on April 4, 2004
Taken By Force (1978.) Scorpions fifth album. The last album to feature Ulrich Jon Roth on guitar, and the first to feature Hermann Rarebell on drums.
1978 marked the end of an era for the Scorpions. It was in this era that the band's lead guitarist, virtuoso Ulrich Jon Roth left the band. This was also the album that marked the entrance of drummer Hermann Rarebell. But, before Roth's departure, the band would record one final studio album with his mastery - Taken By Force. How does their final effort with him measure up? Read on and find out.
To put it simply, if you liked the Virgin Killer album, or if you just like classic metal in general, you're going to love this album. The band kicks off the album with one of the fast-paced hard rocker, Steamrock Fever. They could not have started the album with a better track. Its fast and furious stylings grab your attention and hold onto it. Track two, a lengthy rocker entitled We'll Burn The Sky, combines heavy and melodic stylings, making for one of the band's finest efforts. I've Got To Be Free and Riot Of Your time, the next two tracks, are also masterpieces in their own right. Don't overlook them just because they were never popular - you'll only be hurting yourself! Track number five, Sails Of Charon, is the track on the album that tends to get the most praise - and with good reason. To the time, this was the hardest and heaviest song the band had ever recorded. The guitar stylings here are very similar to those found in Megadeth's Hangar 18. Ulrich Jon Roth never sounded better. Your Light is another rock masterpiece that is severely underrated. He's A Woman She's A Man, another extremely hard and heavy fast-paced rocker, comes next. Next to Sails Of Charon, this is the track on the album that gets the most praise - listen to it and find out why. The band closes the album out with the lengthy power ballad, Born To Touch Your Feelings. This is one of the finest ballads the band has ever recorded, and in my opinion it puts the ones they recorded in the eighties to shame. Overall, this is one of the band's best albums ever - DO NOT overlook it!
There are two different versions of this album available on compact disc. Version one is the original version of the album, which features the "Graveyard" album cover. Version two features pictures of the band's faces against an otherwise black background. This version of the album has an edited version of Sails Of Charon, but it adds two bonus tracks - The studio cut Suspender Love, and the live version of Polar Nights from the Tokyo Tapes live album.
It's too bad that Ulrich Jon Roth left the Scorpions following the recording of this album, because the band would be forever changed without his guitar mastery. He is by far the greatest lead guitarist that ever played in the band (that's not to say Michael Schenker and Matthias Jabs aren't good, though.) If you're a classic metal fan, this is an album you simply can't be without - it's essential.
on November 22, 2003
As a 42 year old Scorpions fan, i've followed the band since 'Lonesome Crow'! I equally love Michael Schenker, Uli Roth and Matthias Jabs, each bringing their own personal perfection and style to the band. The Scorpions were undoubtedly seminal in starting and perfecting the 'hard rock' genre, which became 'heavy metal' after the British invasion with bands like Saxon, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest. But The Scorpions, with bands like Black Sabbath, Mountain, early Zep, and early Rush, did it FIRST! Let's not forget Hendrix as well. But I digress. 'Taken By Force', 'Virgin Killer', 'Fly To The Rainbow', and 'In Trance', were the 4 albums that really got me and many other coming of age 70's teens into hard rock, and all 4 still strongly stand the test of time, given the tight quality songwriting, Klaus' soaring and powerful vocals, and Uli Roth's beyond amazing virtuoso guitar forays. Many metal and hard rock fans don't realize this, but early Scorpions were responsible for popularizing and perfecting hard rock music around the world. This CD remaster sounds unbelievably great, with increased resolution and air between the instruments and Klaus Meine's great voice! The acoustic guitar parts sound as if they are leaping out of your speakers with improved clarity and presence. I have VERY revealing high end, high resolution panel type MAGNEPLANAR speakers, and McIntosh equipment, and I have to say, I don't hear any compression, hiss, or other artifacts on this remaster. If you are a fan of excellent hard rock or metal, this CD is a MUST for your collection! Long live The Scorpions!
on September 13, 2003
1st let me say this, "Taken By Force" is an essential Metal Classic. Unfortunately this was lead guitarist Uli Jon Roth`s last studio album with the band. He left shorly after due to artistic and creative differences.
The sound quality and production on the Japanese remaster is excellant! You can hear everthing. Klaus Miene`s vocal`s are powerful and emotive. This was drummer Herman Rarebell`s 1st album with the band and is probably his best performance as well . Uli`s flawless technique and style(Neo-Classical + Hendrix) always amazes me!
Whether it be the simmering power ballad "W`ill Burn The Sky, the commercial hard rockin "He`s A Woman, She`s A Man" or the classic premetal shred of "Sails Of Charron", this is a band at the top of their game and ready to take the next step up to international success and fame.
This album was a turning point for the Scorpions and showed the musical direction that the band would take thru out the next decade.
