Album Reviews

Uli Jon Roth – Scorpions Revisited Review

UJL_cover

Release Date: March 10th, 2015

Released By:UDR

Genre:Classic Rock

Links: http://www.ulijonroth.com

 

Line Up:

Uli Jon Roth-Guitars

Nathan James-Lead Vocals

Jamie Little-Drums

Ule W.Ritgen-Bass

Niklas Turmann-Guitar,vocals

Corvin Bahn-Keyboards,vocals

David Klosinski-Guitar

 

Tracklist: 

CD1

1.The Sails Of Charon

2.Longing For Fire

3.Crying Days

4.Virgin Killer

5.In Trance

6.Sun In My Hand

7.Yellow Raven

8.Polar Nights

9.Dark Lady

 

Tracklist:

 

CD2

1.Catch your Train

2.Evening Wind

3.All Night Long

4.We’ll Burn The Sky

5.Pictured Life

6.Hell Cat

7.Life’s Like A River

8.Drifting Sun

9.Rainbow Dream Prelude

10.Fly To The Rainbow

 

Scorpions enthusiasts will probably admit the bands releases in the 70’s have tended to be overlooked compared to their heroic exploits in the 80’s.  Granted, albums like BlackoutLove At First Sting and Savage Amusement are all rock gold, but before that hedonistic decade and the recruitment of Matthias Jabs in 1979, a innovative guitarist from Dusseldorf named Uli Jon Roth, helped create four Scorpions albums that have been largely criminally ignored.  Those albums, Fly To The Rainbow (1974), In Trance (1975), Virgin Killer (1976) and Taken By Force (1977), have now been put in the spotlight, with Roth re-recording his favourite tracks from them albums.  The result, Scorpions Revisited, is a double CD and was recorded ironically in the same venue in Hanover where those albums were originally rehearsed.

1974’s Fly To The Rainbow gets a proper dusting off with a funk rich Drifting Sun, then with the haunting prog genius title track.  Roth‘s ghostly guitar should and will leave you transfixed. 1975’s In Trance naturally gets a bigger airing, being Roth‘s second album with the band.  Featuring a trippy but brilliant version of Longing For Fire, the utterly compelling In Trance itself which vocalist Nathan James completely owns.  Life’s Like A River is pure Scorpions ballad wizardry, melodic and moody, and showing why Roth‘s playing has a dialect all of it’s own.  The blues wouldn’t be a genre of music that springs to mind when you think of Germany, but one blast of Sun In My Hand you may as well be in the heart of the Mississippi.  A more definite version than the original with Ule W.Ritgen‘s simple but steadfast bass providing a great anchor.  And he takes that form into Dark Lady, a complex but mesmerizing reload.

Evening Wind‘s new coat of paint without doubt benefit’s from it’s new layer of gloss.  Another masterclass of Roth‘s left of centre wisdom. 1976’s Virgin Killer unleashes another six reborn tracks, kicking off with the epic Crying Days followed by the high octane title track.  It’s driving demonic pace unleashes a chilling vibe.  The psychedelic rebirth of Yellow Raven is the Bond theme that never was, it’s sophisticated, sexy and bloody seductive. To get a quick synopsis of Uli Jon Roth‘s brilliance, the intro to Polar Nights will leave your jaw hanging precariously low.  This is a blatant display of a man deeply in love with his instrument.  A personal favourite of mine,  Catch Your Train is an out of control, completely lawless rocker, and one that leaves it’s original cowering in the corner.  The bruising stomp of Pictured Life is relentless and thoroughly arresting, while the odd funkadelic insanity of Hell Cat reminds us of the layers of depth in Scorps compositions.

1977’s Taken By Force is represented by just the two tracks, first The Sail Of Charon, a  mythological sounding song that will evoke some fantastical imagery with Roth‘s artistry.  We’ll Burn The Sky‘s powerful and mind bending rhythm is more than matched by the hellish vocals.  A rampaging powerhouse of a song with an intensely soothing beginning, that then releases a monstrous masterpiece.

If you want to discover a different sting in the Scorpions tail, this sublime collection will not disappoint.  Uli Jon Roth encapsulates everything in the word genius.  His brand of haunting melodic and often mercurial guitar playing is a lavish joy.

 

Written by Brian

Ratings    Brian    10/10

 

 

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