Perfect 80's MetalI finally saw The Wrestler last weekend. If you’ve seen it and if you paid attention, you probably noticed there’s a decent soundtrack’s worth of 80's metal in movie: Quiet Riot (The Ram’s theme song), as well as Ratt, Accept, and a couple of others. Where I’m going with this post, though, is one song in particular: The Scorpions’ “Animal Magnetism.” For the life of me I can’t remember the scene where it played, but I was impressed as hell Darren Aronofsky (or whoever) decided to use this particular song.
The Scorpions had a brief period, before they lapsed in Spinal Tap-like self-parody, when they were one of the best metal bands around. Between 1979 and 1982, they released Lovedrive, Animal Magnetism, and Blackout, three classics of the genre. Without a doubt, 1980’s Animal Magnetism is my favorite Scorps album and arguably, one of my favorite all-time metal albums.
“Make It Real,” the opening track, may have been the first Scorpions song I ever heard. It was on a live Castle Donnington album that I got when I was in high school, so would have been the song that put me onto the band. The last song on side one, “Lady Starlight,” has the kind of classic guitar solo that was once a trademark of the Schenker brothers. Just past the halfway point of the song, everything comes to a stop except Rudolf Schenker’s electric guitar. It’s cheese power ballad, but damnit, I love it! And I loved it when Michael Schenker did it with UFO.
The two songs that really make the album for me, though, are “The Zoo” and the album’s title track. Both are near perfect metal songs, with heavy riffs and Rudolf Schenker back for the hard and dark version of the earlier power ballad solo.
It was “The Zoo” that made me want to see 42nd Street in New York before I’d ever been there. Picture my disappointment when I arrived 10 years later and found it Disney-fied. And it was “Animal Magnetism” that I shared with the first girl who broke my heart. Here’s to hoping she’s living in a singlewide trailer and is miserable. Ha!
Here are my two favorites from the album. No hard feelings.