SCORPIONS — Lonesome Crow (review)

SCORPIONS — Lonesome Crow album cover Album · 1972 · Proto-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
1/5 ·
martindavey87
‘Lonesome Crow’ is the 1972 debut of one of metal and hard rock’s longest running and most endearing bands, the Scorpions (or, more specifically, just Scorpions, without the “the”). Like countless others, I was introduced to this band by winds of change, being rocked like a hurricane and suffering severe blackouts, so it’s a huge surprise, and kind of an odd disappointment, to discover that the German hard rockers were something completely different when they first debuted.

Commonly referred to as “krautrock”, ‘Lonesome Crow’ is more psychedelic and progressive than what the band would go on to become known for. With a heavy emphasis on non-linear guitar solos and vocal lines that don’t really follow very clear melodies, it’s a bit of a mess of an album, especially if, like me, you were expecting the bands latter riff-fuelled sound to be present here.

Most of this falls down to guitarist Michael Schenker, who’s distinctive playing style is all over this album, but would leave the band before they could record a follow-up, which is where the group really start to develop their more recognizable sound. There is some impressive musicianship, which feels more akin to the progressive rock bands of the day, but for all the competent playing, they’re not very competent at writing catchy songs. Not yet, anyway.

I mean, if I had to really look for positives, then full credit would go to the bands technical abilities on their instruments. But I don’t really listen to albums marvelling at the musicianship if the songs themselves are pretty boring and forgettable. It’s a shame, but in fairness, these guys would certainly go on to evolve and eventually conquer the world, so dismissing ‘Lonesome Crow’ shouldn’t be such an issue, surely?
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