TITLE: Taken By Force
YEAR RELEASED: 1977
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: He’s a Woman – She’s a Man, Sails of Charon
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Steamrock Fever, We’ll Burn the Sky
LINEUP: Klaus Meine, Uli Jon Roth, Rudolf Schenker, Francis Bucholz, Herman Rarebell
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The pinnacle and endpoint of the Uli Jon Roth era, which is their most consistent album before it falls off a clip with a LOOOONG slow ballad. Sigh.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Scorpions had eschewed their progressive side for several years and three albums, but that influence came roaring back with this album. The incredible “Sails of Charon” definitely veers into progressive rock and fantasy elements, and Uli Jon Roth’s guitar playing in both riff and solo is incredible.
The band sounds tighter and more focused, which may be due to new drummer Herman Rarebell. The opener, “Steamrock Fever”, introduces the double-tracked harmonies of Klaus Meine, which becomes a trademark for the band as they continue their career.
Yet, I can’t rate this an “A” because the very last track of the original album, “Born to Touch Your Feelings” is an interminable slow ballad. The Scoprions wouldn’t or couldn’t stay away from them. Alas.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Yet another controversial cover, but this time only because of the image of the graveyard and the gun battle juxtaposed with the tombstones.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a track (“Suspender Love”) and a live version of “Polar Nights” originally left off of the original CDs of their live album.
GRADE B+: One track can really upset the apple cart on the grade. I was all prepared to give this an “A-“ but that last ballad…oof.