The Scorpions – ‘Sting In The Tail’
Klaus Meine - vocals
Rudolf Schenker - guitars
Matthias Jabs - guitars
James Kottak - drums
Pawel Maciwoda – bass
1.) “Raised On Rock” - The intro to this track opens with a single rhythm guitar riff. In many ways this riff reminds you a lot of the main riff the band wrote on their early eighties hit “Rock You Like A Hurricane”. This single riff is played twice before the main intro kicks-in. On the second time through the last note of the riff is carried out a few beats longer than the first one. The main musical intro kicks in at this point. Over the top of the main musical intro Matthias plays a minor lead guitar solo. Jabs carries out the last note of the minor solo to connect the into with the musical pre-verse. For the pre-musical verse both Schenker and jabs play the same rhythm guitar riffs. For the musical verse one of the guitarists switches rhythms and uses a talkbox. The way the guys used the talkbox effect is exactly how it is suppose to be used! The musical change and hook of the chorus is classic Scorpions. Klaus’s lead vocals on the chorus had an echo attached to them. The minor solo of the intro was also used to connect the first chorus with the second verse. Over the top of the connecting minor solo Klaus sings a small vocal accent. At the end of the connecting solo Jabs trails off the last note. This added several dynamics to this section of the arrangement. Klaus double-tracked the third and fourth lyric lines of the second verse. After the second chorus the next minor solo section leads into a breakdown section. I’m pretty sure that it is Schenker, just because it has that Schenker sound however, there is a small lead guitar solo over the top of the outro.
2.) “Sting In The Tail” – This track opens with a couple lead guitar effects over the top of Kottak hitting his hi-hat. The main musical intro consisted of the same lead guitar effect that opened the track along with a separate rhythm guitar arrangement over the top of it. In the middle of the intro there is a one measure lyrical & musical bridge. For this musical bridge the guys changed the rhythm riff. However switches back to the main rhythm guitar riff of the musical intro. There is a Scorpions arrangement change for the musical verse. The verse was very reminiscent of the stuff the guys was writing musically ‘Crazy World’. The guys carry the last note of the musical intro out to connect to the musical verse. There is a very simple Scorpions musical verse for this track. It sounds like Pawel’s bass line followed note for note with what Schenker & Jabs was playing. The band used the bridge of the intro to connect the musical verse with the musical pre-chorus. There are a couple lead guitar licks laced in between the lyric lines of the chorus. The lead guitar solo is after the first chorus. It was very short and not as near as intense as I was expecting. The outro section basically consisted of the bridge of the intro repeated. I have not had the chance to listen to this release on my home stereo; instead I am currently listening to it on headphones through the PC, so I may be wrong. However, I did not like the vocal effect on Klaus’s vocals. When you have someone who at the age of 62 sings at the caliber Klaus does why mask it.
3.) “Slave Me” - This track consisted of Pawel & James playing a very simple drum and bass line underneath Mathias and Rudolph playing a simple yet intense guitar riff. Lased in between the second, third and after the fourth riff the guys sing a backing harmony. The way the backing harmony was sung gave it the effects of a crowd. The last backing vocal of the intro is connected to the opening lyric line of the first verse. The guys used the same base rhythm for the musical verse as the one for the intro. What Matthias and Rudolf done to separate the musical verse with the musical intro was have Rudolf play several lead licks over the top of the rhythm riffs. For the musical change and musical chorus Jabs & Schenker played two different rhythm guitar riffs. After the second chorus there is a breakdown section. This breakdown section included a very cool vocal harmony. The lead guitar solo was after the breakdown section and runs through the rest of the song.
4.) “The Good Die Young” – The intro consisted of a minor lead guitar solo over the top of an acoustic guitar arrangement. The first album Matthias & Rudolf played together on was The Scorpions 1979 release titled, ‘Lovedrive’. Just from this intro you can actually hear their 31 years of playing together. James kicks the pre-verse in with a cymbal crash. I think instead of actually changing the rhythm what the band done was switched the lead guitar from playing a solo to just playing a rhythm. If I am not mistaken the electric guitar rhythm is the same as the acoustic. There is a small lead guitar lick connecting the musical pre-verse and verse. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the chorus with the second verse. Like just about every ballad this band has written this one was perfect!!!
