The Scorpions - 'Return To Forever'
Klaus Meine — lead vocals, guitars, tambourine
Rudolf Schenker — rhythm & lead guitars, backing vocals
Matthias Jabs — lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals
James Kottak — drums, backing vocals
Paweł Mąciwoda — bass, backing vocals
1.) "Going Out with a Bang" - This intro opens with Rudolf playing two rhythm riffs. A single rhythm riff played by Matthias Jabs separated the rhythm riffs. Underneath the rhythm riffs Kottak is playing a hi-hat pattern. To kick-in the first lyric line Rudolf, Matthias, Pawel and Kottak all play the same rhythm notes. The last half of the third lyric line was double-tracked by Klaus. The rhythm guitar arrangements of the musical verse had a classic Scorpions feel to it. Underneath the rhythm guitar arrangements it sounded as if there was a very simple keyboard arrangement. There was a rhythm guitar arrangement change for the musical chorus. Even though Rudolf and Matthias are mainly playing fill-in chords for the musical chorus they still have one hell of a mean sound to them. The two guitarists play several lead guitar licks connecting the first chorus with the second verse. Klaus recorded the lyric lines of the second verse just like the lyric lines of the first verse were recorded. The band extended the second chorus beore going into the breakdown section. The breakdown section consisted of a rhythm guitar arrangement laced with lead guitar licks over the top ok Kottak playing a hi-hat and bass drum pattern. As this progresses Pawel kicks the bass line back-in. The end of the breakdown section consisted of a musical build-up arrangement. There was no lead guitar solo for this song and it absolutly did not need one!!!
2.) "We Built This House" - This is the first single that off 'Return To Forever'. As a fan of The Scorpions since the mid seventies, I have to say this song has quickly become one of my top five my all-time favorite Scorpions songs!
3.) "Rock My Car" - The intro to this track opens with two backing harmonies. After the second backing harmony there was a rhythm guitar riff over the top of a huge Kottak snare drum fill. After the rhythm guitar riff there was two more backing harmonies. Kottak continues his snare fill underneath the second two backing harmonies. This leads to the opening chorus. Klaus kept the lyric arrangements of the choruses very simple. There was a small snare drum fill connecting the first chorus with the first verse. The musical verse consisted of two separate rhythm guitar arrangements. There was a very short lead guitar lick connecting the first musical verse with the second chorus. There was a minor lead guitar arrangement over the top of the rhythm arrangement connecting the second chorud with the third verse. After the third verse there was a huge snare drum fill connecting the third verse with the third chorus. After the fourth chorus there was repeat of the intro that lead to the lead guitar solo. After the lead guitar solo Kottak played a snare fill. This fill was done with a studio effect. I must admit I really did not care for this song at first however, the more I listened to it the more it grew on me.
4.) "House of Cards" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of Rudolf playing a clean electric guitar arrangement. This minor lead guitar solo was double-tracked. The band used the same guitar rhythm or the musical pre-verse as the one for the intro. There was a second minor lead guitar solo connecting the pre-verse with the verse. Klaus's vocals are amazing. There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus. Just like most of The Scorpions ballads this chorus was amazing! There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. For the major solo after the third chorus Matthias used a different effects pedal. Underneath this solo there was a very simple distorted rhythm guitar arrangement. For the last chorus Klaus's lyric lines were overlapped.
5.) "All for One" - There was a small snare drum fill that opened this intro section. The musical intro for this song was straightforward consisting of the full band. The rhythm guitar riffs for the musical verse were placed in between Klaus's lyric lines of the musical verse. Underneath the fourth and eighth lyric lines of the verse there was a backing harmony. There was a rhythm guitar arrangement change for the musical chorus. Kottak opted to use a cowbell instead of the ride cymbal for the drum line of the chorus. The band arranged the lyric lines for the second verse just like the ones they arranged for the first. After the second chorus there was a musical arrangement change. This musical arrangement change lead to a lead guitar arrangement. Because the way Kottak wrote the choruses makes this track a great song for the band to perform live!
6.) "Rock ‘N’ Roll Band" - This intro consisted of two independent rhythm guitar arrangements. Underneath these two rhythm guitar arrangements Kottak plays a hi-hat pattern. Over the top of these two rhythm guitar arrangements Matthias overdubbed a minor lead guitar solo. At this point underneath the minor solo is when James and Pawel kick the drum and bass line kicks-in. The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro. There was a musical arrangement change for the musical chorus. THIS IS CLASSIC SCORPIONS!!!! After the second chorus there was a breakdown section that lead to the lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo section for this track was written as a twin lead guitar solo.
7.) "Catch Your Luck and Play" - This track opened with a lead guitar riff. As the riff progresses a rhythm guitar kicks-in underneath it. It is also at this time the band kicks the drum and bass line-line in. The last three lyric lines of the verse where double-tracked. The choruses had a classic Scorpions sound to them. The hooks of this song were just amazing. After the second chorus there was a very simple Jabs lead guitar solo. For the chorus over the top of the coda Klaus double-tracked several of his lyrics.
8.) "Rollin’ Home" -This track will be a Scorpions anthem for the up and coming tour!
9.) "Hard Rockin’ the Place" - Klaus sings a vocal accent over the top of this intro arrangement. The first measure of this intro consisted of two rhythm guitar arrangements. One of these arrangements was played using the a talk box effect. After the first two measures both Rudolf and Matthias switch to where they are playing the same rhythm guitar arrangement. This second rhythm arrangement had a mean sound to it. Laced in between the lyric lines of the pre-verse coming just out of the left speaker there was a small overdubbed lead guitar lick. This is not a special songwriting technique or anything. However, it does give the listener a clear painted picture of just how great songwriters The Scorpions are. After the first measure of the pre-verse the guitarists tweaked the rhythm guitar arrangement just a little. For the musical verse the band kept everything pretty much the same as the pre-verse except for the fourth and fifth lyric lines. For these two lyric lines of the verse Klaus double-tracked the lyric line. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. The musical chorus consisted of the same musical arrangement as the one for the into section. Klaus kept the lyric lines of the chorus very simple with that classic Scorpions hook we all have falling in love with. After the first chorus there was a minor lead guitar solo.
