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Scorpions
MTV Unplugged In Athens
August 2014
Released: 2014, Sony
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

As the Scorpions enter the tail end of their careers, they have decided to slow down on the extensive, global touring. As a result, shows are fewer and farther between, also meaning they are becoming bigger and bigger affairs. MOMENT OF GLORY was performed at the 2000 EXPO in Hanover, Germany, ACOUSTICA was recorded in Portugal at a historical monument, LIVE 2011 was a big 3-D concert affair in Germany and now MTV UNPLUGGED IN ATHENS was recorded at the Lycabettus Open Air Theatre. I heard a rumour they might do a big show at the base of Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt! It will be a race between Scorpions and Metallica to see who will be the first band to play on the moon.



As with much of the Scorpions product, this concert is available in many formats; a stand alone DVD (or Blu-Ray), a shortened North American CD/DVD set, a big triple CD/DVD mega-set with everything and the two audio CD set that I’m reviewing. Lots of choice for the consumer however, I recommend avoiding the truncated North American version. Who wants to hear an incomplete concert? It's worth it to pay a few extra bucks to get the European 2-disc import like I did. As most people will know MTV UNPLUGGED IN ATHENS is the bands second acoustic live album. I thoroughly enjoyed ACOUSTICA from 2001, so I was quite excited to hear this live album.



The booklet is nice, tons of photos of the 109 minute concert recorded on Sept 11th and 12th in 2013. The concert had a very cosmopolitan flavour with many guest stars adding vocals. To be honest I did not know who any of the guests were I had to go look them up. There were well know in Europe but not as much to a Hard Rock / Metal crowd. The added some excellent vocal diversity singing duets with Klaus. There was also a small orchestra as well really enhancing the sound.



The sound quality is superb with a good balance between the audience and the band. The audience sings along enthusiastically. The highlight for many will be the five new songs. In a sense three of the songs are mostly instrumentals used to highlight guitar solos but there are indeed two full new songs that I hope will see the light of day in electric form. One of the new tracks ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ musically and lyrically sounds like an 80’s era Scorpions rocker. The track selection is also really good. The album has a fine blend of hits and lesser-known songs. A couple of songs from PURE INSTINCT made the set-list and that was a good choice because that album, and those songs, were quite mellow to begin with in the original form, so the acoustic treatments are excellent. It was nice to hear four or five songs from the 70’s as well as newer cuts from the last album. A highlight for me was the crowd interaction on the ballad ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’. The album also has a studio version of ‘Where The River Flows’ with German songstress, Ina Muller as a guest singer, as a bonus track.



UNPLUGGED IN ATHENS was simply a magical show and I wish I could have been there to hear it but owning this fantastic Double Live album is the next best thing.
Track Listing

Disc 1

1. Sting in the Tail
2. Can't Live Without You
3. Pictured Life
4. Speedy's Coming
5. Born to Touch Your Feelings
6. The Best Is Yet to Come
7. Dancing with the Moonlight
8. In Trance
9. When You Came into My Life
10. Delicate Dance
11. Love Is the Answer
12. Follow Your Heart

Disc 2

1. Send Me an Angel
2. Where the River Flows
3. Passion Rules the Game
4. Rock You like a Hurricane
5. Hit Between the Eyes
6. Rock 'n' Roll Band
7. Blackout
8. Still Loving You
9. Big City Nights
10. Wind of Change
11. No One like You
12. When the Smoke Is Going Down

Lineup

Klaus Meine Vocals
Rudolf Schenker Guitar
Matthias Jabs Guitar
Paweł Mąciwoda-Jastrzębski Bass
James Kottak Drums


Next review: » Scorpions - Unbreakable
Previous review: » Scorpions - Moment Of Glory (SD Blu-Ray)





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