Since 1972, Scorpions have been at the forefront of the German invasion of heavy metal and despite a wobbly period in the later 90’s and early 00’s where they went a little bit airy fairy, and despite writing some really killer alt-rock tunes, it wasn’t really the kind of stuff you play on a black and white Flying V. So, Sting In The Tail is the swansong of one of the stadium killers that have last the entire course since the early days of metal.
The word ‘rock’ appears in no less than three song titles on the album, and there’s some kind of self reference in the album title, apparently. The long and short of it is that SITT is probably the best album that they’ve done since Love At First Sting back in 1984. The 80’s pomp and the 90’s self consciousness of one’s own output that was prevalent in the grunge scene is now gone, and all that remains is a string of riff-laden anthems with sing-along choruses. It’s not particularly smart or thoughtful, but the Scorps were never about that.
Not to say that there isn’t any variation. We have a couple of those ballad type things that I’d rather forget, Lorelei and SLY which are interchangeable and rather forgettable. If you liked the Eye II Eye album, you’ll appreciate them but Klaus and the boys just seem to be trying to recreate Wind of Change again. Of the remaining ten tracks, at least seven are fist pumping, foot stomping rock n’ rollers, the title track’s chorus goes as such:
“Hail, hail! The sting in the tail!”
That’s it. Genuinely. You’ll know if you like the Scorpions or not from their history, but if you don’t like the majority of this album you cannot legitimately claim to like hard rock. Nigh on forty years of song writing has paid off in their final hour, having crafted an album that is intensely listenable, accessible and very danceable. The grand finale The Best Is Yet To Come is a real tug on the old heart strings, finishing the album in a beautifully triumphant fashion without being overblown and pompous, and actually leaves me wishing they’d make another album.
The final Scorpions tour kicks off this summer. Once it’s done, they’re over. My advice is buy this album, learn the words and rock out like it’s 1976.