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Scorpions, The - 1979 Lovedrive

ARTIST: Scorpions, The
ALBUM: Lovedrive
LABEL: EMI (Europe), Mercury (USA)
SERIAL: 064-45-275, SRM-1-3795
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2001, EMI, 5 35153 2


LINEUP: Klaus Meine - vocals * Matthias Jabs - lead guitars * Rudolf Schenker - rhythm guitars * Francis Buchholz - bass * Herman Rarebell - drums

Guest: Michael Schenker - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Loving You Sunday Morning * 02 Another Piece Of Meat * 03 Always Somewhere * 04 Coast To Coast * 05 Can't Get Enough * 06 Is There Anybody There? * 07 Lovedrive * 08 Holiday


1979 was a huge year of change for German band The Scorpions. The previous year they had severed ties with record label RCA and shifted over to EMI/Mercury. Also gone was Hendrix clone Uli Jon Roth and in the process freed themselves up from a load of musical baggage based on that style. New guitar ace Matthias Jabs was hired and recording for 'Lovedrive' began. During the sessions, recent UFO departee Michael Schenker made overtures about returning to The Scorpions. This resulted in Jabs being dumped. As we all know, Schenker never made it to second base with the band, though he did contribute three songs on the album. His enforced departure midstream due to health problems (he collapsed on stage while performing) saw the band 're-hire' (err hmm) Matthias Jabs again, while Michael went on sabbatical (and eventually on to MSG). Talk about embarrassing! However, for what it's worth, The Scorpions deliver one of their finest records of their vast discography. Consider also it was a record delivered under duress. Roth departing, Schenker arrives and departs, Jabs arrives and departs and then rearrives again. Talk about a turnstile! Through all this, singer Klaus Meine is in fine form, and though we only get eight tracks (it was the age of vinyl remember?) they are all superlative. The other curiosity with the album is the record cover. The original 'bubble-gum' cover (shown above) was banned in the USA and replaced with something a bit more seemly. Boring conservative Yanks.

They obviously don't appreciate European humor! (perhaps they should look at the back cover of 'Animal Magnetism'!)

The Songs
Things get off to a familiar start with 'Loving You Sunday Morning', a track played widely back in the hazy days of 1979 the world over. The chunky guitar rhythms a standout here. Michael Schenker's trademark riffs and solos are all over 'Another Piece Of Meat', a fantastic riff fest if not for the zany lyrics. Described as The Scorpions first uber-ballad is 'Always Somewhere', it is a delicious tune, and one that has been played many a late night in my household. Incredibly the band get away with playing an instrumental on this set, but with 'Coast To Coast' they do just that, another track featuring Michael Schenker, but this one is understated solos wise. Another crowd favourite is the action-packed 'Can't Get Enough', this one rebadging the Scorpions style from yesteryear. The reggae flavoured 'Is Anybody There' mixed with rock guitar actually works believe it or not. I've always liked this tune because of its uniqueness. Certainly the band and their Management were prepared to take chances, and considering this was touted as their USA breakthrough album, that was a risk indeed. Michael's third credit is on the titletrack 'Lovedrive', a galloping rock anthem. The finale is bought up by the beautiful ballad 'Holiday', another late night friend of mine for many years.

In Summary
'Lovedrive' was the first real foray into the US market, in part due to the new label. The album peaked at #55 on the US Charts, but it wasn't until 1982's 'Blackout' that the band would become a household name. This was solidified two years later with the resounding success of 'Love At First Sting' which went to #6 in the charts achieving double-platinum status as a result. 'Lovedrive' is probably not The Scorpions most successful recording but certainly is one of the fans favourite albums from the back-catalogue.

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#1 | sabace on June 10 2007 14:19:42
love the scorpions, they have never been better than side
one of tokyo tapes (original vinyl with polar nights )- althought this I believe is their best post roth record, in particular loving you sunday morning and is there anybody there ? . great stuff
#2 | Eric on July 19 2008 04:41:55
Funny, when I first saw the import cover I thought the woman with bubblegum boobs was Victoria Principal ('Dallas', Andy Gibb's main squeeze etc..) No such luck, but a very good album especially 'Loving You Sunday Morning' which almost never gets played on classic rock radio anymore. The follow-up 'Animal Magnetism' was killer and a favorite at the Christian college I attended at the time- if you can believe that....
#3 | jeffduran on October 15 2008 08:11:22
a master classic rock and roll tour de force!
#4 | DIGITAL on February 26 2010 19:18:00
Has that sludgy grungy sound that the scorps had around the time.

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