“Gold” by Scorpions

Artist: Scorpions
Title: “Gold”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 4/25/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

If you look at the amount of notable output that the Scorpions have released since their inception you can easily see why they are one of the top listed veterans in Hard Rock music society. While the band was never quite Metal they often skated around the genre during their heavier years and as result offered up some anthems that are still powerhouse tunes in today’s music world. Their influence has been vast and their style and players all respected for their accomplishments in the genre without question. They were a band who over the course of their career gave the Hard Rock world not one, but three incredible guitar heroes and thanks to the Scorpions the world of shredders everywhere have the influences of Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker and Matthias Jabs to inspire them every day. As a fan I did not get into the group as far back as the beginning and it was not until the album “Lovedrive” that I caught on. If not for the help of some friends I might never had realized just how magical some of the older stuff actually was in terms of guitar riffing and song composition. The growing MTV generation that came into its own in the eighties can count “Rock You Like A Hurricane” as the track that made them jump on board with the band but I am proud to say that for me the beginning was traced back to “The Zoo” and “Holiday” from a couple of albums previous to the blockbuster. Yet no matter when you got into them or based on who was in the lineup the one thing that was brutally clear was that Scorpions were a powerhouse of Rock and a band whose music would largely withstand the tests of time.

Scorpions “Gold” is a double disc anthology release that goes all the way back to the bands beginning and brings the listener up until about 2002 and while it leaves off some of my own favorites this is a great piece to study and learn about the band as they walked with us through Hard Rock history. They start off with a track that features young Michael Schenker on guitar, but he would soon leave to join UFO and be replaced by Uli Jon Roth. Roth is a guitar players guitar player, and when you listen to him and compare him to greats like Yngwie Malmsteen you see where a lot of the influence in this kind of guitar wizardry originated. Uli did four albums with Scorpions so having a scant eight selections of his work is hardly the way to become one of his hard core fans but instead just a means to know what you should be digging into in terms of back catalog albums. Lead singer Klaus Meine seems unchanged across the span of tunes across the years with his rich a energetic voice propelling the band forward through song after song. As with all anthology’s this one can only touch upon each album but they do give the hits from both “Blackout” and “Love At First Sting”, two of the bands biggest selling albums of all time. I was sad to find “Coming Home” missing from the selections but glad they presented one of the biggest ballads in Hard Rock history with “Still Loving You”. This song always did bring out the lighters at the shows and remains one of the most important heavy ballads of all time.

As a fan who was himself getting more interested in heavier Thrash music I would move on from Scorpions after “LAFS” and I would not be lying if I said that some of the bands output started to get a little stale after all of the exposure that this album had garnered them. They focused too much on the ballad side as they tried to recapture the magic formula to be used over and over again. There is some good stuff from these years like their interesting take on the Who classic “I Cant Explain” and “Tease Me Please Me” but when it was released I felt songs like “Winds Of Change” were rather lame. As an older music fan now I have learned to appreciate those songs a little more since its still fine Hard Rock that just didn’t appease my then youthful Metal head existence. The band would change members a few times over the years but my favorite memories are of the lineup that consisted of Klaus Meine, Franz Bucholz, Herman Rarebell, Rudy Schenker and Mattias Jabs but of course I always manage to make some room for the stellar guitar god Uli Roth. I would have to say that this CD is worth picking up for it’s in depth coverage of the bands catalog to a point in time but like with most others they are forced to leave stuff out. The best thing a listener can do is absorb what’s here and then do a little research on their own to find out what the other great songs might be. It’s a worthy task but one that you would not regret. A booklet comes with the disc and it’s loaded with photos from the years and offers a nice band history that touches upon all the albums referenced on the anthology.

Track List:
1. It All Depends
2. Speedy’s Coming
3. In Trance
4. Pictured Life
5. Catch Your Train
6. Virgin Killer
7. Steamrock Fever
8. We’ll Burn The Sky
9. Sails Of Charon
10. Top Of The Bill – live
11. Loving you Sunday Morning
12. Holiday
13. Lovedrive
14. Zoo
15. Can’t Live Without You
16. Dynamite
17. Blackout
18. No One Like You
19. Rock You Like A Hurricane
20. Big City Nights
21. Still Loving You
22. Rhythm Of Love
23. Believe In Love
24. I Can’t Explain
25. Tease Me, Please Me
26. Don’t Believe Her
27. Wind Of Change
28. Hit Between The Eyes
29. Alien Nation
30. Under The Same Sun
31. Woman
32. Over The Top
33. Cause I Love You

Official Website: www.scorpions.com

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