Scorpions: Taken by Force [1977]

Released 4 December 1977
January 1978 (US)
Recorded June–October 1977
Genre Heavy metalhard rock
Length 39:05
Label RCA
Producer Dieter Dierks

Taken By Force is the fifth studio album by German heavy metal band Scorpions, released in 1977. This was the first Scorpions album to feature drummer Herman Rarebell and the final album to feature guitarist Uli Jon Roth. Roth left the band in 1978 following the end of the album’s tour, and was eventually replaced by Matthias Jabs.

Cover art

The album cover photography was taken by Michael von Gimbut[3], returning for his third Scorpions album cover commission. Like their previous two albums, Taken By Force caused controversy with its cover art which again resulted in the artwork being replaced in most markets with an alternative cover using photographs of the band members. The band’s former lead guitarist Uli Jon Roth defended the original artwork in a 2008 interview, stating

I think the original idea was children playing with guns at a military cemetary [sic] in France and some people found that offensive. I don’t think it’s offensive because I think it was actually a quite a good image because it puts war totally into perspective, very often it is young people, eighteen, ninenteen [sic], going to war that don’t fully understand life. When you’re fifty you don’t fully understand life, but these guys then have to shoot other people simply because someone tells them to do it for their country. Politicians are sometimes also children with guns, in all periods of time a lot of politicians are far too trigger happy and war too easily becomes an “easy solution”, whereas for me it should never a solution, there should be no war in the first place. Maybe every once in a while a country may need to defend itself, I understand that, but in general if you consider that there are over a hundred wars raging in the present day on this planet alone then it’s just sheer lunacy and always the tool of the Dark Side. Usually bad things come from war, very few good things, but sometimes good things come from bad things, that’s true, nothing’s that black and white. It’s always the wrong solution to kill people.

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Steamrock Fever” Rudolf SchenkerKlaus Meine 3:37
2. “We’ll Burn the Sky” Schenker, Monika Dannemann 6:26
3. “I’ve Got to Be Free” Ulrich Roth 4:00
4. “The Riot of Your Time” Schenker, Meine 4:09
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “The Sails of Charon” (Most versions of the album contain a 4:23 edited version) Roth 5:16
2. “Your Light” Roth 4:31
3. “He’s a Woman – She’s a Man” Schenker, Meine, Herman Rarebell 3:15
4. “Born to Touch Your Feelings” Schenker, Meine 7:40
2011 CD reissue bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Suspender Love” Schenker, Meine 3:20
2. “Polar Nights” (Live “Tokyo Tapes” version) Roth 6:56

Most versions of this album (including all CD versions with bonus tracks) feature an edited version of The Sails of Charon. The editing removes an introduction made up of “wind-like” sound effects. The intro does not actually contain any music performed by the band. The complete version is available on a 2010 remastered CD of Taken By Force released only in Japan.

The Sails of Charon was also used in the videogame Gran Turismo 5

Listening

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Lyrics

1. Streamrock Fever

Music :Rudolf Schenker
Lyrics:Klaus Meine

We’d like to introduce tonight
The kings of a brand new style
They’re hungry to play
We’d like to introduce tonight
The new heavy steamrock style
They’re ready to play

All right, how do you feel tonight
Get out to see them write
The name of their band
(Steamrock band, steamrock band)
Steam bright, work has a beat tonight
Get out to see them fry
And they will begin
Here they are

Steamrock fever thrilling rock believers
Steamrock fever in L.A.
Steamrock fever thrilling rock believers
Steamrock fever in L.A.

All right, how do you feel tonight
Get out to see them write
The name of their band
(Steamrock band, steamrock band)
Steam bright, work has a beat tonight
Get out to see them fry
And they will begin
Here they are

Steamrock fever thrilling rock believers
Steamrock fever in L.A.
Steamrock fever thrilling rock believers
Steamrock fever in L.A.

2. We’ll Burn the Sky

Music :Rudolf Schenker
Lyrics:Danneman

I’m in love with the sunshine
I’m in love with the fallin’ rain
Everything seems to call your name
Yesterday you were leavin’
Leavin’ life and all your pain
Everything wants you back again
Wants you back again
Wants you back again

I found myself through you
And there was love in my life
I felt always naturally high
And my love had a home
But now my mind has started to roam
You’re my life giving fire
And you carry all my love
Through you I was so inspired
You’re engraved deep in my heart
Heart, heart, heart

My dreams recall us being one
I’ve searched for you to be free
The force of life you have always been
I feel blue since you’re gone
You’re breath of life surrounded me
When can I join you to be free
Join you to be free
Join you to be free

Wait, can this be a dream
There is a voice in my head
It belongs to you, it says
Don’t cry, no need to be sad
There’s a way to stay with you again
It’s more than you ever had
And no death brings us apart
Our timeless love always grows
Because you are my other part

I know we’ve never been apart
Your love sets fire to my heart
We’ll burn the sky
When it’s time for me to die
We’ll burn the sky, oh yeah
We’ll burn the sky, oh yeah
When it’s time, time, time
We’ll burn the sky
We’ll burn the sky, oh yeah

3. I’ve Got to Be Free

Music :Ulrich Roth
Lyrics:Ulrich Roth

You’re burnin’ my heart
You’re burnin’ my mind
You’re spoilin’ my art
You’re wasting my time
No taste in your actions
No taste in your line
No tears now…
Just don’t do you ever mind

