Review Summary: Commerciality at 100%, of course, but that doesn't mean it's a bad record.
During the 80s, if you had a metal band and wanted to impress the crowd, you had two options to adopt: thrash metal and glam metal. Many legendary bands during mid-80s started to adopt some stylistics of the latter. KISS, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Aerosmith and even bands like Iron Maiden, Raven, Accept and Judas Priest started to add a bit of ''eighties sound'' to their music, whether in the use of synthesized guitars, keyboards in 80s mode, synths becoming almost as important as the guitars in the album’s sound and excessive reverb in the drums sound. Some also started to embrace pop metal stereotypes like the power ballads, approach towards more conventional song structures and the loud and bombastic choruses. Everyone in one way or another began to experiment with these new technologies and sound, either by own choice or by obligation of their record companies, with very different results. While some were praised, others were accused of betraying their fans and sell-out.
Scorpions weren’t the exception of include this eighties sound in their music. After succeeding with their previous albums, the band suddenly embraced melodic hard rock with this release. Of course, some elements like the power ballads already belonged to the Germans’ sound for years, but here we’ll find a melodic sound with some glam and arena rock touches, a slightly more commercial direction compared to their previous deliveries. The closest analogy I can think for the overall sound is Def Leppard’s Hysteria
, but with the difference that I personally prefer this delivery by the German kings over Def Leppard’s album. Savage Amusement
is a product of its epoch, of course, and it may sound a little dated nowadays. But is it bad" No way.
Of course, as I said before, the band's sound has softened a little bit in comparison of Blackout
or Love at First Sting
(I notice it particularly on the guitars sound), and it seems that they wanted to get closer to pop rhythms in a few songs, but it doesn't mean that there aren't rockers on this record. It’s cheesy at some parts, I guess, but how can you do a typical eighties metal album without CHEESE
" ''Love on the Run'' and the opener ''Don’t Stop at the Top'' show us that the German legend hasn’t died and still can make a very good metal. ''Love on the Run'' in my opinion is the album’s best song; closer to speed metal on approach, it has a wild main riff, a powerful rhythm section (note the incredible opening with Herman Rarebell on drums), some Klaus’ aggressive singing and a heavy solo near the end. A tune that, from my point of view, wouldn’t sound out of place on Blackout
(it remembers particularly to ''Dynamite''). ''Don’t Stop at the Top'' contains a cool guitar intro, a great chorus, a flashy and incredible solo and a catchy, almost danceable melody. It has some Foreigner flavor (sounds a bit similar to ''Heart Turns to Stone'' if you ask me), and the drums take more prominence on this and the rest of the tunes. Those are not serious problems, though, not even the latter, as in some numbers the drums give them a little more power. Other killer track comes by the name of ''We Let It Rock… You Let It Roll'', with an impressive guitar work by the duo Rudolph Schenker-Matthias Jabs and another remarkable Klaus’ performance, a song that traces us back to past works like Lovedrive
On the other hand, the mid-tempo hit ''Rhythm of Love'' (released after Yes’ same-named song) has a nice groove, a heavy main riff mixing with some pop passages and Meine again doing an awesome job in the mic. I especially like the simply-yet-catchy chorus. ''Passion Rules the Game'' and ''Media Overkill'' are more examples of melodic hard rock, the former with a melody and vibe similar to the ones in the opening track, and the latter starts with some weird Jabs’ talk box noises (that also appear in the middle) and another entertaining and memorable chorus. Oh, and let’s not forget the obligatory ballad in every Scorpions’ record. This time the place is occupied by the closing track ''Believe in Love'', a power ballad in the grand Scorpions tradition, with a classic soft beginning and a heavenly guitar solo; I specially adore the great verse melody, with Meine’s voice sounding perfect as always, and the gorgeous and fantastic sing-along chorus.
is an album that occasionally cause some controversy among fans of the band because of its change of sound. I think it’s far from being the worst Scorpions album, as demonstrated with some later deliveries. Simply a fun album, a record that demonstrate us that, just as the Scorpions’ music sometimes can be rebellious and killer, it also can be entertaining and adequate to have a good time.