Scorpions
In Trance


4.5
superb

Review

by Daniel Dias USER (60 Reviews)
August 10th, 2013 | 21 replies | 850 views


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Scorpions successfully explore a heavier sound in one of the band's best albums.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Scorpions

Klaus Meine: Vocals
Uli Jon Roth: Lead Guitar #
Rudolf Schenker: Rhythm Guitar
Francis Buchholz: Bass Guitar
Rudy Lenners: Drums

#(Vocals on "Dark Lady" and "Sun In My Hand")


"Those album covers are horrible. I mean, "In Trance" is still borderline. It was the record company's idea, but we certainly didn't do anything to contradict them. Those covers are probably the most embarrassing thing I've ever been involved with." Uli Jon Roth

"We never did controversial album covers on purpose, we just did not know it would be a problem in America, it was just sex and rock 'n' roll. It is odd that in America some of these covers were a problem, because in the 80’s, when we toured there, we always had boobs flashed to us at the front of the stage." Klaus Meine

In Trance is very curious and peculiar in many ways. The controversy of the original album cover, for instance, was immediate! But, obviously, there is more than that. The style of that album is very different than the one that was found in Lonesome Crow and Fly to the Rainbow. The young musicians started to find their own style and image, abandoning many of their influences. Krautrock's influences, for example, were slowly disappearing, and, as the psychedelic scene started to lose its importance in the media, the Scorps now approached a heavier sound. However, this change wouldn't happen without more line-up changes. Indeed, at that time, the Scorpions were still unable to avoid constant line-up changes. After the release of Fly to the Rainbow, Jürgen Rosenthal left the band, and he was replaced by the proficient Rudy Lenners. Lenners quickly familiarized himself with the other musicians, and he was able to do that without problems. And he proved to the right man for the job. Jürgen's drumming wasn't exactly bad, and he had a great potential, but that potential hadn't blossomed yet. Rudy's skills gave the Scorps a big boost. And, with the help of Dieter Dierks (producer), that heavier sound was explored in a big way.

By the time of In Trance's release, Scorpions' fame got bigger and bigger in Germany and Japan, but they still failed to attain serious attention in the U.S. and the critical press continued to ignore their music. But they wouldn't be able to continue to ignore them anymore. In In Trance, the Scorpions showcased a great development: they were growing as musicians and bandmates and they exhibited a phenomenal strength in many of their songs. Under Dieter Dierks' guidance, the musicians were able to be more selective and careful, as they didn't take any serious risks with elaborate compositions. But they were still able to be very creative and innovating. Uli's techniques and talents continued to be explored to the fullest, and, in this album, Meine's performances got even better. The result was very interesting and it stood the test of time. In Trance is undoubtedly one of the band's best albums. To many of the fans, this is even Scorpions' best album.

From the start of the album, the listener starts to see some differences between the Scorps' early releases and In Trance. The opener Dark Lady is a prime example of the Scorpions' growth. Uli Jon Roth has a chance to sing in this song, and he is not a good singer at all, but he redeems himself, doing a fantastic job with the guitar. Klaus contributes in the chorus and he does a phenomenal job. However, Dark Lady wouldn't be able to succeed without the other musicians' abilities. Rudolf Schenker and Francis Buchholz, for instance, cooperate with Roth in a big way, allowing him to be more creative. One of the In Trance's immediate standouts is the title track, mostly because it is possibly the best song of the album. Its introduction is very deep and calm, leading to a powerful, energetic chorus. Roth's solo is, once again, outstanding, and that's the best part of the song. After such a strong start, you couldn't ask for more, but they continue to deliver.

However, there are some flaws in In Trance. The songwriting issues, for example, were not solved. Top of the Bill is the main example of the lack of creativity in that aspect. Once again, they just sing about how cool and amazing rock 'n' roll is: "You're a rock 'n' roll star; you are out of the charts; your blood is cold and you're getting old; but your life is rock 'n' roll". But the lyricism can easily be ignored with the Scorpions. Top of the Bill has lousy lyrics, but it is an awesome rocker with a wicked chorus. Surprisingly, the song that has the best lyrics wasn't written by the members of the band. Life's Like a River was written by Corinna Fortmann and it has inspiring and insightful lyrics: "As years are passing by; silence becomes your friend; you see the world in a different way; don´t be afraid of getting old; life´s still full of joy; and the beauty of the past; is rejoicing your mind". And there is more. Uli Jon Roth never was a great singer, and in Sun In My Hand he does a terrible job. The instrumental parts of the song are great and they cover up Roth's poor vocal performance, but it's not good enough to be a standout. But try to ignore the minor flaws, because this album has precious gems. Excluding the aforementioned standouts, there are some more precious songs that only suffer from being overshadowed by its unfortunate positions on the tracklist. Longing For Fire and Living and Dying are the main examples of that situation. They are very deep and powerful without being cheesy and boring.

