, with pop comes cheese. Throughout the album, listeners are treated to very simple lyrics about boys chasing girls, and how awesome rock 'n' roll is. For example, the first verse of “Now!” goes:
Like it played loud
My body wants to rock and let it out
Really high born
Morning till dawn
I'm going all the way just on and on
It's gonna be wild, it's gonna be wild
It's gonna be wild
Though album closer “When the Smoke Is Going Down” takes a bit of deeper mood, the album's lyrics are very corny, and not meant to be taken seriously for the most part, and listeners ought to let the music speak rather than the words.
Though you will not likely find the meaning of life by listening to Blackout
, it's diverse set of songs, accessibility in sound and energetic feel will surely entertain almost all audiences. Simple in its conception, and effective in its aim to be a “feel-good” record, the Scorpions appeal to the masses, producing what may be called near perfection of the mainstream formula for hard rock.
Klaus Meine - vocals
Rudolf Schenker - guitars
Matthias Jabs - guitars
Francis Buccholz - bass
Herman Rarebell - drums