I would have given this a 4.5 if I could because some of the things people have been critical about are not completely off base, but since they really slammed the CD much too hard, I will bump it up to 5.
Yes, the crowd is very loud. This is a CONCERT! A SCORPIONS CONCERT, no less! I love the way they recorded the crowd noise. It pumps me up. It’s part of the energy of WWL. Who wants to go to a concert where the crowd is apathetic or lethargic? It would be World Wide Dead. I think they had this spot-on. It’s just like I’m there at the concert.
Granted, some of the songs had different phrasing than the studio versions or were even a little sloppy. Given the process the Scorps used to use to record in the studio, the live thing was a different world for them. Some of their studio material could not be fully translated live. And I don’t think anyone with any musical ability and experience would argue that Herman Rarebell and Francis Buchholz were anything but placeholders for the most part, but they were part of the Scorpions, and we loved them for it!
After reading the other reviews, here’s the bottom line: NO ONE listens to the Scorps for technical virtuosity (though Schenker can definitely wail away). You listen to them for the energy they convey and for their unique songwriting style. To this point, Rudy said, in an MTV interview at his house (back when they actually played and cared about MUSIC!) right about the time this album came out: “I don’t want to be known as one of the greatest guitarists in the world; I want to be known as one of the greatest songwriters in the world.” The Scorps have a sound all their own. That sound, and that energy, and that unique songwriting comes out on this CD.
Let’s also be honest: as great as their previous albums were content-wise, they were not recorded well. If I remember correctly, WWL was the first live CD I ever bought that was an all-digital recording, and it made a difference, even though they weren’t in the studio. WWL breathed some life into older studio material that just wasn’t as potent. In fact, some of my friends and I actually began to prefer the WWL versions of some songs because of the weaker recording quality of the older songs. Also, there are some bands who rock out in the studio and then they sound like something totally different live – the Scorpions are not one of them.
For newer fans of the Scorps, maybe you want to stick with Live Bites, or maybe even Acoustica, but for anyone who wants to re-live (or experience for the first time) the glory days of 80’s metal in the form of a pulse-pounding concert by those great German rockers, the Scorpions, this is it. Get the CD, let your hair down, crank it up, and get ready to pound your dashboard into oblivion!