Thursday, February 25, 2010

SCORPIONS Virgin Killer

Thanks iPod shuffle for reminding me that all of those incredible lost 1970s private press hard rock albums that have surfaced on blogs and $19-$41 reissues the last few years may be cool but, at their best, are approximately half as good as Virgin Killer. I've been listening to this album since I was about 14 years old (replacement cover edition, thank god), at which time Duke Wisdom and I became (I'm assuming, probably correctly) the only two residents of Fremont County, Iowa to be full-fledged members of the Cult of Uli Jon Roth. Don't get me wrong, any Dieter Dierks-produced Scorps album is gonna be good... everybody in Fremont County and a lot of other places loved 1980s radio hits like "No One Like You", "The Zoo," and of course "Rock You Like A Hurricane." All fine tunes, and there were many more, but there was just something on fire about 1970s Roth-era Scorps... the tunes were punchier, and the guitar playing was far beyond other fine but notably more lethargic Hendrixians of the day such as Trower and Marino. Check out "Catch Your Train":

P.S. Here's Roth telling the story of how the album's striking title and beyond-dubious original cover came about [via]: "The lyrics incidentally were a take-off on KISS, whom we had just supported on a tour. I was fooling around and played the riff of the song in the rehearsal room and spontaneously improvised 'cause he's a virgin killer!' trying to do a more or less way-off-the-mark Paul Stanley impersonation. Klaus immediately said 'that's great! You should do something with it.' Then I had the unenviable task of constructing a meaningful set of lyrics around the title, which I actually managed to do to some degree." C'mon, Klaus... Paul Stanley impersonations are always fun and should be supported when in the practice room, but everybody (except Paul Stanley and the members of KISS) know that they should never be used for actual song ideas... maybe this wasn't yet common knowledge in 1975-1976.

P.P.S. You may already recognize Dieter Dierks as the producer of several krautrock classics... a whopping 13 out of Julian Cope's Top 50.

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