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Crazy to be the same - 50%

gasmask_colostomy, November 10th, 2018

Scorpions are almost as old as The Beatles. How's that for crazy? Considering that their recorded output dates back 46 years, some degree of change must be accepted throughout that lengthy career, though sitting at this end of it I feel it's a pity it had to happen as it did. Scorpions are one of the most important rock bands of all time, yet there was only about a decade when they actually influenced much new music and a great deal of their later life when they were merely permeating the same old hard rock without coming up with much good. Crazy World - in case you needed to ask - is definitely a part of the "permeating" era of the band.

So, is the music shit? No, not really, but it's just so dry, like high quality crackers with nothing on top. I know the point of this album (and the preceding couple) was to unite fans around the world in the glory of rock and make them all sing to the same song, that much is clear. And, frankly, Scorpions did a good job to make several of those songs. Following on from mega-hit 'Rock Me Like a Hurricane', 'Wind of Change' would go on to sell 14 million copies, making it the highest-selling single by a German artist. Ever. Suffice to say, that's a far cry from innovative heavy metal like 'Sails of Charon' or even 'Pictured Life' from the group's earlier albums, though the intention is clearly very different, since the Scorps were trying to make universal music. To be fair, 'Winds of Change' isn't exactly a lowest common denominator ballad, featuring oddly prophetic lyrics about the fall of the Soviet Union, but it sounds like almost anyone could like it - and almost anyone could have written it. The song may be weighted and poised and have that unusual whistle in it; however, I hate it, because it has no personality whatsoever, which Scorpions never had a problem with earlier in their careers. The vocals are passionless as well.

Crazy World is not an album of ballads, only 'Send Me an Angel' following 'Winds of Change' down a softer route. The rest of the material is rock, as opposed to metal, and features catchy arrangements with upbeat riffing and some attention-grabbing soloing from Matthias Jabs. Therefore, if you aren't a fan of the softer stuff, you should probably find something to dig in 'Don't Believe Her' or 'Kicks After Six', the former of which is in the same sleazy ballpark (makin' out somewhere in right field) as the big hair bands of the time, while the latter ventures back to original rock 'n' roll in a fun yet skin-deep manner. Undoubtedly, critics must have frothed over both of them as "a band moving with the times" and "Scorpions going back to their roots"; nevertheless, they offer nothing in a creative sense, merely proving how easy it is for a capable band to tread water in the commercial swimming pool while an ocean of other possibilities await. 'Money and Fame', despite vacuous lyrics, surprises by being able to offer something fresh, Jabs playing about with a talk-box solo that occasionally rings out in discord with Klaus Meine's eerie backing vocals, taking me back to 'Animal Magnetism' in a less dangerous, less mysterious manner.

Call me a jaded grinch if you like, but there's no denying that Crazy World sounds utterly homogeneous and bland when compared to the other musical movements of 1990 (grunge, thrash, alternative), not to mention how it fades into insignificance today regarding its lack of creative ideas. Credit to Scorpions if they were trying to make a commercial album here, since they truly succeeded, yet that doesn't make me rate the music any better than if they had had other intentions. Listen to this if you want to be the same as everyone else: if you give a shit about music, try something different. It sure is a crazy world.

Tease Us, Please Us - 80%

SweetLeaf95, May 18th, 2018

A tease indeed, as Crazy World would prove to be the giant centerpiece of the gradual descend away from traditional heavy metal, as well as be the great divider between the superb classics, and the train-wreck that would be Scorpions's entire career for the rest of the nineties. Of course, the not-so-promising Savage Amusement came before this, so it works as something of a redeemer that won't last, or a tease, if you will. Really though, it's got a large mix of energetic blasts of fun, to cheesy rock kickers, as well as a few ballads. Overall, this would prove to be the last good record until Unbreakable over a decade later.

