Live 2011-Get Your Sting And Blackout
Released: 2011, Sony
I was quite surprised to learn of the existence of this Double Live Scorpions album from 2011. I believe it was released only in Europe and had little or no marketing or promotion in North America to the best of my knowledge. In fact the only reason I learned of this album was when I was buying the new (as of time of writing) Scorpions Double Live album, MTV UNPLUGGED IN ATHENS. I ordered both and I was actually more excited to hear this album of the pair. If you think about it has been almost 25 years since the last Scorpions Double Live album, WORLD WIDE LIVE, back in 1985. Sure there was that mixed single Live album (LIVES BITES) and the acoustic one, (ACOUSTICA) but really the band was really overdue for a ripping live album. This tour cycle (STING IN THE TAIL) came to my hometown and I saw this show, so I was especially excited to hear LIVE 2011.
The packaging on LIVE 2011 is a little dull, just a single fold-out, 4-panel booklet. The cover is cool with Klaus, Rudolph and Matthias doing the iconic pyramid stage pose. The 18-track album is 86 minutes long, making it the longest Scorpions live album up to that point. Recorded in April in Saarbrucken, Germany in 2011, this concert was a big deal at the time because it was filmed for a 3-D DVD/Blu-Ray release. I knew about the big 3-D show, because I had read the hype, but I did not know it was released separately on a Double CD.
In terms of song representation it relies heavily on the ‘golden-era’ of 1979-1990, that string of six multi-gold/platinum albums. I don’t need to list them, you know which ones they are! They also throw in two or three songs from the current record, STING IN THE TAIL into the set-list, which explains the sub-title of ‘Get Your Sting And Blackout’. In reality there are only 15 songs if you don’t count the intro, the drum solo (Kottack Attack) and the guitar solos (Six-string sting). I for one am glad they included the solos, it helps provide more realistic and accurate representation of what happened on stage that night. I really dislike when Live albums edit out stuff later in the studio, who wants to hear a sterile, incomplete concert? Part of the charm of live albums are hearing those extra things, like drum solos, guitar solos and in-between song banter that never make it onto an album.
There is one major problem with LIVE 2011. The CD version was not the entire concert. The omitted three songs! The songs that did not make the cut are, ‘Coast To Coast’, ‘Raised On Rock’, and ‘Dynamite’, There is MORE than enough room on the 2-CD set, in terms of time and space on the disc to include the whole perfect 100 minute show. It was a very poor decision to do edit the show. Hopefully they fix the problem and reissue the disc.
The sound is flawless, the pacing is great and in a bit of a change Klaus address the crowd in German instead of English. The crowd sits nicely in the mix, singing along even with the new songs. As for the music, what else can I say? I love Scorpions, I own everything they have done, including the live albums. Each live album has it’s charm and time and place and focuses on an era and a region… Tokyo, America, Portugal and now at long last it is Germany’s turn. In fact this is the only Scorpions Live album that captures a single show, all the rest are patched together from two or more shows. Some bands have many, many live albums and while I would never begrudge any band putting out multiple live albums (I would rather have them, than not) because of the scarcity of live albums from the Scorpions (only five in 40 years) LIVE 2011 is a special treat for all of us. They can still rock with the best of them.