Scorpions - Lovedrive (1979)Release ID: 2287
Scorpions' controversial album cover streak continues in this album Lovedrive. Is it strange or wrong that find this cover art quite funny? Probably. A man was bored in a taxi ride with his wife to a formal ceremony (their own car broke down earlier), and he was chewing gum. He wanted to have a little fun during the long ride, so he spat out the gum to his hand, pulled down one side of his wife's dress, slapped his gum onto her exposed breast, and started stretching it out. That's the best scenario I can think of for that un-P.C. moment. And of course, an alternate cover was used for editions of the album released in other countries like the US. Anyway...
Lovedrive would've surpassed Taken by Force if Uli Jon Roth was still their guitarist instead of Matthias Jabs who's been with the band ever since. Roth was a talented member of Scorpions (except for his horrid vocal contributions). His metallic noise had really blown the roof off in the albums that he was in. But that's not to say Jabs is super bad at all, he's really good too. Lovedrive is another solid album by the band in which hard rock/metal anthems are in great balance with radio-friendly ballads.
"Loving You Sunday Morning" is a catchy hard rock tune. A sign of their later work, but still a pretty cool opener. Sprinting through a more speedy hard rock/heavy metal sound is "Another Piece of Meat". I almost wanna call this album "Loverace"!
Disappointingly, we end up slowing down for the dull power ballad "Always Somewhere", sadly one of the band's most popular non-single songs. "Coast to Coast" is a rock instrumental. I don't know why they chose not to add vocals to that track. That would've given the track a more memorable swing. However, what's really a full-out highlight here is "Can't Get Enough". It's a crushing heavy tune that would have Van Halen, Judas Priest, and Motorhead dropping their jaws, being a speed metal assault leaning into thrash. This is Scorpions at their most metallic. Relentless guitar, bass, and drums attack with punches. And they still bring the house down by performing it live. Awesome!
For the next track "Is There Anybody There?"... Reggae? No thanks. Reggae-infused rock/metal? Yes please! Even when playing a genre that you never usually hear mixed with rock/metal, the song is written quite well. You can even hear Jabs jamming along in the soloing with former member Michael Schenker (Rudolf's brother). The title track comes on as another metal highlight, though not as menacing as Judas Priest. The riffing gallops along like a horse. It probably would've worked well as a live staple, and while it isn't, we shall let "Can't Get Enough" get all the live glory. The effective closing ballad "Holiday" shows Klaus Meine's vocals taking on a fantastic bittersweet mood. A far better ballad than "Always Somewhere" and the closing ballad of Taken by Force!
The whole reason why I'm still listening to and reviewing Scorpions albums is just so I can determine which of their albums are metal or not, especially Blackout which is said to be their most metal album. For now, we have this solid 70s rock/metal cruise in Lovedrive, despite a couple questionable moments leaving me scratching my head....
Favorites: "Another Piece of Meat", "Can't Get Enough", "Lovedrive", "Holiday"