After releasing a string of brilliant but only moderately successful hard rock albums in the '70s, Scorpions redefined their sound on 1979’s Lovedrive. With the addition of lead guitarist Matthias Jabs, the German group found the lineup that would lead them into their most prosperous decade. Because they'd already played together for so long, Scorpions were notable for the diversity of their skills. As a time when heavy metal was in rapid fluctuation, the band could achieve steady marching rock (“Loving You Sunday Morning”), proto-speed metal (“Another Piece of Meat,” “Can’t Get Enough”), and galloping Teutonic attacks (“Lovedrive”). In between there's the eerie balladry of “Almost Somewhere”—a clear antecedent to Guns ‘N Roses’ “Don’t Cry”—and the catchy near-reggae of “Is There Anybody There?,” which cleverly interpolates The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” While Scorpions would soon become synonymous with pounding riff-rock, the fan favorite “Holiday”—a sort of “Stairway to Heaven” for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal—shows they had enough musical imagination to become the next generation’s Led Zeppelin.

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