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Scorpions: Sting in the Tail

Here we are in 2010, and the mighty German metal legends the Scorpions have announced that Sting in the Tail will be their last album, as the band is finally calling it a day after a career spanning close to 40 years. Sadly, though the band was one of the biggest selling and most popular acts of the 1980's, over the last decade and a half things quickly changed, and the Scorpions struggled to sell albums and sell out the large venues that they filled to capacity in the past. For many fans, the creative juices that made Blackout and Love at First Sting such great metal albums seemed to disappear, as dull and lifeless releases seemed to come one after another, causing this once great band to sink into mediocrity. So, are the band going to go out with a 'bang' here with Sting in the Tail?

Well, yes and no. Opening cut "Raised On Rock" is a sizzling metal anthem, and something we might have seen from the Scorpions circa 1987. Tasty harmony guitar lines, big riffs, and a dynamic chorus make this the pefect cousin to "Rock You Like a Hurricane", which will please many longtime fans. The title track is a pretty heavy rocker, but has some odd vocals from Klaus Meine, and "Slave Me" is a mid-paced thumper with some sleazy wah-wah guitars from Matthias Jabs. The obligatory ballad, "The Good Die Young" features a guest vocal from former Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen, and it's a good one, complete with some powerful riffs from Jabs and Rudolf Schenker. From there the band launches into the generic rocker "No Limit", a tune that's not going to raise any excitement, but they redeem themselves with "Rock Zone", a cranking number that recalls the Blackout days. Another balled, "Lorelei", sounds a bit too familiar to some of the groups past tear jerkers, but "Turn You On" is a fun riff-rock party song that shows that Klaus still is in great form vocally. "SLY" falls into the same trap that "Lorelei" does; it's a serviceable ballad, but again, you can hear strains of "Still Lovin' You" all over it. The CD ends with another generic rocker "Spirit of Rock", and the atmospheric ballad "The Best if Yet to Come". The latter is a decent sing along number, and should prove to be a strong live piece on their upcoming 'goodbye' world tour.

For some, seeing as how many of the last few Scorpions releases seemed to almost bury the lofty reputation that this band has, Sting in the Tail will no doubt be looked at as a triumph and a solid final farewell. A good many of the songs here are fun, traditional Scorpions styled heavy metal rockers, though you can expect a fair amount of generic filler as well. Much like their early-mid-90's releases, what's good here is pretty damn good, what's not is, well, you decide. To celebrate a long and storied career, Sting in the Tail is not a bad way to go out. Thanks for the memories guys.

Track Listing
01. Raised On Rock
02. Sting In The Tail
03. Slave Me
04. The Good Die Young [feat. Tarja Turunen]
05. No Limit
06. Rock Zone
07. Lorelei
08. Turn You On
09. Let's Rock
10. SLY
11. Spirit Of Rock
12. The Best Is Yet To Come

Added: June 5th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 6167
Language: english

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Scorpions: Sting in the Tail
Posted by Dean Pedley, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-06-05 09:30:11
My Score:

And so The Scorpions prepare for their final curtain call with a swansong studio album and two year global farewell trek that will offer one last opportunity to see the band that have provided so many great memories over the past four decades; the Schenker brothers, the risqué album sleeves, the human pyramids, and above all else some tremendous music across sixteen studio albums that will be forever cherished. Humanity Hour 1 was a solid return to form after a lean period in the studio and, whilst Sting In The Tail will not be the album for which they are best remembered, it does at the very least offer a fitting farewell with some real highlights and creativity.

