Top 10 Scorpions Songs
Try picking the Top 10 songs from the nearly 200 recorded over four decades by the Scorpions and you’ll realize that there’d be no chance of satisfying everyone. After all, if you remember your high school science, you may have learned that, between eight legs, two pincers and one nasty stinger, scorpions possess 11 appendages. Instead, we’ll try not to get ourselves stung as we sift through the German hard rock institution's remarkable discography.
We pick up the story during a period of transition for the Scorpions, as they said goodbye to longtime guitar wizard Uli Jon Roth and flirted with Michael Schenker’s possible return before committing to new boy Matthias Jabs for the ‘80s. Amazingly, none of this stopped the band from delivering one of their very best LPs in ‘Lovedrive,’ which included this rare instrumental highlight.
Half a decade earlier, the German quintet had still been trying to find its feet, creatively speaking, when they unleashed their sophomore album, ‘Fly to the Rainbow.’ But though they seemed unsure of their direction, at times, this epic, eclectic title track nevertheless saw the Scorpions fearlessly pushing their budding talents to the limit.
Time to take our list of Top 10 Scorpions Songs on yet another ‘Lovedrive,’ and while there’s no shortage of outstanding candidates we could tap from this exceptional LP (‘Loving You Sunday Morning,’ ‘Holiday,’ etc.), we’ll settle on the wild and crazy ride afforded by the provocative, careening headbanger called ‘Another Piece of Meat.’
After years and years of slowly chipping away at U.S. resistance and then stumbling near the finish line with 1980’s uneven and recklessly experimental ‘Animal Magnetism,’ the Scorpions finally and conclusively cracked America with 1982’s hit-laden ‘Blackout’ LP. In particular, ‘No One Like You’ became a significant hit and helped breach the gates of MTV, to boot, taking the Scorpions’ career profile in America to the next level.
As heard in its original arrangement on ‘Animal Magnetism’ album, ‘The Zoo’ sounded like a somewhat plodding exercise in going nowhere fast. But after a few years of concert manipulation, the song, previously notable primarily for Matthias Jabs’ talkbox solo took on a new life and power never hinted at before — culminating in this definitive version from 1985’s ‘World Wide Live.'
Uli Jon Roth co-wrote the evocative ‘We’ll Burn the Sky’ with Jimi Hendrix’s former flame, Monika Dannemann, whom Roth also dated. Originally featured on the group’s 1977 studio effort, ‘Taken by Force,’ the song ascended to a higher plane of inspiration on the following year’s double-live ‘Tokyo Tapes,’ buoyed by some of Uli Jon Roth’s absolute greatest lead guitar work.
The next choice in our list of Top 10 Scorpions Songs is the group’s archetypal power ballad, ‘Still Loving You’ — a difficult decision, given the strong competition from fellow tear-jerkers like ‘When the Smoke is Going Down,’ ‘Holiday’ and that grand ol’ whistle-fest, ‘Winds of Change.’ But, at the end of the day, not even the latter’s globally embraced political message can quite measure up to ‘Still Loving You’s’ anthemic arena-pleasing qualities and plaintive romantic intentions.
If any Scorpions song of the '70s pulled it all together and set the band’s still fledgling career on course for the triumphs of the future, it was ‘In Trance,’ the title track to their pivotal third album. Every crucial Scorpions hallmark is on display here: the alternating shades of dark and light (Rudolf Schenker’s crunchy riffs, Uli Jon Roth’s supple melodies), contrasting musical passages, and Klaus Meine’s banshee vibrato. With this blueprint in hand, the Scorpions became unstoppable.
In founding guitarist Rudolf Schenker, the Scorpions had a bona fide master at creating hooks from simple power chords. And perhaps no other Scorpions song exemplifies this talent more conclusively — and irresistibly — than ‘Blackout’s’ take-no-prisoners centerpiece, ‘Dynamite,’ which grew into a natural concert-closing encore for years to come — literally because it was an impossible song to follow.
Call us predictable if you must, but how could we bar the signature song from the top slot in our list of Top 10 Scorpions Songs? Predictable or not, ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane’ captures all of the lovable Scorpions qualities we’ve been selectively praising in the previous nine tunes on this list — into a single, four-and-a-half minute package. No wonder it’s gone down as the group’s biggest hit and most covered number.