One of the key factors to making this one fascinating is the ability to utilize build-ups and pass off even the ballads as unpredictable upon first spin. "To Be With You In Heaven" is a really fun track, as it cakes on suspenseful drum beats behind short simple licks with a major tone. The chorus then resolves this with a beautiful vocal delivery that makes for some of the best melody on here. Of course, a bridge and strong solo top this off. This tactic applies to the ballads too. Mainly, the defining one of their career, "Wind Of Change", uses this to the same degree. A stringy soft intro with whistling paired with clean guitars and extracted vocals grabs the ear right in, and finishes with the harder, drum filled chorus. Whether a heavier tune or a soft one, this record nails this concept on the head.

On the flip side, a lot of the heavier moments rely on glamorous topics and admittedly corny lyrics, at times. Unlike what's to come, though, it's pulled off correctly, where there's at least clear passion and it isn't phoned in. "Kicks After Six" along with album opener "Tease Me Please Me" are great examples of this, where much thought isn't required, but nonetheless enjoyable to rock out to. These also make up for some of the filler tracks, as there are definitely a couple that serve little memorability.

Ultimately, Scorpions's brand of heavy metal was becoming obsolete in the year 1990, so change was certainly due, and I don't fault them for that. The issue lies in the wrong approaches that were taken. This one ties that to the classic feel of Love At First Sting, and thankfully doesn't harp on the ghosts of Christmas yet to come too much, as well as practically ignoring the out-of-sequence Savage Amusement.

Crazy, Savage, Stingy, but not Entirely Loving - 85%

bayern, May 15th, 2018

This was the first Scorpions album that I got as a converted devout fan of the band. The conversion occurred a year earlier when a friend gave me the two live recordings (“Tokyo Tapes” & “Worldwide Live”) which hooked me so much that I was holding the guys’ entire discography (save for “Lonesome Crow”) in my hands merely a week later. Yeah, I tracked them all down in a matter of days and was pretty much the first person in my hometown to get a hold of the album reviewed here. As eager as I was to hear it, I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from it. Another poppy radio-friendly metallisms along the lines of “Savage Amusement” was by all means going to do the trick, but at the same time I was hoping for a return to the more boisterous exploits of the earlier recordings…

only to come across the most lopsided creation in the band’s repertoire the first half qualifying for decency, but not for much else, what with this “cheeser teaser pleaser” at the beginning that sounded as though the band had decided to pay tribute to Motley Crue and the other glam metal cohorts from the States. To put the weakest track on the album up front is either a sign of “couldn’t care less, having already become multi-millionaires” attitude, or an illustration of supreme confidence in the quality of the ensuing material. Well, it’s a “don’t believe her, him, and the whole band” situation after the second cut, another mellow crowd-pleaser that carries on with the Americanized direction taken with the opener. Three in a row? Totally, with the rowdier, but still fairly laid-back “To Be with You in Heaven” after which the megahit “Wind of Change” doesn’t sound as vexing anymore being the staple for the band ballad, and also the closure to this thoroughly unnerving first half.

Well, not exactly as “Restless Nights” still belongs to it, but the thundering drums at the start are finally a sign for more belligerent things to come although this piece is just the pounding quasi-doomy warm-up for what follows. What follows would bring the fan back to the glory days of “Blackout” and “Animal Magnetism” with string of rousing metal hymns “Lust or Love” still more on the moderately friendly side, but the lashing moshing riffs would finally make one satisfied with “Kicks After Six” keeping the pogo going with bouncy lively rhythms. Some of the speed metal vigour of old is nicely recaptured by the vociferous “Hit Between the Eyes” after which all faith in the band will be restored, “Money and Fame” adding a seismic ship-sinking flavour to the proceedings with echoes of the great “China White” from “Blackout”. The title-track should have been the closer, though, its frenetic thrashing intensity the culmination of this accelerating showdown in the second half, but old habits die hard and the guys wrap it on with a ballad again, one that will send hordes of angels at your door when you most need them…

and yet this is an album you by all means need, even if just as a sheer example of the “meeting all your expectations after putting you off completely first” phenomenon. Not many acts would be able to pull it out after such an underwhelming inauguration, and I’m sure the majority of the fanbase had stayed with this opus even after the opening trio of creamers; after all, it was “Savage Amusement” that came before it, for crying out loud, it wasn’t fuckin’ “Reign in Blood” so why not wait and see how far down the glammy rabbit hole the band can reach… well, the cheesy sticky trance doesn’t last for very long, and when the guys wake up they’re virtually unstoppable all the way to the downbeat “angelic” finale.