Any later day fan of the Scorpions who hasn`t checked out their earlier RCA albums yet would do well to start here!
on April 9, 2003
Well, I don't know if I should say a sweeping statement like that, but its in the "top 5" for me. All great songs, no filler, and none of Uli's controversial singing! "We'll Burn the Sky" is their "Stairway to Heaven" - a power ballad to conquer all others. Come solo time, and it goes off to the (Strat)osphere! It blows away most of today's shredders and of course we get to "Sails of Charon" which is the crown jewel of this album. Covered by everyone from Testament to Yngwie, this is the beginning of the Neo Classical metal genre. Queen may have laid the groundwork, but a listen to the solos in this one and you can hear the true beginning of the genre. "He's a Woman, She's a Man" may have been one of the things that ticked Uli off to leave, and its the beginning of drummer Herman Rarebell's
controversial lyric writing in the band, but it is a proto thrash song that predicts the heavier side of NWOBHM! And this is from Germany!
Overall, this album has some of the best variety of Uli era
Scorpions, and is the one essential piece of music that everyone should have.
on January 30, 2003
The Scorpions really put it out with Taken By Force! A hard rocking album with some nice contrast songs mixed in as well.Many of todays bands come and go,but the Scoroions remain strong and tight. There music is as good live as it is in the studio. First things first! Taken By Force is an excellent sounding re-issue cd. The Bass parts and the low end play through extemely well without sacrificing any of the high end. Well recorded!! My favorites- Iv'e got to be free: Rebellious Rock at its best. Syncopated rythym guitar and hard driving bass /drums. The Riot Of Your Time: A touch of mystery on this one.Guitar work is outstanding! The acoustic guitar at the begining is flawless and there are some awesome drum fills to help close it out. Next up is Your Light: A nice mellow feel during the verses. Smooth guitar,tasteful vocals and solid laid back drum playing."lots of percussion on the ending" Very cool! Born To Touch Your Feelings: A slow ballad that features beautiful vocals and acoustic guitar.The band really shows us how well they can play loud and soft."nice dynamics" The ending offers some strange yet creative female vocal ad libs. He's A Woman-She's A Man: Is a rock n roll boogie thats guaranteed to get you jumpin!!"i love the accented chorus line" The last song features a live version of Polar Nights: Live jamming in the raw! Energizer bunny watch out. These guys are blowin the roof off!! Whip it out guitar playing and more!! Final thoughts: Taken By Force has a little bit of everthing for scorpion fans. Solid and Tasteful!! Enjoy!
on June 23, 2004
The closest thing I have ever had to a religious experience is listening to Ulrich Roth. Everyone that has ever listened to these first few Scorpions albums know that the band totally commercialized following Ulrich's departure and this is the last studio by the "REAL" Scorpions. I love Michael Schenker, but the time that Ulrich was in the band defined the Scorpions and Heavy metal in general to me. Ulrich is one of my gods and his name should be spoken in the same reverential tones as Hendrix, Clapton, and Page. Unfortunately they were all overplayed and Ulrich was never played in the US. If you have never heard the early Scorpions and like the pop commercial stuff they have done this may not be for you. If you like the older style of Jimi Hendrix, ala rainbow bridge and his more melodic compostions you will LOVE this album. BUY IT NOW!
on June 4, 2004
You have two types of Scorpions fans. First are the fans who jumped on the Scorpion's bandwagon after 1982's commercial
breakout "Blackout" and then there are those true followers that have listened to them from the beginning of their 1st cd "Lonesome Crow"... For the true Scorp's fans "Taken By Force" is a classic moment in metal history. This 5th release by the band is the last Scorpions cd to include guitar master Ulrich Roth and many would say to be the highlight of the band's career. I have to agree. The musicianship on this cd is awesome. There is not a weak track on this release and would
rate it as one of the Scorpion's best. For those yearning for some classic, quality metal check out the real thing!!! Excellent music, top rate musicians and great songs make this a top 25 metal cd of all time...
on January 8, 2010
Can't say too much, other than this, is yet but another GREAT "Scorpions" CD. Ulrich ROTH is at this point, still part of the band and plays just great. I know other "EX" Scorpion members did come out with their own "solo" CDs. I can't understand why ROTH never either did a "solo" CD, or at the very least, form a new band! Although I still enjoyed the band after ROTH left, he certainly added greatly to the bands uprising to stardom.
on July 10, 2003
Any of you Scorp Heads from years gone by must remember the vinyl version of "Taken By Force" That had the full version of "The Sails Of Charon" with the psycadelic intro! Why has this version never made it to CD? I keep buying new versions of this CD hoping to find it. If anyone can help me with this please post!
on April 15, 2015
Excellent cd excellent. A must for all scorpion fans. The Uli Roth stuff is much heavier than the Matthias Jabs stuff. This take nothing away from Matthias just different styles.