Scorpions mark 50th year with new studio LP ‘Return to Forever’

(Photo by Oliver Rath)

(Photo by Oliver Rath)

‘Return to Forever’
Scorpions (Legacy)
3.5 stars out of 5

Whether you love them or hate them — or, like me, fall somewhere in between those two extremes — there’s no arguing the success of German metal outfit Scorpions over the past half century. The raw numbers are staggering. The Scorpions have sold more than 100 million records, performed thousands of concerts in every corner of the globe and have had No. 1 singles in no fewer than seven countries

Scorpions CDThe iconic band celebrates their 50th year in the business with the release of 19th studio album “Return to Forever.” It’s a better-than-expected gathering of 19 tunes that show there’s still plenty of high-octane petrol left in the tank.

“We have been overwhelmed with the amazing response to our new album across the globe abd can’t wait to finally release ‘Return to Forever’ in North America,” longtime frontman Klaus Meine notes. “We have always had a special connection with our incredible fans and are so excited to get them the new album and return to play live this fall.”

Meine, Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs make up the Scorpions core and are joined in the band by James Kottak and Pawel Maciwoda. They’re in the midst of a 16-city North American tour with Queensryche and show no signs of slowing down.

“Return to Forever” is a solid addition to the Scorpions discography, though not a classic album. Songs like “We Built This Home,” the anthemic “House of Cards,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Band,” “Eye of the Storm,” “The World We Used to Know,” “Crazy Ride” and “One and Two Is Three” merit some attention, though the 64-minute platter overstays its welcome by about a third. Still, it’s nice to see that these Scorpions have not lost their sting. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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