The relatively high score given here is obviously not an acknowledgement of consistent provision of brilliance; it’s more of a bow to the band’s uncanny ability to go back on track after an initial weak turn of events; which is also a feat in itself if you think of it, but of a different kind. The Scorps didn’t have to do it, they could have covered the whole Berlin Wall, or whatever was left of it at the time, with sugarese (sugar + cheese); they were already millionaires and all; why care about all the hardened metallers around the whole wide world at the dawn of a new decade… well, they simply couldn’t help it due to all the vigour and aggression traditionally seeping within the Scorpions brand, or rather species; it’s in their DNA, what can you do…

and this wasn’t even the final chapter from the lofty side of the band discography. They pulled themselves together again three years later for “Face the Heat”, another fine compendium of catchy heavy metal anthems, poignant ballads, and rowdy speedy outbursts. It seemed as though the Scorps might as well instigate a small old school revival during those gruesome groovy/aggro/industrial times provided that this was also the year when Accept and Mercyful Fate came back to life. Alas, there wasn’t much support from the rest of their colleagues with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest both losing their emblematic frontmen with no high hopes for their future instalments, with the Tony Martin period from the Black Sabbath saga having long since reached its peak, and with DIO (R.I.P.) focusing on his scientific career more with designs for the creation of a new breed of “angry machines”…

and our heroes here decided to give up the fight and surrender to their “basic instincts” which in their case meant the attainment of a complete fiasco another three years down the line with… just when the old school was preparing to come back in full bloom once again, one of its founders found it appropriate to spit on it. A shameless stance about which the excellent “Unbreakable” couldn’t do much provided that every subsequent album was more or less a reminder of the band’s degrading metamorphoses from the mid/late-90’s. The scorpion is still alive and kicking, and who knows, maybe another crazy savage “party” would be stirred in the near future… if not as a routine occurrence, at least as a combustible retirement stunt.

Not really crazy, but pretty decent - 80%

Brainded Binky, December 29th, 2014

Scorpions are a band that even if you're more into classic rock than metal, you've probably heard of. They're the guys behind "Rock You Like A Hurricane", and lesser known hits like "No One Like You" or "Big City Nights". Some of their other hits, like the ballad, "Wind of Change" are found on this album, "Crazy World". While it's an album that has many hints of the last release, "Savage Amusement", I must say it's a huge improvement from it.

Yeah, sure, there's the ballad "Wind of Change", but that's actually one of the better ballads in existence, what very few there are. Light guitars? Check. Sweet sounding hook? Check. Whistling? Check. Subject matter that relates to the fall of communism that occurred around the time of this album's recording? Okay, that might be optional for ballads, but hey, let's go with it, it sounds great! Yep, that's one of the big reasons why this album isn't categorized as just another syrupy love song, 'cos that's just what it's not. It's actually supposed to be a more joyous song about the end of communist oppression in East Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall rather than the usual subject matter of breakups and heartbreak. There's also the other ballad "Send Me an Angel", which is more of a haunting and gloomy rather than glossy and sugary. It's another ballad that's actually more tolerable, as opposed to "Believe in Love" from the previous release, which was just pretentious and dumb.

Yes, we do get some of that hard rockin' aggression that we're all familiar with. My personal favorite track on here is "Hit Between the Eyes", a song that's a more fast and driving beat and a rugged guitar hook. We really didn't get much of that on "Savage Amusement" (although "Love on the Run" was kinda fast). There's also "Don't Believe Her" which has the same pounding tempo as "Rock You Like a Hurricane", and a pretty catchy chorus too. Usually when there are catchy choruses, they can be irritating, but here, it's more pleasing to listen to, since it's not so bright and peppy. It's got more of an angry and desperate tone to it, which actually makes it cool to listen to, even if it does manage to stick in your head for a little while. "To Be with You in Heaven" is a more radio-friendly song, but it's played in the key of F, a very solemn key that not a whole lot of pop songs use. Despite its radio-friendliness, it's actually a pretty decent song, all things considered. It's unconventional key of F tone creates a dramatic atmosphere instead of having an upbeat and goofy sound which would otherwise make it asinine.

