It's hard to find fault with such a successful album; the Scorpions were already a big name in the rock world, but 'Love at First Sting' propelled them into the major league, making them one of the biggest hard rock acts of not just the mid-Eighties but of all time. Released five years after Uli Jon Roth had departed and the classic Scorpions line-up had been born, 'Love at First Sting' was a solid combination of hard rocking mentality, heavy metal excess, commercial sensibility and the honest creativity of five talented musicians.
However, despite its popularity, 'Love at First Sting' is not without flaws. It holds several classic Scorpions tunes, including what is undoubtedly their finest power ballad - 'Still Loving You', but it's also peppered with filler material, half-baked tunes that pass the listener by and fail to stick in the mind. Hence, at the time, 'Love at First Sting' was considered to be arguably the weakest album made by the definitive quintet of Klaus Meine, Rudolph Schenker, Matthias Jabs, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell.
It's starts impressively enough; 'Bad Boys Running Wild' is a brooding, menacing hard rocker let down only by its somewhat ridiculous title and 'Rock You like a Hurricane' is a triumphant slab of metal, ticking all the right boxes (dodgy lyrics, sing-a-long chorus and fiery guitar solo). The band scored a significant hit in the US with this single, enough for it to get a mention in an episode of The Simpsons. Third track 'I'm Leaving You' is a delight, with it's rather wistful but upbeat tone and 'Coming Home' became the perfect live set opener, the gentle intro creating a perfect contrast to the bombastic metal onslaught of the main song.
But, the sheer quality of the gorgeous mid-paced rocker 'Big City Nights' is marred by it being bracketed by the lame effort of 'The Same Thrill' and the dreary plodding of 'As Soon as the Good Time Roll'. Even 'Crossfire' fails to liven up proceedings, despite its militaristic feel. Hence, the album as a whole tends to drag its feet.
Fortunately, the best moment is saved until the end and the aforementioned 'Still Loving You' is a towering piece of lighters-aloft, misty-eyed majestic hard rock, one of the finest rock ballads of all time. The generally tedious nature of the proceeding ten minutes can be forgiven and for this song alone, 'Love at First Sting' is well worth the purchase price.