RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Uli Jon Roth – Scorpions Revisited  
UDR Music


Rating: B

Release Date:  March 10, 2015

Rock fans in America are very aware of the band The Scorpions.  They love “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “Tease Me Please Me” as well as entertain you with the many other MTV hits of the 1980s.  Most, however, are not familiar with guitarist Uli Jon Roth.  In fact, many do not even realize the Scorpions released numerous albums on the label RCA that barely saw the light of day in the USA.  Sadly, they missed out.  While the early Uli Roth era Scorpions are not well known in the States, the music is much more complex and dark.  The guitar playing is proto-type Neo-Classical at times.  That influence comes via Mr. Uli Jon Roth. 

The German guitar virtuoso composed songs on several albums by the Scorpions ranging from the years 1974 to 1977.  His contributions are found on Fly to the Rainbow (1974), In Trance (1975), Virgin Killer and Taken by Force (1977).  After one more live album, 1978’s Tokyo Tapes, Uli parted ways with the band, citing musical differences as the culprit.  His German band mates went on to achieve massive international success while Roth remained true to his craft and musical vision, carving out his own international following in the meantime. 

Uli’s fans tend to be guitar aficionados and none are better in their eyes on the electric axe than Uli Jon Roth!  He plays with a classical flair, yet he knows how to blister the fret board going from zero to sixty in under two seconds fast.  He also plays with melody and is as interested in the mathematical, philosophical and technical aspects of music as much as the emotional and magical aspects. 

Over the course of his career, Uli has never shied away from his Scorpions past, but he has continued to create new music that he has preferred to showcase.  Never before has he embraced his Scorpions history with the fervor that he has on the new double-disc effort Scorpions Revisited

This album celebrates 19 of his most famous songs recorded with the band.  From the heavy handed “Sails of Charon” to the hypnotic “In Trace” to the emotive “Crying Days” to the Hendrix-like wailing of “Hell Cat,” Roth puts his hands on his fret board, closes his eyes and lets ‘er rip! 

What makes the album more than just a retrospective and more of an artistic endeavor is the way Roth repurposes the songs to fit where he believes them to be in the modern day.  To get in the mood for the undertaking, Roth and band recorded the album in the hall where the Scorpions recorded and wrote many of the songs decades before. 

“The material for this double CD was recorded last year in the same hall in Hanover that we used for the Scorpions rehearsals 1973-1978,”explains Roth. “Together with an amazing bunch of very talented young musicians, I revisited my personal favorites from the early Scorpions period, some of which were written in that same hall. It was an emotional few days and I am very pleased with the results in more ways than one. The idea was to stay truthful to the original spirit of the music, while also putting a new slant on it whenever it felt like the right thing to do. I feel we really succeeded in this and I’m very excited about this project. It was an intense journey into the past and I think we really managed to bring the songs back to life with a vengeance.”
The band which performed with Roth for these historic shows was Nathan James (vocals), Jamie Little (drums), Ule W. Ritgen (bass), Niklas Turmann (guitar, vocals), Corvin Bahn (keyboards, vocals) and David Klosinski (guitar).  Together they succeeded in what they set out to accomplish, and that was to take these great tracks and play the heck out of them, adding to them where the opportunity to do so arose. 

The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Scorpions.  While Roth was only there for a handful of those years, his legacy with the band is very important.  By reconnecting with his past, Roth both satisfied his desire to accomplish this goal as well as grow as a musician through the experience, leading his fans to be ever so hopeful of big things left to come!

Track listing - CD1:
1.      The Sails Of Charon
2.      Longing For Fire
3.      Crying Days
4.      Virgin Killer
5.      In Trance
6.      Sun In My Hand
7.      Yellow Raven
8.      Polar Nights
9.      Dark Lady

Track listing - CD2:
1.      Catch Your Train
2.      Evening Wind
3.      All Night Long
4.      We’ll Burn In The Sky
5.      Pictured Life
6.      Hell Cat
7.      Life’s Like A River
8.      Drifting Sun
9.      Rainbow Dream Prelude
10.    Fly To The Rainbow
By Jeb Wright