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Grab 'Em By The Titty - 90%

SweetLeaf95, May 16th, 2018

Yeah, yeah, if you're seeking a re-hash about this being the first record without Roth and all the Schenker drama, then please visit every other review anywhere. Lovedrive didn't only play a huge significance in Scorpions's career because of the drastic change in direction that they were taking. No, this was also the record that brought them over here to the good old United States of America, the first place being Cleveland, Ohio. For those that weren't aware, there's an interesting little tidbit you now know. But yes, the popularity that they would gain and the force behind their rise of fame was more than likely due to the attainable approach that Klaus and co. were seeking to create. And create they did, as this would prove to be a fantastic effort to exit the 1970's with.

Few signs of pop were present this early on in the great transition. While this is where the inclusion of ballads would begin its reign in their discography, the majority of the tracks are hard hitters and heavy classics through and through. "Another Piece Of Meat" strikes with a fierce riff underlying a clean but threatening vocal delivery from their beloved front-man. This track pumps out speed metal banger one after another, while others will slow to the steady yet heavy approach, such as the album opener, "Loving You Sunday Morning". The level of intensity isn't quite as high, but this song still rocks pretty hard. And of course, smooth and catchy rhythms mixed with strong instrumental complexity are fused into a unique fashion, which would remain a staple up to and including the classic Love At First Sting. The mighty title track shows this best, and Klaus could not have done a better job, bearing strong falsetto skill. This is the correct way to implement catchy hooks without falling victim to the distilled format of hallow tracks with nothing else holding them afloat but a bunch of air.

"Coast To Coast" deserves its own mentioning, as it's the greatest instrumental track they've ever done. This is a fine example of how a guitar should replace vocal harmony with solid instrumentation. And the kicker is that it's really not very complex, just beautifully executed with an awesome beat. When I saw them, they blew my mind with this. This wasn't to test Jabs' ability since Schenker was the one to take it on, but they both work as a solid team on this entire effort. The big ballad off of this one is "Holiday", a six minute slow-dancer that closes the album on a soothing note. It rides on acoustic guitars with a calm but firm electric transition. "Always Somewhere" is something of a weaker ballad, but the tone is set very nicely, and it has a neat lick to lay on. There are areas where they clearly just kicked back and had fun, with "Is There Anybody There?" being one of the most laid back tracks on here. It definitely let's the developing pop sound shine through more than anything, and it's a great sing-a-long type tune.

Turning away due to commercial status change is a bad idea, as it's nothing more than a label. The flawless hunk of albums that would be their peak in musical writing is now behind them, but great things were clearly still in the making, starting with Lovedrive. This is an essential listen for sure, and definitely essential to own for any fans of The Scorps. Who can resist the sexual appeal and strong arrangement that is this beast? It's a lovedrive on wheels of fire, a lovedrive just one desire, love, you drive me crazy babe.