Scorpions – “Love At First Sting – 50th Anniversary Deluxe” 2CD / DVD (BMG Rights / SPV)
Germany’s most famous rock band, the Scorpions are known the world over as the ambassadors of rock. Formed in 1965, this year celebrates their 50th anniversary and to mark the moment, they have released deluxe versions of 8 of their classic albums between 1977 and 1988, arguably the greatest records of the band’s history! “Taken By Force” (1977), “Tokyo Tapes” (1978), “Lovedrive” (1979), “Animal Magnetism” (1980), “Blackout” (1982), “Love At First Sting” (1984), “World Wide Live” (1985) and “Savage Amusement” (1988) – have all been completely remastered, and will be reissued with a host of hitherto unreleased songs, alternative versions of big hits, rough mixes and rare live concert footage from the band’s vaults. All 8 Deluxe Edition high profile digipak CD releases will come with 16 page booklets featuring rare photos, single covers, backstage passes and additional liner notes by former Editor-in Chief of Metal Hammer, Edgar Klüsener. Five of the eight albums are accompanied with a DVD containing contemporary live concert footage, along with TV-performances and in-depth interviews with the band, in which they talk extensively about the background, history, and the creative process behind these albums. From the wild, groovy 70s hard rock of “Tokyo Tapes” expect 7 unreleased bonus live tracks from 1978 like the alternate versions of ‘Robot Man’ and ‘Hellcat’, with Ulrich Roth’s insane tremolo guitar and double bass drumming from Herman Rarebell! “Lovedrive” now includes a 9 track live in Japan 1979 show as well as a special interview, while “Animal Magnetism” is completed by 6 unreleased demo songs from that recording session. And that’s just for starters! “Blackout”, befitting its status as the album that cracked the Scorpions big time, has no less than a 12 track live German televised concert from 1983 as well as 5 unreleased demo tracks. Although not my favorite of these albums, “Love At First Sting” is the muthaload having an 11 track live at Madison Square Garden 1984 show plus an 8 video bonus DVD, special interview along with 5 unreleased demo tracks! “World Wide Live” is more of a re-work bringing together the original live CD and video which contained different tracks while “Savage Amusement” is made up of 6 unreleased bonus tracks, 4 video clips, a documentary, more live material and another special interview – phew, not even Santa’s little helpers could work through that lot! Assembled by the band themselves, all these albums are now several years out of print, allowing a whole new generation and lifelong fans to appreciate these classic genre defining moments of glory.