Scorpions - Taken By Force

Scorpions - Taken By Force

\r\nHaving completed more than 30 years in discography, Scorpions are considered with no doubt one of the biggest rock bands of all time and surely to biggest Germany ever offered. Many generations of rock and metal fans grew up with their albums, while the band itself has moved through the decades from different phases, both artistically and commercially, starting from the almost psychedelic rock of their first album, continuing in the ‘70s with a more hard rock tone and gaining worldwide success in the ‘80s with a discography full of rock hits, while today they continue to tour and record decent albums, without having anything to prove anymore.
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\r\nThe late ‘70s found Scorpions in an upward course. Their 1977 album “Virgin Killer” had already caused a sensation, not only with its fine songs but also with its provocative cover which portrayed a nude pre-teen girl and remains prohibited until today. That is the scenery in which Scorpions started to work on their new album, with their lineup then consisting of Klaus Meine on vocals, Uli Jon Roth and Rudolf Schenker on the guitars, Francis Buchholz on the bass and Herman Rarebell on the drums, replacing Rudy Lenners.
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\r\nThe fruit of the collaboration of all these great musicians was released on the 4th of December 1977, even though Stateside the album was released  a bit later, on January 1978, as the previous album “Virgin Killer” still hadn’t completed a whole year in U.S.A. so it was not considered a right commercial move to have 2 Scorpions albums in the same year. The album’s precursor was the single “He’s A Woman, She’s A Man”, with “Suspender Love” as a non-album B-side, which was replaced by “The Riot Of Your Time” in the Japanese edition of the single. Moreover, the new album drew once again the attention of censorship, as the cover contained a cemetery scene. Actually, it is said that this cover inspired the cover of Metallica’sMaster Of Puppets” which portrays something similar.
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\r\nThe album opens with “Steamrock Fever”, a steady piece of hard rock that, without being something really special, manages to find a place in your mind with its memorable rhythm. Next is the best (at least according to my opinion) song that Scorpions ever wrote, which is no other than “We’ll Burn The Sky”, a song that is almost magical, that even today can be moving, either you hear it for the first or for the 1000th time. The song “I’ve Got To Be Free” that follows is rather different, adopting a playful melody, something that owes big time to the great experience that Hendrix’s music had over Uli Jon Roth, who is the song’s composer. Next is another song by the Meine/Schenker composing duet, “The Riot Of Your Time”, a piece of work that, without being that commercial, showcased the artistic direction its composers intended to follow in the future, as it is a classic Scorpions song that could have easily found its way in one of their later albums.  Another really special song is “The Sails Of Charon” that is next. It is a composition by Uli Jon Roth and is considered by many if not the best, surely the most characteristic song that Roth ever wrote during his time in Scorpions. The song speaks out of its creator from the beginning, as it starts with a great solo by Roth, while in its entire duration it is dominated more by his guitar and his melodies than by the once again exceptional vocals of  Meine. The next song “Your Light” is again penned by Roth. It may not be very known but it’s a very beautiful song that in other occasion could have ended up as a ballad. Speed is again going up with “He’s A Woman, She’s A Man”, a composition again by Meine/Schenker that, as all the other song in this album, contains heavy metal’s basic ingredients, with its sweeping rhythm and again a wondrous solo by Roth. In the end we find “Born To Touch Your Feelings”, a beautiful 7 minute ballad that leaves you with a sweet sense and is a perfect closing for this album.
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\r\nGenerally, “Taken By Force” became a milestone album not only for Scorpions but also for hard music, with its equal portions of lyricism and power being the precursor of heavy metal sound, while at the same time inspired many bands of that scene during the ‘80s. This album is also important as it became the last one of Scorpions with Roth as a composer, since he left Scorpions in 1978, just after the tour that followed the album and whom its Japanese leg became the material for the historical live album of 1978 “Tokyo Tapes”, that was Roth’s last appearance with Scorpions.
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\r\nLambros “Metalshock” Panetas
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