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If there is one thing I can’t understand, then it’s why the hell the commercial albums by metal bands often are the most praised among the fans. It was like that with Queensrÿche’s Empire, Judas Priest’s British Steel and, even though it’s not metal, Kayak’s Phantom of the Night. Love at First Sting is no different from all those. Cheap, commercial, uninteresting, but still very praised among the majority of the Scorpions’ fans. This I totally can’t get to. Honestly, I don’t care what genre a band plays. They can go progressive, they can go grunge, or they can go commercial, as long as the songs are good and original. I’m not sure that is the case with this album.
With the raw sound the Scorpions adopted in the 70s already dismissed on 1982’s Blackout, Love at First Sting sounds overpolished at times, and very uninspired. Apparently the masses don’t care for good songwriting, since I’ve rarely come across a commercial album with solely good songs. Anyhow, we are welcomed into the album by a shrieking guitar dubbed in a nasty 80s chorus effect. The rest of the song “Bad Boys Running Wild” consists of a few average riffs with an average vocal melody over the verses. The chorus is where the song gets a little more interesting... IT’S ABOMINABLE! They shout the title of the song with a choir and then ramble on about “and you better get out of the way”. Well, if this song is accompanying these “Bad Boys” then I’ll sure stay out of their way. Ah well, the second song makes it all right. “Rock you like a Hurricane”, a true live-track with a catchy riff, but nothing really memorable. I guess this is one of the better tracks off the album, and that says something. We proceed with what the opening track tried to tell us in “I’m Leaving You”. Again, a bunch of average riffs with an average vocal melody and you’ve got it. The bridge is quite catchy though.
The REAL music starts with “Coming Home”. On the Blackout album we already saw the Scorpions could make 80s metal with a good result, and this song would’ve fit better on that album. It starts off like a ballad, with some arpeggiated chords as an intro, but then kicks off into a speedy rocker full of energy. And THIS is riffing; THIS is what the Scorpions can do so well. Not all that commercial crap the rest of the album is filled with. Such a shame. But as soon as they’ve recorded a masterpiece like this, they think they can take on the world and give birth to another fast song called “The Same Thrill”. Nothing is as bad as this song. Was there an election for the worst Scorpions song ever? I’ll pick this one. How low can we go? The entire verse-chorus-verse-chorus is the same chord, with singer Klaus Meine just shouting the lyrics over it. The bridge is a little different, but nothing worthwhile, and then we get that same chord again for the solo. Wasn’t that fun? No it wasn’t.
Remember track two? “Rock You Like A Hurricane”? Meet his twinbrother, “Big City Nights”. Since BCN was born two minutes earlier, it beats its younger brother by far. This time, we have a real catchy riff instead of just using every chord on the e-minor pentatonic scale, and this time the melody is way better. This is Blackout quality. But beware of its end! For there’s another piece of sheer boredom following this one. “As Soon As the Good Times Roll” is a song that can pass by and never be noticed. Or at least the verses. But I assure you the chorus is just more of the “Same Thrill”-quality. Next song is “Crossfire”. A song with political character that doesn’t seem to vary its drum-rhythms, but still manages to be so catchy and epic to keep me listening to it over and over again. Last song off the album is the big hit “Still Loving You”. I can’t say anything bad about this one. This is truly a classic Scorpions song through and through. A really good power ballad with an epic chorus and epic ending.
Well I think I gave you a pretty good impression of Love at First Sting. It’s commercial through and through, with some elements of the good side of the Scorpions showing up, especially near the end of the album. With a few good songs, a few really bad songs and a few average ones, I don’t think this release deserves the praise it gets. I wouldn’t recommend this album to anyone, unless you get horny by the cover. Only then you might enjoy this CD.
Strongest tracks: “Coming Home”, “Big City Nights” and “Crossfire”.
Weakest tracks: “Bad Boys Running Wild”, “The Same Thrill” and “As Soon As the Good Times Roll”.