Speaking of asinine, we're not totally free of songs that would qualify as such. There's also some radio-friendly songs that would've made effective, if not moronic, singles had they not been dumped in the filler category. "Tease Me, Please Me", unfortunately, is not one of those songs. It was released as a single, and man is it completely idiotic! If the song's title alone wasn't enough to turn you away, the chorus, obvious topic of sex, and bright and goofy tone most likely will. That's the kind of song you'd expect Poison to come up with; a song tailor-made to be the next pop hit. "Kicks After Six" is an even more annoying song. The utterly ridiculous lyrics of a rebellious chick escaping the norm comes as absolutely no surprise due to the song's happy tone. If these songs were released any earlier than 1987, it'd be a surefire way of making your album a dated piece of the 80's that even Motley Crue would call pathetic.

All in all, "Crazy World" isn't so much of a crazy world after all, but it does seem to try hard to be so. In some instances it falls flat on its face and in others, it exceeds. It's definitely not a fantastic album, but for a Scorpions fan, it's a must-have for his/her collection due to those songs that made it (somewhat) famous.

Energetic German hard rock - 80%

ViciousFriendlyFish, May 1st, 2014

Scorpions had been around for a while before they released what would become one of their most successful albums, and arguably their last great album, Crazy World. They had a lot of good bluesy albums in the 70s with Uli Jon Roth in the fold, and following his departure began making albums that shifted further away from a blues influence and focused on straight hard rock, producing classics such as "Rock You like a Hurricane". This musical direction culminated in this 1990 release, which has proved itself as a vital hard rock / traditional metal release, nothing more, nothing less.

This album features all the elements you would expect in a successful rock album: memorable catchy choruses (particularly "Tease Me, Please Me" and "Send Me an Angel", featuring lyrics that stick in your mind for a good while even after just one or two listens"), powerful riffs and melodies, and energetic vocals (You've got to love vocalist Klaus Meine's German accent) and the band utilises these very well and lets the listener in for a treat. Production wise it isn't too different from many of the hard rock and heavy metal albums being released in the late 80s and early 90s, meaning it sounds more polished than raw and gritty, but this isn't a bad thing. I must single out the sound of Herman Rarebell's drums for praise, as they manage to sound hard-hitting and stay sounding polished at the same time; you can hear every drum being hit very audibly, and they give off quite a heavy, anthemic vibe with a nice slight reverberant touch.

Regardless of anyone's stance on the polished production of the 80s and early 90s, the strength of the material itself is the important thing here. The band members were in their mid 30s-early 40s at the time, and this album showcases a slightly more mature Scorpions than what fans were greeted with in the past. The artwork is non-controversial, the lyrics don't attempt to be too outrageous, with the band seemingly choosing to focus more on honing their musical skill and further fine-tuning their sound, and beneath the standard upbeat hard rock numbers such as "Tease Me, Please Me", "Don't Believe Her" and "Kicks After Six", you can find more sentimental, heartfelt songs such as "To Be With You In Heaven", "Wind of Change" (which is a definite strong point of the album and was a big hit for the band, featuring whistles from Klaus Meine and lyrics that celebrate the end of the Cold War), and the closing track "Send Me An Angel" complete with a backing choir as well as strings.

The latter track serves as an emotional goodbye, in a way, to the band's commercial heyday and 'classic' era as they decided to move on and experiment with their sound for a while after this album, with mixed results. However, Crazy World stands as a brilliant example of what this German quintet are capable of. On the surface, it may just seem like just another early 1990s hard rock album with polished production, but if you dig deeper, you will find much to enjoy about it, whether it be the melodies, the vocals, the guitars, the drums etc; the band's musicianship is something that simply cannot be denied. Crazy World is one of the band's greatest achievements and most entertaining listens, and deserves a righteous place in the collection of any rock and/or metal fan.

