Best Scorpions Albums

The Scorpions' career has spanned an amazing forty plus years and they have been a huge influence on a countless number of bands. Originally incorporating progressive influences into their sound, the band shifted to a more radio friendly sound in the 1980s to gigantic success.

Vocalist Klaus Meine has one of the most identifiable voices in hard rock. His range is second to none and the ability he has shown to excel well into his sixties is mind blowing. Originally featuring brothers Michael and Rudolf Schenker handling the guitars, the band has also showcased the arpeggio flavored Uli Roth and shredder Matthias Jabs. 

The band has undergone a lot of change over the years, but the one constant has been incredible songwriting. With the success of having over 75 million worldwide album sales over the years, it is no easy decision to pick the band's best releases. Below are what we feel are their most influential and most consistent releases in a career that has provided countless classics.

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'Lovedrive' (1979)

Scorpions - Lovedrive
Scorpions - Lovedrive.

With an already impressive five albums under their belt, Lovedrive is the perfect bridge between the progressive elements of their '70s sound and the pop rock road they explored going forward. Guitarist Rudolf Schenker firmly takes over the songwriting responsibility and the record is filled with a ridiculous amount of hooks. The eight songs are all classics and there is not a second of wasted material. The first record to feature the new impressive guitar work of Matthias Jabs; brother Michael Schenker returns to play a few solos for some mind-blowing guitar work.

The Scorpions display a copious amount of diversity as they incorporate elements of hard rock, progressive rock, ballads and reggae. The blistering pace of “Another Piece of Meat” and “Can’t Get Enough” are blazing and capture the band at their most ferocious. The ballads “Holiday” and “Always Somewhere” bring passionate performances out of Meine as he shows his range and his ability to move the listener with his gorgeous melodies. Lovedrive is the most complete Scorpions opus and shows the band finding their songwriting voice.

Recommended Track: "Another Piece of Meat"

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'Blackout' (1982)

Scorpions - Blackout
Scorpions - Blackout.

Scorpions' eighth studio release Blackout found them firing on all cylinders. The band was coming off its first American radio hit with “The Zoo” and took advantage by creating a masterpiece. It contains some of their most aggressive and fast paced tracks like “Now!,” “Dynamite” and the explosive title track. Each song finds Meine at his most ferocious, Matthias Jabs laying down incredible guitar solos and a frenetic pacing that the band never achieves again throughout their long career. 

The album also has its share of radio hits and memorable rock anthems. “No One Like You” and “Can’t Live Without You” are both classics and are still all over radio today. “Arizona” is the precursor to the mega-hit “Rock You Like A Hurricane” with its similar riffing, but is better in every way especially with Meine’s amazing melody. “China White” is a full on epic as the band finds its inner Led Zeppelin blended with a Black Sabbath inspired riff. Blackout is an instant classic.

Recommended Track: "Dynamite"

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'Taken By Force' (1978)

Scorpions - Taken By Force
Scorpions - Taken By Force.

By the mid 1970s the Scorpions joined a short list of bands that were pushing the envelope in the hard rock community. Along with Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Rush, they were all exploring boundaries that were yet uncharted. Taken by Force was the fourth and final album to feature guitar virtuoso Uli Roth. His blend of Hendrix inspired blues licks with classical style areppgiated scales was as inspiring as the amazing Ritchie Blackmore. Roth’s songwriting contributions are more developed and inspired here with “The Sails of Charon” and “I’ve Got to Be Free,” two of his strongest of his career. It greatly helps the material that Meine tackles the lead vocal duties.

Schenker’s “We’ll Burn the Sky” is one of their most epic tunes. A gorgeous arpeggio chord progression is backed with a tender vocal line from Meine. The second half of the song picks up the tempo when a hard driving riff kicks in and is followed by a grandiose bridge that is larger than life. The proto-thrash of “He’s A Woman – She’s A Man” finds a frantic Meine singing over a fast picked thrash inspired guitar riff, it is way ahead of its time. The ¾ timing of “Born to Touch Your Feelings” brings some diversity to the songwriting. One of Meine’s finest choruses is filled with a ton of emotion and punctuates a stellar record.

Recommended Track: "We’ll Burn the Sky"

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'In Trance' (1975)

Scorpions - In Trance
Scorpions - In Trance.

With their previous album Fly to the Rainbow, the Scorpions took a huge leap forward from their debut, but it was a disjointed affair with Michael Schenker and Uli Roth contributing to the songwriting. Their third release In Trance is the first full album where the band composed with Roth. The title track is a clear standout. The chorus is infectious and Meine has never sounded better vocally. A huge leap in the quality of songwriting as the team of Schenker and Meine set the template of the future Scorpions sound. 

The energetic “Robot Man” is like a hit between the eyes. A sing along anthem that never lets up, the song features a freight train type of riff with a frenetic lead guitar section by Roth. Opener “Dark Lady” is a hard driving headbanger that finds Roth taking over the lead vocal duties. His lead guitar harmonies are reminiscent of Thin Lizzy while his solo is frenetic and noisy. The record moves rapidly and never lets up, a huge step up for the band and a pivotal record in regards to their creativity.

Recommended Track: "In Trance"

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'Love At First Sting' (1984)

Scorpions - Love At First Sting
Scorpions - Love At First Sting.

After the tremendous success and critical acclaim of Blackout, the band returned two years later with a more direct and marketable approach with Love at First Sting. The band achieved crossover success with the insanely popular singles “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Still Loving You” and “Big City Nights.” The albums charm lies with some of the deeper cuts like the up-tempo “Coming Home” and the military vibe of “Crossfire.”

Despite the success and over saturation of “Still Loving You,” the song is still the standard for a rock ballad. A classically inspired mellow guitar flows while Meine utilizes his full vocal range to great effect. I can hear the heartbreak in every lyric and the epic notes he hits at the end shows why he is one of the best singers metal has ever heard. A landmark in '80s metal, Love at First Sting was instrumental in driving the success of hard rock into the mainstream and is one of the biggest sellers of their career.

Recommended Track: "Still Loving You"

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'Humanity: Hour 1' (2007)

Scorpions - Humanity: Hour 1
Scorpions - Humanity: Hour 1.

Released much later in their career, the concept record Humanity: Hour 1 is one of their most consistent and diverse records. The band brought in outside songwriters to help compose the record. For most bands it is a death knell, but the Scorpions were able to turn it into a strength. Desmond Child was the principal songwriter and brings the concept idea to the table about a society that has lost its humanity to technology and their effort to reclaim it.

The album's greatest strength is its diversity. The opening track “Hour 1” kicks things off with a tribal drum pattern backed with de-tuned guitars. The chorus creates a gigantic anthem that is perfect for the stage. The song also has some Queen influences like on the grandiose “The Future Never Dies.”  The album ends with the epic “Humanity” which is a tour-de-force. Bouncing back and forth with gorgeous landscape verses, a memorably catchy pre-chorus and a chorus that is larger than life. The song builds to a climax with orchestration accompanying heavy riffs and goes out with a 1940s jazz band playing the melody. This is the Scorpions most overlooked record and their best since the early '80s.

Recommended Track: "Humanity"