You say you wanna be a superstar
You’re givin’ up half to get that far
You say you wanna ride a diamond car
But I don’t like your fancy car

Hey hey hey, don’t you wanna see
I’m not your steppin’ stone
Hey hey hey, I’ve gotta be free
So leave my life alone
So leave my life alone
So leave my life alone

You’re in love with success
You’re spilling my wine
No part of my address, babe
Your ways aren’t mine
You may got the money
But your wastin’ my life
I’m not your Bugs Bunny
And you’re not my wife

You say you only do it for affect
But you don’t wanna see what I detest
I think you’re depraved
I’m gonna leave you so
But you can’t see what I see so let me go

Hey hey hey, don’t you wanna see
I’m not your steppin’ stone
Hey hey hey, I’ve gotta be free
So leave my life alone
So leave my life alone
So leave my life alone

Hey hey hey, don’t you wanna see
I’m not your steppin’ stone
Hey hey hey, I’ve gotta be free
So leave my life alone
So leave my life alone
So leave my life alone

Hey hey hey, don’t you wanna see
I’m not your steppin’ stone
Hey hey hey, I’ve gotta be free
So leave my life alone
So leave my life alone
So leave my life alone

4. The Riot of Your Time

Music :Rudolf Schenker
Lyrics:Klaus Meine

The only king of rock has gone
Gone to heaven
A star on the way to the stars
Another king of rock is born in ’77
Just born to be there when it’s dark

’94, ’95, if the world is still alive
With the start of the riot of your time
Here’s a ticket for a burning train
To set the world in flame
To play the hero’s game
The riot of your time
Here’s a ticket for the future days
You’ll be the guitar king
When your electric plays
The riot of your time
A new generation’s mind
The riot of your time

Just to get the message to be more
Than you desire
A star full of life wild and young
The hits from 1994 electric fire
Will burn out the time like the sun

’94, ’95, if the world is still alive
With the start of the riot of your time
Here’s a ticket for a burning train
To set the world in flame
To play the hero’s game
The riot of your time
Here’s a ticket for the future days
You’ll be the guitar king
When your electric plays
The riot of your time
A new generation’s mind
The riot of your time

5. The Sails of Charon

Music :Ulrich Roth
Lyrics:Ulrich Roth

Dark night, there is no light
In the realm of the black magic man
Soul’s flight into the cold blight
Of the destroyer’s magic land

Poor man, whose spirits are stronger
They’re the ones who will reign
You’re struggles are in vain

Blind man, you’re suckin’ your own blood
Soon black magic’s dying
You’d better start crying

Blind man, you’re suckin’ your own blood
Soon black magic’s dying
You’d better start crying

Throw out your evil desire
The dark king’s kingdom is
Made out of mire

Throw out your evil desire
The dark king’s kingdom is
Made out of mire

Keep on for the kingdom of light
There is no darkness, there is no night

6. Your Light

Music :Ulrich Roth
Lyrics:Ulrich Roth

When you’re feeling lost and blue
When there is no love for you
You’ll find him and it’s all right
It’s all right, it’s all right

When you’re feeling down and low
When you’ve got no place to go
And when no one smiles hello
He’s by your side, you know

When you’re getting deaf and blind
When you drag one leg behind
And when you’re finally gonna
Lose your mind
It’s all right, it’s all right
It’s all right

‘Cause he is by your side
‘Cause he will be your guide
‘Cause he will be your light
And you’re not alone, you’re not alone
You’re not alone, you’re not alone

7. He’s a Woman – She’s a Man

Music :Rudolf Schenker
Lyrics:Klaus Meine, Herman Rarebell

I saw it walkin’ lonely down the street
Cool like a cat, like crazy clean
I looked twice again, I can’t believe
Oh no no no
It turned around right then
And looked at me
I said oh no, it really couldn’t be
It was a man, it was a woman, too

He’s a woman, she’s a man
He’s a woman, she’s a (woman)

I think it really came from far away
I’m feeling head uptight so I have to stay
It takes my hand and says come on, let’s go
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go
We’re goin’ home, it’s nice and warm to say
He starts to move, she starts to play
I need a body, why not you

He’s a woman, she’s a man
He’s a woman, she’s a (woman)

He’s a woman, she’s a man
He’s a woman, she’s a (woman)

8. Born to Touch Your Feelings

Music :Rudolf Schenker
Lyrics:Klaus Meine

I was born from the sound of the strings
For someone to give everything
To be a song just for your feeling

Close your eyes and I’ll try to get in
To waken your heart like the sping
‘Cause I was born to touch your feelings

Steal the time, take a song and be glad
Be free as the birds, don’t be sad
Your time will come, I’ll make you feel it
You’re still young like the sun after rain
Follow the light it’s not in vain
And you will see I’ll touch your feelings

You’ve got your songs
They are everyday for awhile
Just the only way to feel all right
You’ve got your songs
They are everyday for awhile
Just the only way to feel all right

You were born just to lose or to win
To be someone’s chime in the wind
To live between your mind and feelings
Find your way, check it out
Learn each day
Follow the light, it’s not in vain
And you will see I’ll touch your feelings

You’ve got your songs
They are everyday for awhile
Just the only way to feel all right
You’ve got your songs
They are everyday for awhile
Just the only way to feel all right

I was born from the sound of the strings
For someone to give everything
To be a song just for your feeling
I was born from the sound of the strings
For someone to give everything
To be a song just for your feeling

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