Scorpions
Virgin Killer


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg CONTRIBUTOR (95 Reviews)
December 18th, 2016 | 46 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There was only one way to overshadow Uli Jon Roth’s guitar playing on Virgin Killer but even the controversial cover art failed to do so.

On any other album, Ulrich Roth’s constant heroics would have eclipsed the performance of the other bandmates or even proven detrimental to the songs. However, on Virgin Killer, Scorpions were on top of their game during a genre-defining four album run which would cost them one of the members who shaped their sound but eventually brought them increased fame and fortune.

Collaborating with the legendary krautrock producer Dieter Dierks for the second time in a row, the Germans moved further away from their psychedelic roots, fusing their sound with even more hard rock and proto-metal elements; a transition that had become fairly apparent on In Trance. Essentially, Virgin Killer is a natural evolution of the definitive In Trance, as it offers a Hendrix-influenced hard rock sound fused with some early Scorpions melancholia and neo-classical tendencies. In addition, like on its predecessor, only two songs on here are close to the five-minute mark whereas the majority of the album consists of fairly straightforward material, which in some cases doesn’t work in favor of the songs.

Furthermore, it spawned two undisputable classics in the form of “Pictured Life” and “Catch Your Train” while also including a couple of underrated songs. What makes the aforementioned tracks staples, is the heroics of Uli Jon Roth who delivers an array of brilliant leads accompanied by his impeccable tone and of course Klaus Meine’s intense and characteristic vocal delivery. “Backstage Queen” is also an iconic track due to the aforementioned reasons and its unbeatable groove. In addition, one can find some of the final touches of psychedelia in Scorpions’ discography, namely in the form of “In Your Park” and “Yellow Raven”. The former, is a power ballad with a very convincing atmosphere which includes a fitting guitar solo. The latter, is one of the Germans’ most underrated compositions due to Roth’s performance and one of the few tracks where Lenners’ drumming towards the end is quite noticeable. However, both tracks and especially “In Your Park” could have easily been longer.

“Crying Days” is also an interesting case of a song as it reveals once more the band’s krautrock tendencies combined with a few typical metal guitar parts. One difference between Virgin Killer and In Trance is that the two songs that are performed by Uli Jon Roth on vocals are not deal-breakers. Each has its merits on here with “Hell Cat” being the weaker of two while “Polar Nights” is more guitar-driven and more interesting instrumentally. Finally, “Virgin Killer” is the heaviest track of the LP and features some aggressive singing by Meine even though it might be considered a bit sloppy at parts.

Overall, Virgin Killer was considered a breakthrough at the time as it helped the Scorpions enter the charts in Japan, a country that always appreciated guitar heroes. The controversial and immature cover might have played a role in garnering some extra publicity but what we are offered here is one of the greatest hard rock acts with one of the most iconic axemen at the peak of their powers.



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user ratings (197)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2016


10074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just couldn't stand this one without a review, so here's a quick write-up.

Digging: Black Bonzo - Lady Of The Light

KILL
December 18th 2016


79565 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

:P

Mythodea
December 18th 2016


3838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just realized this didn't have a review. Good job, Mano.



Yellow Raven and In Your Park are one of my favourite songs of theirs, would listen to them back to back. The solo in the latter is yummy, plain and simple.

RunOfTheMill
December 18th 2016


2748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I swear this had a review for it before. Must have gotten deleted at some point.



Anywho, preeeetty good review.

One criticism: "The former being a power ballad with a very convincing atmosphere which includes a very fitting guitar solo while the latter is one of the Germans’ most underrated compositions due to Roth’s performance and one of the few tracks where Lenners’ drumming towards the end is quite noticeable."



That's a hell of a run-on sentence. Try to break it up into a few sentences.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2016


10074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely Mytho. Both pretty underrated tracks.



edit: Thanks Run, gonna give it a look.

OvDeath
December 18th 2016


1491 Comments


killer album

MrSirLordGentleman
December 18th 2016


10220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh nice, didn't expect you to review this at all manosg. Great work



Album rules hard. Uli is one of the best



P.S: Kill, you break my heart

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2016


10074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really surprised that you didn't expect me to review this one, MSLG. There's a bunch of older stuff that I have on my list of albums to review.

Robbit
December 18th 2016


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice job at covering this one, manosg. I agree with your assessment too. This was actually the first Roth era album I bought for the Scorpions and I didn't completely love it at first. But in time, Roth's contributions really grew on me. It really is a guitar player's album for sure.

Sabrutin
December 18th 2016


3974 Comments


I'm not familiar with this album, but I love In Trance and I consider Fly to the Rainbow a great album though I'm not crazy for the slow pace of some tracks. Can I assume I could dig anything the band did with Roth? I dig Blackout if that matters

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2016


10074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is quite different than Blackout but I can definitely see you enjoying this one as it's less krautrock-y than Fly to the Rainbow.



Thanks Robbit. My first Scorps overall, was Crazy World which I liked and the next one was Lovedrive that I loved. Regarding Roth-era, Tokyo Tapes was the first album that I had bought which didn't love at first as I was more into Lovedrive at the time.

danielcardoso
December 18th 2016


10464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice one.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2016


10074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dan.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2016


54687 Comments


Thanks for putting this on my browser!

I had this heavy metal encyclopedia book when I was a kid and it had this album in it and I always felt like someone was going to think I was a fuckin weirdo for having a book with a picture like that in it

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manosg
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2016


10074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Treb.



I can definitely understand that. Even Scorpions have regretted putting that cover on their album.

FullOfSounds
December 18th 2016


12574 Comments


I've only heard Rock You Like a Hurricane. Sweet review

Digging: Jesca Hoop - Memories Are Now

KevinKC
December 18th 2016


577 Comments


1976 the year when being a pedophile was the hype.

50iL
December 18th 2016


2878 Comments


RAUCK YOU
LIKE A HURRICANE

Idk what was their thought process when going for this album art. Anyway, nice lil write-up

Digging: !T.O.O.H.! - Order and Punishment

deslad
December 18th 2016


562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really great review manos. The album rocks hard by the way.

Digging: Thin Lizzy - Johnny the Fox

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2016


10074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys, really appreciate it.



Agreed des!



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