The tame alternate cover of the Scorpions 1976 album ‘Virgin Killer.’
This footage from German music show Musikladen features some seriously funky riffs from former Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth. The impossibly lickey Roth departed the band shortly after the release of the live album Tokyo Tapes in 1978—the same year as their mind-melting appearance on the show.
In the video the Scorpions sound kinda groovy as they chug through “The Sails of Charon” from their 1977 album Taken By Force with the help of Roth’s impeccable chops and some psychedelic effects. The influential guitarist got his start playing in a band called Blue Infinity back when he was only thirteen and drew inspiration from not only classical guitar masters such as Julian Bream but also disciples of the musical art of Flamenco like French guitarist Manitas de Plato. Both influences can be heard as Roth frets away in a trance-like state during the band’s appearance on the show. While I know not everyone has a special affinity for heavy metal like I do, I still think it’s nearly impossible to not appreciate the power and prowess of the Scorpions in this footage as it’s absolutely mesmerizing.
If your record collection is a little light when it comes to Scorpions I’d suggest filling some of those gaps with any (or all) of the studio records that Roth appears on from the band’s early catalog—1974’s Fly to The Rainbow, 1975’s In Trance, 1976’s stellar Virgin Killer, and 1977’s Taken By Force. And if Roth’s epic jam sounds at all familiar to you it should as it was homaged by Metallica guitarist and self-professed Roth enthusiast Kirk Hammett on the track “Battery” from Master of Puppets.
Now that today’s heavy metal history lesson is over, watch this insane footage of the Scorps blowing minds on Musikladen.
The Scorpions performing ‘The Sails of Charon’ on Musikladen, 1978.
More footage of the Scorpions on Musikladen performing the track ‘We’ll Burn the Sky.’
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘He’s a Woman, She’s a Man’: The Scorpions’ transgressive transgender lust anthem