This Has "Wind of Change" On It - 65%

DawnoftheShred, July 17th, 2009

Despite the fact that they’re Germany’s best-selling musical export, metal, rock or otherwise, there’s a surprisingly meager amount of reviews for their stuff on this site. And it seems like half of them can be credited to myself and saintinhell. No justice whatsoever for such a great band. Well…make that a once-great band, as it’s around their eleventh studio album Crazy World that I stopped buying their records and started borrowing/downloading them, simply because the quality of their releases started to decline.

As the last reviewer so justly put it, “Wind of Change” is the album’s only selling point. A touching Klaus Meine ballad about the fall of the Berlin wall (a subject that surely hit close to home, so to speak), it is hands down the band’s finest softer moment and maybe one of the best power ballads of all time. It’s endearingly simple, but little touches, like the whistling and the half-measure in the verses, make it an absolute winner in my book.

The rest? Well, the rest is the Scorpions playing “heavy metal” to the MTV crowd. The same generic rockers that began creeping into the band’s albums around Animal Magnetism and began filling them around Savage Amusement are the order of the hour. It’s still a pretty catchy album, but that doesn’t say a whole hell of a lot. After all, Ratt was catchy, weren’t they? Actually this sounds like Ratt at times (“Don’t Believe Her”), while its just Scorpions-style hair metal at others. Riffs here and there stick out, such as that “To Be With You in Heaven” verse thing, but there’s no depth to these songs. Guitar solos are trivial, songwriting is butt-simple, and Klaus barely registers a pulse on these lifeless tracks. This becomes more unfortunate in light of the band embracing the new CD format, meaning that there’s fifteen to twenty minutes more filler than on their earlier albums.

One of the only nice things about Crazy World in regards to some of the other albums of this period is the production, which displays perhaps the fullest Scorpions sound ever. Some say it’s a bit overproduced, citing the ballad “Send Me an Angel” as example, but it’s still one of the most even recordings in their catalogue. Tracks on the heavier end like “Restless Nights” get a bit more clarity than they would have otherwise. If only they weren’t so boring.

Energy, or more specifically the lack of it, is the main problem here. Had the Scorps done more than simply uphold the status quo, many of these songs could have overcome their own mediocrity and stood as highlights of the era rather than forgettable afterthoughts. Check out “Wind of Change” for sure, but be wary about the remainder.

Very overrated - 65%

el_rengo, June 22nd, 2007

It's 1990, the Berlin Wall fell down one year earlier, and this was the inspiration of Klaus Meine to write one of the biggest songs in rock history, not just the Scorpions history. In fact "Wind of Change" is a true masterpiece, the anthem of that great band called Scorpions, and I love to hear it very often. It's a song that makes me cry of emotion.

But the rest of this album is far from reaching the level of that classic, almost every song is suffering the "Savage Amusement" syndrome, that is, a more commercial, popish sound, leaving their 70's rocker music aside. I take this moment from which the Scorpions after started to fall until they reached the bottom in 1999.

There are some highlights here, I like "To Be With You In Heaven" or "Hit Between the Eyes", this one has a little of aggressiveness that, unfortunately, is very rare in this work. The last songs make my choice for the worst content: annoying, dense, uninspired, boring. "Send Me an Angel" doesn't manage to keep my interest, it's not the gem that everybody says. Nevertheless, I like that song performed with the philharmonic.

It would be unfair, however, not mentioning the performance of Klaus Meine, who tries to put the best of him in this work, especially in "Wind of Change", although his effort here cannot be compared to the previous releases until "Love at First Sting".

Conclusion: this album was a huge success, more than anything, due to "Wind of Change". But I think it was too overrated, and I would recommend to the Scorpions' fans first to listen at the most, until "Blackout" or "Love at First Sting" (don't forget their 70's material). And of course, their last work "Humanity - Hour I". Get "Wind of Change", but as much as possible, try to avoid listening all this album.