7/12/2010 1:19 PM
As I prepare for my trip out to join the Scorpions, I’m thinking back
to my young self, a kid who was into all things rock guitar, and that
included a healthy dose of Scorps. After my initial exposure to the
band at Mike Varney’s record store, I was pretty much hooked. A big
topic of discussion amongst guitarists was what the next record would
sound like without Ulrich Roth. My sister got the album Lovedrive
right when it came out. The crazy bubblegum cover was a wild sight for
my adolescent eyeballs and I couldn’t wait to hear Michael Schenker on
the three cuts he was on. I was also intrigued by the new guy, Matthias
Jabs. Being a beginning guitarist, I couldn’t imagine what it could be
like to step into a huge gig like that. The riffs on Lovedrive
are massive, with killer tones and a dangerous, sexy groove. “Loving
You Sunday Morning,” has the driving rhythm chugs that are a staple of
the Rudolf Schenker trip and a dreamy, expansive chorus. It also has a
kick-ass solo by Matthias, with the awesome bends, wide vibrato, and
blazing pull-offs that made him famous. Rudolf plays a nice solo in
“Always Somewhere,” a great example of wringing emotion out of a note.
2 (back when “side 2” meant something) opens with “I Can’t Get Enough”
and features a pummeling rhythm guitar riff and a crazed whammy-bar
solo. Then there’s the reggae-inflected “Is There Anybody There?” with
its skanking acoustic and crunching electric, which was a simple enough
progression that I could actually play it, although it would be a long
time before I could touch the tasty solo. I loved it all and years
later when the bubble gum cover was banned (in very Spinal Tap
fashion), I would brag that I had been lucky enough to get the
original. If memory serves, the bubble gum album was wrapped in red
shrink wrap. How cool is that?
I was all atwitter (back when “being all atwitter” actually meant something) when the follow up to Lovedrive, Animal Magnetism
came out. I always saw this record as the first true Matthias record. He
was no longer in any way in the shadow of Ulrich Roth or Michael
Schenker and was free to stretch out and do his thing. Animal Magnetism
has a little bit of everything on it. There are the power-chord
anthems, like “Don’t Make No Promises,” gorgeous pop in “Lady
Starlight,” and sinewy metal in “Only a Man.” The rhythms are badass as
usual. Rudolf Schenker can’t seem to play a bad rhythm guitar part to
save his life. His bouncy power chords in “Twentieth Century Man” are a
blast and Matthias’ solo in that one, while short and to the point,
kicks every available ass. “The Zoo” was seen by almost everyone as an
instant classic, with its heavy intro, sparse, gut-punch verse figure,
and what might just be the last great talk box solo. Damn! This record
showed that the Scorpions had their act together and were poised to
take over, which they more or less proceeded to do.
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1 comment(s) so far...
By Roger Bleck on
7/14/2010 9:55 AM
Blog You Like a Hurricane: Entering the Mathias Era By Matt Blackett
Not to take anything away from Mathias, but the "Loving You Sunday Morning" solo(s) were a patchwork of Mathias & Michael Schenker. Besides the 3 tracks MS was credited for, he also contributed to 2 others, the second being "Holiday". The LYSM parts that Schenker played are very recognizable, at least to me. The first solo, Mathias plays under the "Oooh - Ahhhh" part, the rest is Michael, his phrasing & feel is very evident. The outro is a little harder to tell, could be Mathias all the way...