Thursday, April 16, 2015

ULI JON ROTH: "Scorpions Revisited"

Rating: Comp.
Label: UDRMusic 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Musical differences, the reason to why Uli Jon Roth decided to leave Scorpions in 1978. No kidding? It's like night and day really. The post-Roth material by the Germans speak of catchy melodies and the fun guitarmageddon. They simply couldn't wait to enroll master-blaster guitarist Jabs and get the party started with the hook-friendly Lovedrive in 1979. The start of Scorpions as we know them today. Don't get me wrong. Uli Jon Roth is the excellent guitarist with the Neo-Classical as well as the Hendrix friendly approach to his playing. He made the neat contribution to the seventies albums of Fly To The Rainbow (1974), In Trance (1975), Virgin Killer, and Taken by Force (1977). The guitar playing that is, the songs are either complete miss or the occasional hit. In fact. The majority of the pre-1979 songs are just too darn strange to this reviewer. The material for this double CD was re-recorded last year in the same hall in Hanover that Scorpions used for rehearsals in 1973-1978.

The line-up of Nathan James (vocals), Jamie Little (drums), Ule W. Ritgen (bass), Niklas Turmann (guitar, vocals), Corvin Bahn (keyboards, vocals), David Klosinski (guitar), and Roth, are going through everything from The Sails Of Charon to Fly To The Rainbow with plenty of skill and finesse. It's hardly everything though since there's no Steamrock Fever. He's a Woman - She's a man. They Need a Million. etc. It's hard to avoid comparing this to the originals. And surely the best way to enjoy these songs, simply play the records from the seventies? Highlights as well as the best original tracks: Picture Life. In Trance. The Sails Of Charon. According to Roth, "the idea was to stay truthful to the original spirit of the music, while also putting a new slant on it whenever it felt like the right thing to do. I feel we really succeeded in this and I’m very excited about this project. It was an intense journey into the past and I think we really managed to bring the songs back to life with a vengeance". Meh. I'm going to play me some Blackout next.

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