Any suggestions that they would bow out with something resembling mediocrity are immediately dispelled with the balls to the wall opener "Raised on Rock" that has Klaus Meine in fine form and Rudolph Schenker and Matthias Jabs demonstrating their usual interplay. The bands often unheralded rhythm section of drummer James Kottak and bassist Pawel Maciwoda are fully deserving of their placed in the Scorpions legacy and both make solid contributions throughout Sting In The Tail. With a broad appeal that has spanned generations of Hard Rockers, the Scorpions give a nod to their younger fan base via the guest vocal appearance of former Nightwish leading light Tarja on "The Good Die Young", one of a number of ballads that also includes "Lorelai", "Sly" and closing tear-jerker "The Best Was Yet To Come". Ever since "Wind of Change" became the definitive lighters in the air moment for Heavy Rockers worldwide the Scorpions have always been in a tricky situation when it comes to delivering a ballad but they give it a good shot here with both "Lorelai" and "The Best Was Yet To Come" being right up there with their very best efforts. If this is to be the very last song on the very last Scorpions album then it provides a satisfying conclusion and the reflective lyrics sum up how much it has meant to this great band to have enjoyed a lengthy career in the upper echelons of Hard Rock.

A fitting farewell then from a band that will be much missed. Don't miss the opportunity to see them one last time over the coming months and give them the send off that they deserve.

Scorpions: Sting in the Tail
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-05-04 07:16:09
My Score:

"And now………the end is here?" Really Scorpions? Really? Is this your very last studio recording and you are saying "last call" on this very illustrious career after completing the touring for the release? Well if that is the case then I guess we better get down to business so people know what they are getting when they focus their attention on that final album "Sting In The Tail". For the bands last album they have once again returned to the Hard Rock and Metal sound that we love them so much for, and unlike its predecessor "Humanity Hour I", this is a regular album with no "concept" driving it and each tune stands on its own. It's not a return to the greatness that made them so special to people's ears in the comparing it to "Blackout" or "Love At First Sting" sense, but it is not a terrible album when it comes down to it. Instead there are a number of cool highlights which I want to call your attention to. The release opens with "Raised On Rock" and it gets you into the mood straight away. This is likely the bands tour opener and it has a lot of great hooks to it so I sense it eventually becoming a Scorpions tune of legend. "Sting In The Tail" is another up tempo tune with a catchy chorus that I feel the band will be prompting the audience to join in with them on. Skipping around a little to the power ballad "The Good Die Young" I had to say that I was very interested in hearing this one since it featured former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen. The ballad while a solid tune really doesn't make much use of the incredible voice that Tarja has and this found be determining that the other ballad "Lorelei" is a much better one. Believe it or not there is a third ballad that comes care of "Sly" and I didn't see the need for a trio of such tunes because none of them are as powerful as the seminal "Still Loving You".

Klaus Meine still sounds the same when you think about it and really rocks the walls with "Rock Zone" which I felt was probably the heaviest of the albums offerings at this point in the listen. The guitar work from both Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs is sound but neither musician seems to step out of the zone that we have enjoyed from them for so long. Its good guitar work but nothing that will make you stop and say "holy crap, how'd they do that?". "Spirit Of Rock" seems to celebrate the bands accomplishments and the whole thing wraps up with "The Best Is Yet To Come" which I found rather funny as a closing song since this is the bands "final" recording and they are retiring. It's a slow tune but doesn't qualify in my mind as much of a ballad like those other three. The album is stronger than I expected it to be and this is based on a long term interest in their music and while I did not get into them as early as some other friends, I did jump on board with "Animal Magnetism". To me as a Hard Rock and Metal fan, this album and "Blackout" and "Love At First Sting" are must haves for the music collection. After these releases you cannot argue about the bands sporadic good and bad output. It's safe to say that of the bands later releases this is among the best and worth owning if you have enjoyed them in any fashion throughout their history.

So is this album the beginning of the band's final countdown and will they actually hang up their leather jackets and shut off the lights in the rehearsal room or will this be an Ozzy Osbourne/KISS kind of retirement and find the band reaching year 50? Only time will tell and I will believe it when I see them on the golf course with Alice Cooper recanting tales of Rock and Roll glories once lived. Stay tuned for news as it happens and either way, thank you Scorpions for many, many great years and some truly legendary tracks. There's "No One Like You"…..oh come on, don't tell me you didn't see that one coming.

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