Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

1976 – Part 1.5: Scorpions – Virgin Killer

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.

“Pictured Life”

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.

“Backstage Queen”

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.

“Virgin Killer”

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.

“Hell-Cat”

Vocals are provided by Mr Roth for this bluesy number. Musically it sounds like Hendrix and vocally it should have been performed by Meine.

“Crying Days”

It has this arpeggio line in the intro, that appears on “Lords Of Karma” by Joe Satriani and “Hell Child” from Lynch Mob.

“Polar Nights”

This one also has vocals by Roth. Musically, it’s got a sleazy groove and some smooth legato playing from Mr Roth.

“Yellow Raven”

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.

Standard