The original cover gets more attention than the actual album. Even Wikipedia was embroiled in the controversy for showing it. I’ll go with the alternative cover.
For me, this album showcases the power of Uli Jon Roth. Four of the compositions “Virgin Killer”, “Hell-Cat”, “Polar Nights” and “Yellow Raven” are written solely by Roth (he even sings on two of em), while opener “Pictured Life” is written with Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker. “In Your Park”, “Backstage Queen” and “Crying Days” are Meine and Schenker compositions.
Rounding out the band is Francis Buchholz on bass and Rudy Lenners on drums, the underrated rhythm section of the band. Dieter Dierks is credited as assisting with the arrangements and production.
It’s like a party is happening. There are leads all over this song courtesy of Roth.
In the intro, in the verses, in the Chorus and after the Chorus.
And one of their biggest songs, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” is very similar to this.
I also think that “Games People Play” from The Alan Parson’s Project sounds like this.
Make sure to check out the Chorus riff.
“Catch Your Train”
Rudolf Schenker delivers killer riffs on this, while Roth creates the Shrapnel label with his shred’a’licious leads.
Check out the lead break here and you will hear a lot of the 80’s players style. Kirk Hammet, Marty Friedman, George Lynch, Randy Rhoads and John Sykes.
“In Your Park”
It’s like a ballad before the word was overused by MTV and for some reason, I can’t stop thinking of “I’m Eighteen” when I hear this song.
They are doing the British Blues better than the Brits were doing it at this time.
Lenners and Bucholz are super locked in during the solo section and deliver an excellent groove for Roth to solo over.
How good is the intro riff to this?
When I heard it, I thought of “Too Fast For Love” which came 5 years later.
And the way Klaus Meine sings this, it sounds like an Aerosmith song.
Roth has mentioned that the meaning of “Virgin Killer” is “none other than the demon of our time, the less compassionate side of the societies we live in today, brutally trampling upon the heart and soul of innocence.”
And the record label thought that putting a naked 10 year old on the cover was a good idea and the guys in the band agreed.
Vocals are provided by Mr Roth for this bluesy number. Musically it sounds like Hendrix and vocally it should have been performed by Meine.
It has this arpeggio line in the intro, that appears on “Lords Of Karma” by Joe Satriani and “Hell Child” from Lynch Mob.
This one also has vocals by Roth. Musically, it’s got a sleazy groove and some smooth legato playing from Mr Roth.
A ballad with some heavy classical overtones.
From the vocal point of view, I would have preferred Meine to sing on all the tracks, because as a fan of the 80’s Scorpions, it’s his voice I am used to.
Crank it for Uli Jon Roth.
9 thoughts on “1976 – Part 1.5: Scorpions – Virgin Killer”
I hadn’t really heard much of the early Scorps and didn’t realize Klaus didn’t always sing. Interesting. I will go down that road eventually.
I didn’t know about Klaus not always singing either…lol
Klaus sang on this album. “Catch Your Train” is a classic older Scorpions song.
Yes I agree Catch Your Train and I would add Pictured Life are classic Scorpions songs. And Klaus sings on all the songs except two songs.
I’ll look forward to those reviews.
Uli Jon Roth really carried on the whole Hendrix vibe so it was only a matter of time before he got a chance to sing. But I would take Klaus’s vocals all the time.
Those reviews won’t be coming any time soon. So please don’t hold your breath. LOL!!
Great album- have the girl album cover on vinyl . How twisted were the 70s??!!
People liked to push boundaries. Don’t know about this boundary
yes – it didnt age well.. but you know at the time there were a lot of songs about high school girls etc.. and a lot of teenage groupies.. with bowie and jagger etc and i clearly remember when i was in year 7 , a year 9 teacher was dating his student..everyone knew , but he wasnt arrested . that was in 1986.. but yeah, a different time