10.) "Eye of the Storm" - From as early as I can remember as a Scorpions fan I have always been impressed with their ballad writing ability and this song did not let me down. It ranks up there with all of their ballads!
11.) "The Scratch" - This intro consisted of a Kottak snare/tom-tom pattern. Over the top of the drum pattern there was a three palm muting guitar effects. After the three palm muting effects the rhythm guitar kicks -in. After the rhythm guitar is played one time James plays a snaredrum fill to kick-in the main body of the intro-in. The main body of the intro consisted of both Schenker and Jabs playing the same rhythm guitar arrangement. For the musical verse James continued to play a snare/tom-tom pattern for the drum line instead of using the standard hi-hat rhythm. The rhythm guitar arrangement of the musical verse was laced in between the lyric lines. As the musical verse progresses Rudolf adds more and more rhythm guitar notes. There was a small echo attached to the end of each lyric line. The rhythm change a long with the lyric lines of the chorus consisted of a huge Scorpions hook. There was a small lead guitar lick connecting the first and second chorus. There was a blistering lead guitar solo after the second chorus.
12.) "Gypsy Life" - This is another amazing ballad!!!
13.) "The World We Used to Know" - This track opened with a very simple intro arrangement. The rhythm guitar arrangement and drum line of the intro was very reminiscent to the music arrangement heart wrote on their big hit titled "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" taken off of 'Brigade' released on March 26, 1990. Over the top of the rhythm guitar arrangement Matthias or Rudolph one plays five small lead guitar scales. This lead guitar section was repeated one more time before going into the musical verse. As simple sounding as these lead guitar riffs are for me they made the musical intro. Rudolf used basically the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one he used for the intro. The only difference is he changed a note or two to change it up so it would not sound repetitive. Every now and then adds a couple of subtle extra tom-tom notes. I know this really is not anything special however it really enhances the drum line. There was a snare drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. The chorus consisted of a huge Klaus Meine vocal hook. There was a repeat of the lead guitar scale connecting the first musical chorus with the second musical verse. After the second chorus there was a music arrangement change that connects the second and third choruses together. Though this track did not have a lead guitar solo it did not need one.
14.) "Dancing with the Moonlight" - The effects pedal that was used for the main rhythm guitar arrangement of this intro was the same one Joe Messina guitarist of The Funk Brothers (the studio band for Mowtown) used on The Temptations 1968 hit "Cloud Nine". Underneath this effects guitar rhythm there is a second rhythm guitar arrangement. As the intro progressed it built with intensity. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. The band kept the choruses very simple. There were two different rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical choruses. After the second chorus there was a breakdown section. After the breakdown srction there was a lead guitar solo section. This solo section was really just a few lead guitar notes strung together than an actual major lead guitar solo. After the solo here was a section breakdown.
15.) "When the Truth Is a Lie" - There was an amplified minor acoustic lead guitar solo over the top of an acoustic guitar arrangement of this intro. After the minor lead guitar solo there was an arrangement change. For this arrangement change the guitarists drop the acoustic guitars for electric guitar arrangements. The musical verse consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements. One was done with an electric guitar with the second guitar arrangement was done with an acoustic guitar. Rudolf and Matthias are by no means the first two guitarist to write this type of rhythm guitar arrangement. However in my eyes they are the two that have mastered it. The backing vocals on this track are amazing!!! At times the rhythm guitars get a real intense sound. This added a whole new dynamic to the song. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. In between the electric guitar solo there was a very short acoustic guitar solo. This reminded me of something Rudolf's brother Michael would have pulled off.
16.) "Who We Are" - There is just a beautiful ballad!!!!
17.) "Delirious" - This intro opens with a rhythm guitar arrangement over the top of a Kottak snare/tom-tom pattern. After the opening rhythm guitar riff is repeated four times a second rhythm guitar kicks-in. This second rhythm guitar is different than the first. For the musical verse the two guitarists drop one of the rhythm arrangements and begin to play the same rhythm. After to connect the verse with the chorus there was a small lead guitar riff. After the second chorus there was a rhythm guitar change. There was a twin lead guitar solo for this song. Musically and lyrically this track sounded like something the band would have been part of their 1988 'Savage Amusement' or 1990 'Crazy World' sesssions.
During the 2010 press conference for The Scorpions' "Sting in the Tail Tour" the guys announced that this was going to be it. After forty-five years the band was going to retire. This was not a "Kiss thing". The Scorpions honestly did not make this announcement to push record sales or sell concert tickets. If you knew the members of the band then you would know that this was not a publicity stunt. After the long tour was over the band members, like most bands that come off tour, took time to decompress. It was during this decompression stage where Klaus says that longtime members ,Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs concluded that they had a lot more songs within them.
Who would have expected Germany's #1 Rock 'N' Roll export would turn fifty years old this year. I am sure members Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs didn't. The band has returned with their eighteenth studio release titled 'Return To Forever'. I will always request CD's for Blast Magazine however, since I have been a fan of the band since their 'Animal Magnetism' L.P. released on March 31, 1980. I made the decision to order the seventeen track deluxe edition. Boy was it well worth the extra money!! Of the seventeen tracks, I cannot think of one bad song on the CD. In fact, and I may be saying a mouth full here however in my opinion this release ranks up there with the best stuff they have ever recorded!!! 'Return To Forever' is pure gold!!!