After contemplating retirement for a number of years now, there is a possibility that with their seventeenth studio album the Scorpions may finally do just that (they’ve announced it, if that means anything). And if retirement is in the near future for the band, though they will always be remembered for their period of superstardom in the ‘80s, Sting in the Tail is a pretty good way to go out.
Material released by rock bands that have been in the business for over 40 years, as Scorpions have, is often regarded with condescension (see Judas Priest). Scorpions however, have been releasing music steadily throughout their career. They put out an album just about every two to four years, never trying too hard to follow popular trends in music (see Sebastian Bach), instead opting to stick with what they’re good at. Also, it doesn’t hurt that singer Klause Meine’s voice is as great as it was in the ‘80s. Seriously, Meine could sing the business section of the newspaper and make you want to jam to it.
The opener, “Raised on Rock” begins with the words “I was born in a hurricane” an ironic and welcome reference to the band’s best known single, 1984’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” one of several references to their success and the coming twilight of their career. “Slave Me” could be a single and has all the ingredients that their hard-driving classic songs had. Track four, “The Good Die Young” is the first ballad on the album and another likely single, which features a duet between Meine and Tarja Turunen, formerly of Nightwish.
Sting in the Tail shows that the band’s songwriting gears have not rusted. You have to respect any band who makes it to 40 and still writes decent music. Even more so when they make a collective decision, not to break up, but to retire. And not because of a tragedy or ‘artistic differences,’ but because they want to go out while they are still selling out arenas and young enough to have fun doing it, even in their 50s and 60s.