Uli Jon Roth
First off, I’d like to point out the fact that 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of The Scorpions. They are literally old enough to be my dad, which is just insane to think about. Though the band has had a long career with many different eras, few can argue how important the era of 1974-1978 was to their legacy. During this time, they had guitar wizard Uli Jon Roth on board and he helped create four of the seven albums that made them a household name in the world of rock and metal.
In celebration of the band’s outstanding milestone, Uli Jon Roth is releasing Scorpions Revisited, an album consisting of re-done versions of some of the greatest songs from his era with the band. Normally I would scoff at this sort of thing, because it really seems like a cash-grab, honestly. The cool thing about the record though, is that it actually serves a couple of very important roles.
Firstly, the album consists entirely of material from Roth’s four studio albums and even a song “All Night Long” from their live album Tokyo Tapes that was never on an album previously. Though casual fans of the band might be quick to shrug off a Scorpions album that doesn’t feature songs like “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “No One Like You”, that would be a big mistake. Mostly because it heavily features songs from In Trance and Virgin Killer which are easily two of the greatest hard rock albums ever created. Specifically, it features songs like “Pictured Life”, “Hell Cat” and the title tracks from both records.
The second and probably most important aspect of this record is just how great these songs sound. I was initially skeptical about the quality of the vocals on the album, but vocalist Nathan James absolutely kills it. Granted, his vocals aren’t always perfect necessarily, in terms of besting Klaus Mein, he goes a long way. Musically, however, is where the album really sort of proves its importance. On tracks like “The Sails Of Charon” and “Hell Cat” and “We’ll Burn The Sky”, Roth and his backing band really breathe new life to these songs that almost make them more enjoyable than the originals due to the vast improvement in sound quality. In fact, I think that it’s very easy to find myself turning to some of these recordings over the originals because of how much better they sound overall. (Brandon Ringo)