Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: The Scorpions Knew How to Make an In Trance
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
“We had the worst covers in the world. One after the next. We should’ve gotten an award. The award for the ultimate bad taste.” —Uli Jon Roth, Scorpions guitarist/vocalist
He’s not kidding. In their ’70s heyday, the Scorpions had an impressive commitment to willfully hideous/hilariously idiotic album covers, the original Virgin Killer being by far the most uncomfortable. On the other hand, 1975’s In Trance is provocative, but not vile. The artsy, black and white shot of the blonde squatting over a white Strat (her breast is exposed in the original version) allows for a lot of interpretations. I’m pretty sure she’s not peeing/shitting on it; it’s probably just a slightly classier take of the Jenna Jameson scene in Private Parts.
We didn’t induct In Trance into the Decibel Hall of Fame for the cover, though. The first of two German bands getting HOF honors in consecutive issues (you’ll have to wait and see who the second is in July), Scorpions’ proto-heavy metal attack, unconventional songwriting approach (they were basically split into two highly productive “teams” headed by Rudolf Schenker and Roth) and burning desire to build a global audience distinguished them from similar contemporaries. Like author Chris Dick says in the intro, “In Trance is where it all came together … The hallmarks of heavy metal were present on In Trance. But unlike their peers in England and America, the Germans were also unrepentantly melodic.” Indulge in the animal magnetism and check out the HOF in the June issue.
The June 2014 issue of Decibel features GWAR, Goatwhore, Devil You Know, and an awesome Iron Reagan flexi disc, and can be purchased here… but if you don’t just get a full subscription, Uli Jon Roth will recreate the Jenna Jameson scene in Private Parts on your face.