Scorpions ~ Eye II Eye
Koch Records
Live in Nottingham, England and the E-Center, Camden, NJ

The winds of change were working overtime this year in our favorite German rock band. The Scorpions changed record labels, completed a new album (Eye II Eye), and most noticeably, shortened the length of their hair. Flying over to Nottingham, England, we were treated to a preview of what the ‘Scorps’ intended to bring to the states when they co-headlined with glam-metalers Motley Crüe.

Although most of Europe has been faithful to the German quintet, England has remained somewhat elusive. Committing to two shows on the Queen’s soil was a first in over five years for the band. “The set list is a bit different over here,” explained lead singer Klaus Meine. “We can do a lot of the older songs—ones we don’t really do anymore when we tour the U.S.” Some of the closet classics that crept into the set were an amazing version of ‘Intrance,’ the humor-filled ‘He’s a Woman She’s A Man,’ and the extended epic ‘Holiday.’

America first warmed to the twin axe-wielding band when they opened for Ted Nugent in 1980 in support of their ‘Lovedrive’ album. ‘Animal Magnetism’ (1981) eclipsed sales of the previous year and the titanic ‘The Zoo’ became an onstage guitar festival where even 5’3" Meine strapped on a geetar. The song standardized the universal sway in sync with the music.

‘Blackout’ (1982) broke the door wide open with hits ‘Can’t Live Without You,’ ‘No One Like You’ and ‘You Give Me All I Need.’ The band started as an opener in 1982 and by year’s end was the featured event at California’s US Festival.

The '80s and early 90s proved to be good times for the band. Even when grunge threatened to send them back home, they hit again with the monster, whistling ballad ‘Winds Of Change.’ So what was left for a group with such longevity? A re-invention of sorts. ‘Eye II Eye’ marks the Scorpions 22nd record in 25 years. It’s is a definite detour into the current infectious club trends in Europe while still rounding out with a tough metal edge. The CD does host the greatest ballad the group has penned since ‘Winds of Change,’ entitled ‘10 Light Years Away.’

When the Scorps landed onstage in Camden, NJ, they wasted no time reclaiming their fans with a volley of frantic guitars and a spastic Klaus Meine dodging the spotlight. Their fine-tuned, well-oiled machine ripped a destructive mass of havoc. The energy level pumped with every downbeat and the fans bathed in the glory of a pure German stampede.