Review Summary: The foundation of one of the greatest German bands of all time.Scorpions
Klaus Meine: Vocals
Michael Schenker: Lead guitar
Rudolf Schenker: Rhythm guitar
Lothar Heimberg: Bass guitar
Wolfgang Dziony: Drums
Scorpions. They have always been big and important in Germany but they've only become worldwide famous with the astounding Rock You Like a Hurricane
and many power ballads, such as Still Loving You
, Wind of Change
or Send Me An Angel
. The critical press seems to ignore the fact that they actually existed in the 1970's. Besides, Scorpions' foundations were built in 1965! Rudolf Schenker and his brother Michael started the band in that year and in 1970 the legendary frontman Klaus Meine joined the band. Eventually, in 1972, the group would record and release their debut album, entitled Lonesome Crow
. "With Lonesome Crow, we were just a young band trying to find our way, trying to shape an artistic style to find the Scorpions DNA. We were just a young band with talented guys, with no idea on where to go from here"
, Klaus Meine mentioned. These guys could hardly guess that they'd become one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. Lonesome Crow
is just the origin of this success.
However, the young musicians revealed some "issues"
in this album. Their style was still being defined, and in Lonesome Crow
, perhaps they suffered from the lack of a true identity. They found inspiration from artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Led Zeppelin, and they encapsulated Krautrock
, the term for the fusion of German hard rock, psychedelic, jazz fusion, experimental rock and progressive rock of the late 60's-70's. Basically, they were inspired by numerous famous artists but they couldn't properly find their own style. This factor contributes to a certain lack of originality and a "confusing" mixture of various genres in Lonesome Crow
. Consequently, this album is very different than their top-selling albums. There is one more "problem"
in this album: it doesn't feature Uli Jon Roth. Michael Schenker could do the job without problems, and he certainly was/is a talented guitarist, but, when Uli Jon Roth joined the Scorpions, he completely changed the identity and style of the band, becoming the Scorps' creative force.
Still, there is a lot to appreciate in Lonesome Crow
. Start with the first track of the album, I'm Goin' Mad
. It is probably the best song of Lonesome Crow
. That song reveals many of the Scorpions' influences in this album, and its quasi-psychedelic ambience is very intriguing and powerful at the same time, due to the musicians' amazing musicianship. Klaus' vocal ability is spectacular in this song, but he could have given a higher contribution. Nevertheless, I'm Goin' Mad
succeeds, managing to showcase the musicians' talent and capacities. It All Depends
is also surprisingly pleasant to listen to. Once again, Meine's vocal contributions leave a lot to be desired, and the song suffers from that aspect. However, the Schenker brothers do an amazing job, managing to reduce the negative impact of Meine's lacking performance. As far as the lyrics go, they're typical rock-and-roll-trash-talk
and they're not exactly supposed to be taken seriously: Takes my dinner, drinks my beer, spends my money, but I don't care. She's my love, she's my dear, love is here and I was there. Ahhh!
But the song turns out to be very groovy without being cheesy and even the shy Lothar Heimberg has a chance to shine. After It All Depends
, though, the problems start to appear.
Some of Lonesome Crow
's songs start to suffer from the aforementioned mixture of various genres. Badly. There are considerable hints of progressive rock, combined with some strange influences of the psychedelic scene. Action
and Leave Me
dare to become a magical combination of those styles, but they're easily forgettable, and the title track has some good moments, but it reveals some imperfections, mostly because it is way too long and they seem to be tryin' too hard
. But possibly, In Search of Piece of Mind
is the song that suffers the most from that aspect, especially because it truly had an amazing potential. At first, it is an acoustic ballad, performed with an incredible talent. Then, its entire momentum experiences a radical change that had nothing to do with the introduction of the song. However, the song's lyrics are very deep and powerful, for a change, and Meine's performance is incredible. Fortunately, Inheritance
represents a safe move by the Scorps, because they don't take serious risks, and it turns out to be one of the album's best songs, with an amazing performance by Heimberg and Dziony.
has expected flaws, considering the musicians' lack of experience, but it still has numerous positive moments. The young guys were anxious to showcase their abilities and talents and they came up with a good, yet somewhat inconsistent album. Lonesome Crow
's style is one that a casual listener wouldn't associate the Scorpions with. Following the release of the Scorps' debut album, Rudolf Schenker mentioned: "One day the Scorpions will be one of the best hard rock bands in the world!"
Michael Schenker left after this album to join the british rock band UFO
and, in search of a lead guitarist, the Scorps hired Ulrich Roth and he would change Scorpions' style.
I'm Goin' Mad
It All Depends