5.) “No Limit” - This into consisted of a rhythm guitar riff over the top of a tom-tom pattern. Klaus sings a vocal accent to connect the pre-intro with the main intro section. For the main intro everything stays the same as the pre-intro except Kottak’s drum line. Kottak switched from using a tom-tom pattern to a standard drum rhythm. There is a musical change for the musical verse. I felt the rhythm guitar riffs of the musical verse was very reminiscent to the stuff Jabs and Schenker wrote for ‘Blackout’. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus. The backing vocals of the chorus were heavily influenced by the stuff the Scorpions has been writing on their last couple releases. Between every music change Kottak plays a couple of opening and closing hi-hat notes. As subtle and insignificant as this is, it is what sets the drum line apart. The lead guitar solo connects the second chorus and breakdown section. Though the solo was short it was amazing sounding!!!! For the breakdown section Kottak plays a drum rhythm on his tom-toms. There is a repeated lead vocal line over the top of the breakdown section.
6.) “Rock Zone” – Kottak’s drum line along with the twin rhythm guitar riffs gives this intro a very intense sound. Kottak plays a couple bass drum beats and cymbal crashes to connect the intro with the musical verse. There was a small vocal echo attached to the third lyric line of the first verse. There is a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse. The guys kept the musical verse very simple. For the second verse the guys shows their years of playing together. After the second chorus there is a lead guitar solo.
7.) “Lorelei” – This track opens with an acoustic guitar arrangement. There is keyboard arrangement over the top of the acoustic guitar. The keyboard effect the band used was perfect. There is one strum at the end of the intro to connect it to the musical verse. Instead of Matthais changing the rhythm guitar for the musical verse Rudolf kicks-in and plays fill-in root chords with an electric guitar. These fill-in chords are whole notes and makes for a very thick heavy sound. Klaus’s vocals were double-tracked. Though there is a musical change for the chorus it is Klaus’s vocal that makes the chorus. James kicks the drum line in for the second verse. There are several lead guitar licks underneath Klaus’s lead vocals of the second verse. Because of the arrangement has a whole the lead guitar solo should have come in with harder punch and definitely could have been longer.
8.) “Turn You On” – This track opens with a muffled Kottak drum rhythm. There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the major musical intro section. There is a small rhythm change for the musical pre- verse. There is a small lead guitar riff connecting the musical change of the pre-verse and verse. The lyrical hook and music arrangements of the chorus are vintage Scorpions!
9.) “Let's Rock “ – After the second chorus James switches from a standard hi-hat pattern to a tom-tom pattern. The solo was just too damn short! There is a minor solo underneath the last chorus of the outro.
10.) “SLY “ – This track opens with the classic Rudolf playing acoustic guitar underneath Matthias playing an electric guitar rhythm. This is very reminiscent to the opening intro the two wrote for the song “Holiday” taken off of ‘Lovedrive’. For the musical verse the band used the same acoustic rhythm as the one they used for the intro. As the verse progresses through the verse the electric kicks back in playing fill-in chords. A third guitar kicks-in for the musical verse. This guitar was done with an acoustic guitar. There is an acoustic solo after the first chorus. The full band kicks-in for the second verse. After the second chorus there is a second lead guitar solo. This solo is probably the more major of the two. This track is so reminiscent to “Holiday” how could you not fall in love with it.
11.) “Spirit Of Rock” – A classic Scorpions song.
12.) “The Best Is Yet To Come” –A perfect song to not only end a perfect CD however a perfect career!!!!
Unless it’s a motorcycle all rides must come to an end. However, if you were to poll the fans they would say they are not ready to get off. As I’m sure there are parts of every member that does not want to see it end.
In 1978 Uli John Roth left The Scorpions and was replaced by guitarist Matthias Jabs. Even though Rudolf had form the band in 1965 it was not until Matthias Jabs join did the band really become complete. The first LP with Matthias Jabs was ‘Lovedrive’ released February 25, 1979.
If you’re a longtime fan of The Scorpions then it will not take long once you put this release in your CD player to see were the band was going with the songwriting. For the most part the twelve tracks on this CD were compiled from the eleven albums the band has released since Matthias Jabs has joined the band. If you’re a longtime fan of the band then you will love the CD. If you are a new generation fan the songs may miss their mark a little but still hit the target. Take a bow my friends you deserve it!!!!!