Scorpions
Blackout


5.0
classic

Review

by John Marinakis USER (26 Reviews)
October 18th, 2013 | 25 replies | 1,022 views


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A glorious rampage and Klaus Meine’s personal victory.

10 of 11 thought this review was well written

There are times in the history of recorded music, when an artist, in behalf of his own profiteering, somehow, finds the way to combine his talents with his perceptive knowledge in regards to the operational ways of the trending flow. He has to be the right person, at the right place and at the right time. Timing is the key word. All he needs is good timing, some skill, the will to carry on and of course luck. Lots of it. When the combination is successful, the artist does something extraordinary. He manages to combine qualitative music with mainstream appeal. Once he has done that, he doesn’t have to worry about anything-his legacy is secured. His fortunes will be huge. He will have fans who, thankfully, will pay huge amounts of money to see him live. He will inspire a whole generation. He will make a name for himself and he won’t have to worry about savings. We have occasions of such bands or individuals who manage to write great music and sell big time. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Iron Butterfly, Metallica, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, are just some of the names in this industry who found this dreamlike formula, either at an earlier or a latter stage of their career. Yet another name in this field is Scorpions of course.

As we all know, the road towards worldwide recognition and fame has obstacles and Scorpions’s case was no different. After the recordings of the mediocre Animal Magnetism, Scorpions faced their biggest challenge yet. The bands longtime vocalist Klaus Meine, began experiencing throat problems. The recordings began, but his condition deteriorated. Meine reached a critical point. He almost lost his voice. The situation was so serious, that a surgery operation on his vocal chords was required, in order to restore his voice. Doubts were raised on whether he would be able to provide again his charismatic singing abilities. Meanwhile, Donald Dokken was brought in to provide the vocals, while Meine was on his way to his full recovery. Eventually he was healed and returned back to his post. The results of the recordings showed one thing: Scorpions owed a huge debt to the doctors who undertook the procedure and saved two careers, the first being that of Scorpions and Meine’s.

After his recovery, the band gathered together and finished the recordings of their eighth studio album. Blackout was the first big breakthrough, the album that catapulted Scorpions to stardom. And it’s no wonder why this album is often being hailed as the best work they ever did. With this endeavor, Scorpions managed to balance perfectly the metallic, heavy riffs and the melodic solos with a number of ultra-catchy hooks. And the positives do not end here. Blackout is an energy generator. As the album cover suggests, you will get a blackout for supercharging. That is because this creation is probably the most powerful album Scorpions ever wrote. The sound of Blackout is purely 80’s. It is the sound that was used as groundwork for the Glam style, but at the same time, it is much heavier. In all honesty, some parts of this album are even heavier than anything that Judas Priest, Saxon, Accept, Maiden, Ozzy, or Diamond Head were doing at the time.

If the adventure of the group’s frontman has escaped your attention, there is no way to tell it via listening to this album. Because, Meine’s performance here is simply the best of his entire career. During the course of Blackout, Meine shrieks, shouts and screams like he has never done before. With his frenzying, almost crazy performance, he escalates the tension and for this lively performance alone, the album should be considered sufficient enough to be viewed as a highlight. Meine’s traditional melodic vocals are also present but not for very long. After the delirium of the first tracks, he adopts his casual softer approach just to calm you down a little bit. And then, his aggressive vocals drop like thunder, all the way until the last song of the album. Unfortunately in the future, Meine’s vocals never sounded that fierce again.

The performance of Scorpions’s frontman was proved as a catalytic agent. The spark that emanated from Meine, influenced with the most obvious way the other members of the group. Rarebell’s energetic performance make an instant impact. His drumming is protrusive and much more prominent than on Animal Magnetism- one of the missing points of that album is now found again. The album is also highlighted by the fast paced performances of guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs. After two studio albums of collaborative duties, the guitarists are now completely harmonized and Jabs delivers some of the best solos of his career.

Along with its successor, Blackout is indeed one of the two albums, accountable for being mostly associated with the “genuine” sound of Scorpions, the sound that made them famous. The final verdict might seem exaggerating. Surely, when someone gets stuck on the music, some other important aspects might escape his attention. And yes, this album has some negatives. For example the lack of variety, or the cheesy, over the top lyrics are enough reasons to make you skeptical. But as with every album, the conclusion for this one is also very simple: Do the negative aspects outweigh the positive ones? The answer is an emphatic NO. Blackout is truly one of the landmarks for the 80's Rock music and the best album Scorpions ever wrote in the after-Roth era. Sometimes this album makes me feel sympathetic towards most of Scorpions’s colleagues. If only most of the bands who emerged in the 80’s, were talented enough to write music that combines sheer energy, power and melody in the unique way that Scorpions did with this classic output.

Recommended tracks:
Blackout
No One Like You
You Give Me All I Need
Dynamite
Arizona
When The Smoke Is Going Down



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Comments:Add a Comment 
rockandmetaljunkie
October 17th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of the first albums I wanted to review.

TheSpirit
October 17th 2013



16662 Comments


good review! this album is totes classic

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

rockandmetaljunkie
October 17th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Constructive criticism is most welcome guys.

rockandmetaljunkie
October 17th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Spirit, I see we have a shared view for this one.
Yes, this album needed a 5 review.

manosg
October 18th 2013



4682 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review man. Blackout is not a 5 for me but I understand from your review that this isn't just a simple album for you. Rock on dude, pos.

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

rockandmetaljunkie
October 18th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

stfu kill

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2013



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album.

Good review, pos.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

KILL
October 18th 2013



67082 Comments


rockandmetaljunkie

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2013



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i really had a blake out

Digging: Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus

TheNotrap
October 18th 2013



7817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Excellent album.

I read the review later, auto-pos.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2013



18198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules. It's worn off me slightly since I've started digging Roth-era Scorpions more but it's still easily my favourite of their 80's albums.

Will read the review later.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

Jethro42
October 18th 2013



12034 Comments


'No one Like you' is not their only classic song on here I suppose..

manosg
October 18th 2013



4682 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not really but excellent nonetheless.

rockandmetaljunkie
October 18th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Album rules. It's worn off me slightly"

you once had it 5d, Jamie

Jethro42
October 18th 2013



12034 Comments


What are the very good songs if you dont count ''No one like you''?

rockandmetaljunkie
October 18th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The ones I have recommended are all excellent songs imo.

Personally and with the exception of track 5, I love each and every track.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2013



18198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you once had it 5d, Jamie


Correct and then I became stricter about my 5's and lowered it to a 4.5. It was some point between then and now that it started to wear off me a bit.

I must say your memory of my ratings is rather impressive ;)

rockandmetaljunkie
October 18th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha, yeah I checked your ratings for the first time when you approached me and talked to me via the shoutbox. Your ratings made an impression out of me because I realized the huge similarities of our tastes.

That's how I remember.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2013



18612 Comments


nice job you review some pretty cool stuff

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

rockandmetaljunkie
October 18th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Atari. I hope my reviews make for an interesting reading.



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