SCORPIONS - Return To Forever
October 28, 2015, 4 years ago
To the surprise of many, it’s been 50 years since the Scorpions were formed and who could have guessed the everlasting sting they would leave on the hard rock/heavy metal world? With Return To Forever, it’s easy to wonder what these Germans could have to say after all these years and that can be answered with the opening tune: “Going Out With A Bang”. There was talk that the boys (well, I suppose old guys now) used some ideas from demos in the ‘80s and it makes perfect sense because some of these could fit perfectly onto Crazy World or Love At First Sting.
Germany’s finest export still manipulates the craft of creating finely tuned hard rock songs with driving guitars, solos with the right amount of flair, and the vocal prowess of Klaus Meine brings it all home. “Rock My Car” and “Hard Rockin’ The Place” possess those choruses that will stick in your head and before you know it you’ll be singing along to them as the Germans would want you to.
On top of the 12 tracks are NINE bonus songs on the North American edition which equates to 73 minutes of music! It’s hard to have an anchor of that many tunes for a quick hitting attack the Scorps employ and it makes some of the cards get lost in the shuffle. It really turns the journey to forever…well seem like forever.
Despite all that, Return To Forever could still snuggly fit between Crazy World and Face The Heat, the heavier spectrum of the band being showcased by surprise with “The Scratch” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Band”. As always, there are a couple of sentimental ballads (“House Of Cards” and “Eye Of The Storm”), but the “Gypsy Life” takes the cake as that one that yearns for the lighters to fire up the concert hall. A finely-crafted ballad that the Scorps Corps are known for.
Return To Forever is a solid hard rock album and it’s a testament to Rudolf Schenker, Matthias Jabs, and Meine that they still have the knack to paint a tapestry of hard rock that is enjoyable for longtime and newer fans. Is it going to surpass stone cold classics like Blackout or Love At First Sting? Of course not. Those are big shoes to fill, but when your resume touts that you’ve been appeasing yourselves and fans for a half century, obvious rites of passage have been earned. That said, a world where the Scorpions stop rocking is going to be a world that’s tough to live in. But in 2015 they still are.