I am starting to ramble, so I am going to put an end to the review. In Trance can very well be one of the band's finest albums. In contains many of the Scorpions' classics, such as Dark Lady, In Trance and Robot Man. Unfortunately, this album also failed to attract the attention of the United States' critical press. Nevertheless, it represents an incredible effort by the Scorps. Surprisingly, the Scorpions would be able to preserve the line-up that they had at that moment, and, in the following year (1976), they would release another album that would create controversy, due to its polemic cover: Virgin Killer. Under the direction of Dieter Dierks they would continue to explore the heavier sound that they had established in In Trance and the result would be just as satisfactory.

Recommended Tracks

Dark Lady
In Trance
Life's Like a River
Top of the Bill
Longing For Fire




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user ratings (124)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
John Marinakis (5)
Scorpions’s best 70’s album is a magical journey through grief and melancholia....

RunOfTheMill (4.5)
A masterful piece of hard rock with very few flaws....


Comments:Add a Comment 
danielcardoso
August 10th 2013



1902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It continues...
Gimme your thoughts, hope you enjoy.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2013



1613 Comments


Fix the broken italics.

Otherwise, constant work and improvement from danielcardoso. Super impressive, pos'd.

danielcardoso
August 10th 2013



1902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you for the awesome feedback!
Gonna fix it now.

Arnaud
August 10th 2013



180 Comments


While it still won't make me listen to this album, it is a pretty well written review and very explicative of not only the music but also in what context it was made. Interesting read.
pos'd

danielcardoso
August 10th 2013



1902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you so much. But if you dig 70's hard rock similar to Led Zeppelin you should try this.

manosg
August 10th 2013



5916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album and an excellent review, pos. More people should pay attention to those albums.

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

danielcardoso
August 10th 2013



1902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"More people should pay attention to those albums"
Exactly.

TheNotrap
August 10th 2013



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I'M IN A TRAAAANCEEE

Taken By Force is my fav with Roth but In Trance is also pretty solid.
Good job, have a pos.

Digging: Savage Grace - Master Of Disguise

danielcardoso
August 10th 2013



1902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Sails of Charon rules, right now it's my favourite off of Taken By Force.

danielcardoso
August 10th 2013



1902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just get mad when in Portugal the radio only plays their 80's hits, don't you feel the same? They could play some of their Roth-era songs.

TheNotrap
August 10th 2013



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah The Sails of Charon rules hard. Awesome solo.

Well nowadays even their '80s hits don't have airplay.
I listen to '70s Scorpions since I was a child so....fuck the radio.

Detritivore
August 10th 2013



270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album and good review. I think this album mix very good heavy and melancholic sounds. Maybe you could highlight the influence of Uli Jon Roth on this period of the band. I think with this album beggins the legend which he is know

danielcardoso
August 10th 2013



1902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah the radio only plays horrible hits by glamorous "artists" so screw that!
I listen to the Scorps since i was 6, man. Childhood memories ;)

TheNotrap
August 10th 2013



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Same here...great band.

manosg
August 10th 2013



5916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Same here too. Lots of people forget to check those bands and albums that laid the foundation to today's music.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2013



20363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album. Really close to being my favourite Scorpions album but Taken By Force just edges it.

Pos'd hard.

Decayingmajesty
August 10th 2013



5394 Comments


This album is good.Good review.

Friday13th
August 11th 2013



2341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah Scorps had some good stuff early on like this and "Sails of Charon." This album cover is also very tame. Now Virgin Killer...

Digging: East of Eden - Mercator Projected

rockandmetaljunkie
August 11th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My favorite Scorpions from the 70's. Classic album.

rockandmetaljunkie
August 11th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Decent review, you could have find some additional lines to describe Roth's impact.
Pos'd.



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