While guitarrist Ulrich ROth was still on board, Scorpions made set-standard rock. Songs like the tittle track adn “Speedy’s Coming” were amazing. Klaus Meine’s interpretation (albeit full of sotak) was divine, adn the band flourished. After ROth left, the band was gone.
Japanese only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD – playable on all CD players) pressing. BMG. 2008.
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I originally bought this album on vinyl over twenty years ago and it remains one of my favorite albums of all time. The co-writing of Ulrich Roth and Michael Schenker on the title track in conjunction with the incredible musicianship of this group on the entire album shows the real reason why the Scorpions became one of the biggest rock bands in history. Finely textured feedback solos on pieces like “Drifting Sun” and the title track as well as expressive drumming and incredible lyrics make this a true album for artists.
Okay, so “Ulrich Roth” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as “Eric Clapton” or “Eddie Van Halen”…but don’t let that detract you from picking up a copy of what may well be the prototype “air guitar” metal album! The Scorpions may have arguably reached thier creative peak on what was only thier second effort. Although released in 1974, “Fly To The Rainbow” dates very well, particularly on some of the dynamic, well-arranged epic-length pieces, which would almost sound at home on a Queensrhyche or Dream Theater album. That being said, you also have “Speedy’s Coming”, one of the best side 1 / cut 1’s of all time, (right up there with “Baba O’Reilly” or “All The Way From Memphis”) which I’m sure has inspired some “Tom Cruise dancing on Mom and Dad’s sofa” moments for more than one of us! Ulrich Roth’s expressive and powerfully sonic lead playing should appeal to fans of Gary Moore, with whom I see some stylistic similarities. One of the rare metal albums that works for both “headphone” AND ” Hey…let’s share this with the neighbors!” moods.
Scorpions _World Wide Live_ was the first album I ever purchased for myself, a monstrous, treasured double-vinyl artifact that I literally wore the grooves out on. Years later, having navigated through plenty of phases with my fickle musical tastes, I was turned on and totally blown away by the heretofore unexplored Uli Jon Roth era, of which this album, though probably not the best, is by far my personal favorite. You can almost smell the incense burning from the first chords. Although the songwriting is uneven, with Roth taking too many vocal turns, the textures and art-rock song structures are mezmerizing, especially on the title track, where Roth’s gorgeous, classically-informed technique leads into a track which is some kind of psychadelic metal masterpiece, the kind of track Hawkwind wishes they had the chops to play and Yngwie Malmsteen is still trying to write to this day. “Speedy’s Coming” is a great, racous opener and features the first really strong Klaus Meine vocal workout along with some great tongue-in-cheek lyrics (“Do you like Alice Cooper/Do you like Ringo Starr?”). The intricate, gorgeous intro to “They Need a Million” leads into a telltale flamenco-influenced chord progression and showcases Uli Jon Roth’s Hendrix-meets-Blackmore soloing (also, unfortunately, his singing). The keyboards on quasi-operatic background vocals are very strange things to find on a Scorpions record, and while many folks may deem them somewhat silly, I find them strangely intoxicating. If “This is My Song” seems somewhat redundant, the delicate, Floydian ballad “Far Away” should make it forgivable. If you approach this as more of a guitarist’s record (as it is easy to see Uli Jon Roth was in the spotlight here) the blueprints for the 80’s neoclassical shredder can be seen here. But its not a bad intro to the Scorps’ early output, either, and it definitely belongs in any hard rock afficianado’s collection.
This is the Scorps 2nd album, for years this was part of USA RCA’s budget albums, but oddly, has been outof print for some time now in the USA. Fly to the Rainbow plays a pivotal role in the Scorps career. As Lonesome crow was more Psych-Blues, Fly to the Rainbow is more Psych-Hard Rock. They also revamped the lineup for this one, Michael Schenker is gone, as we all know, he left to join UFO. Uli Roth is the NEW lead guitarist, who obviously brings a lot to the table. This is also Francis Bucholtz’s 1st albumwith the Scorps, a big time under-rated bass player who plays off the wild lead guitar playing quite nicely. Listen to “This is My Song”, for some nice melodic bass playing. The drums are handled by Jurgen Rosenthal, one of the better drummers in a long line of Scorps percussionists. Speedy’s Coming: This type of tune is what would become a typical Scorps Hard Rockin song. But this is the prototype, the 1st one. Funny how this song seems out of place on this album. Lotsof cool references to Alice Cooper, Ringo Starr, Royal Albert Hall. Very cool lyriclly, with all the stuff about the girl hanging posters on her wall and getting hot and bothered by the rock star coming to town. They Need a Million: This is the 1st in the Rainbow concept, which seems to have something to do with the poor and oppresed finding a better life, probably an East/West German thing. Starts with a nice Acoustic piece played by Rudy, then goes into the Flamenco thing. Th lead vocalshere are hadled by Rudy Schenker, NOT Uli Roth, as many may think, mainly because rudy never sings again after this album. Strng backrounds by Klaus. Drifting Sun: Uli’s time to shine. Blistering lead guitar, and pounding, heavy bcking track make this one a winner. Uli’s Vocals on this one are probably the best he’s ever recorded on record, his voice is a little higher and seems to be in the right key for his limited vocal range. The spoken word section is again sung by Rudy Schenker, which luckily was done through a leslie speaker cabinet, as Rudy has a heavy accent and unusual speaking voice. To cap this all off is a stinging Moog synthesizer line that is just perfect. Pchyedelic mind trip, close your eyes and off we go!Fly People Fly: Back to the Rainbow concept for this one. A song only the Scorps can write, moody and bluesy, with top notch vocals from Klaus who also doubles on harmony. Once again, stuning lead guitar from Uli. Listen and you’ll hear Francis Busholtz almost make a bass playing error. This is My Song: Nice straight ahead rocker, very melodic but a litte repetitive on the Chorus. Still, catchy and listenable, and nice bass work from Fran. Far Away: Broken up into 2 parts, the 1st being a soft mellotron piece at the string setting, the secondbeing a scorchinging heavy ballad. Another Rainbow piece. Very tastful and an extremly catchy hook to take you back to the verses. I cannot beleive how this guy plays lead guitar on this. It is the best lead playing I have ever heard. Period. Fly to the Rainbow: Well here we are, at the end of the record. The acoustic intro is a nice, upbeat piece that says there is a happy ending to this story. Then we’re off into this harmony lead guitar section where all 3 guitarists are playng lead. Then were off into pchedelic land again with heavy flanging and poetic reads by Uli. A nice and fitting way to end the record. Take note that Michael Schenker pinched part of the acostic intro and used it on “Crystal Light”, on UFO’s 1974 release Phenomenon. Well there you have it, a classic rock album by a great rock band. What makes this different for a Scorpions standpoint is that this was a hge step up from Lonesome Crow, which had some great guitar work, but seems terribly outdated, even from its release date it sounds 5 years too old. Fly to the Rainbow has Moog Synth on 2 songs, wild dive bomber guitar solos, cool sound effects, mellotrons, bizzare vocals, concepts, great muscanship. The keyboards went uncredited, as well as the alternate vocalists. This was produced by the Scorps, who did a great job. I’d love to hear from others who love this album, its one of my favorites as well.