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If you only buy one of the Roth-era albums, make it this one,
This review is from: Virgin Killer (Audio CD)Virgin Killer (1976.) Scorpions' fourth album.
In 1976, the Scorpions released their fourth full-length studio album, Virgin Killer. This was the band's third (as well as their second to last) studio album to feature the severely underrated guitarist Ulrich Jon Roth, and the album even won the award of LP Of The Year in the band's native Germany! Is this album worthy of that title, or is it "just another Scorpions album?" Read on and find out.
Well, one thing's for sure. This album more than deserves the title of "LP Of The Year." This is one of the greatest Scorpions albums of all, if not the overall best. Ulrich Jon Roth's guitar playing on Fly To The Rainbow and In Trance were great, but on this album he completely blows away everything he has done in the past. In addition, the guitar virtuoso who helped to get the band started, Michael Schenker, takes a break from UFO and helps the band out on a few of the tracks featured here. The band kicks the album off with Pictured Life, a classic hard and heavy power rocker. It's hard for me to choose a favorite Scorpions song since so many of them are so great, but if I had to choose a favorite, this just might be the one. Following this track you will learn instantly that this is the band's fastest and most furious album of all. Two-thirds of the album is made up of hard and heavy rockers that are unbeatable in the quality department. Among these are Catch Your Train, Backstage Queen, and the title track. There are even three power ballads on here, all of which are excellent and well ahead of their time - In Your Park, Crying Days, and Yellow Raven. Two of the album's faster and heavier tracks, Hell Cat and Polar Nights, feature vocals that are wildly different from any other tracks on this or any Scorpions album - another member of the band must be doing the vocals one these tracks. All in all, these are some of the band's best tracks ever recorded.
There are two different versions of this album, but they only differ in the cover art. Version one is the original version of the album, which features the controversial cover art of a naked young girl. Contrary to popular belief, this cover is NOT that explicit. But still, it caused the band problems, and they were forced to change the cover accordingly. Version two is the changed cover, which is just a photo of the band members standing together. And this wouldn't be the last time the band would be criticized for one of their album covers - a similar controversy would arise for the Lovedrive album cover. It doesn't really matter which version you buy - after all, it's the MUSIC that counts!
Virgin Killer is one of the best Scorpions albums of all, and is quite possibly their overall finest effort. As I stated previously, if you only buy one of the albums from the band's days with Ulrich Jon Roth on lead guitar, make it this one. If you're a fan of classic hard power rock, this album WILL NOT fail to please you.