The Scorpions

By Sean Noble

I can almost hear the Scorpions’ lead singer, Klaus Meine, and guitarist Rudolf Schenker sitting down to write the first few songs for their newest album:

Meine: Rudy, we’ve got to grab our fans with another “be all you can be” song on this record.

Schenker: You mean along the lines of “Make It Real?”

Meine: Yeah, exactly. And how about a tender, touching “I’ll get you back again someday” song like our “Still Loving You?”

Schenker: Sounds great. Everyone loved that song. We’ll also need to record a social consciousness song, like the ones we did about war and the rape of the environment, to show we’re not just a bunch of leather-clad rock weirdos.

…theoretically, this could have been the way “Don’t Stop at the Top,” “Believe in Love,” and “Media Overkill” respectively evolved. Practically, it probably wasn’t.

But Savage Amusement does come across as a formula album. It uses most of the same song ideas the group has had success with in the past on such albums as Blackout and Love at First Sting. The strange part of the Scorpions’ self-recycling is that they make all their material sound completely fresh.

The songwriting talent of Meine and Schenker continues to rate top notch. They are gifted with the ability to team up for memorable words as well as melodies—something lacking in most rock groups of the heavier variety.

Meine shows once again he also has one of the most forceful voices in rock ‘n’ roll with his gritty handling of “Media Overkill” and the supercharged “Love on the Run” (which is a rehashing of 1982’s “Now!”). Lead guitarist Matthias Jabs adds to the dark, gutsy feeling of “Media Overkill” with some fancy voice box work.

This album is a long-awaited relief, considering the record is their first studio effort in more than four years. Fans may have been worried that the group couldn’t live up to the reputation of its previous smash records, but the Scorps have consistently laid that worry to rest.