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Scorpions, "Virgin Killer" Album Review

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Virgin Killer is An Album That Was Met With Controversy

Virgin Killer is the 4th studio album by German rock band Scorpions released in 1976. More than the musical quality of the album though, it is the original album cover that got the most attention back at the time of its release and even after that. The album ended up being reissued with a different cover in some countries as a result of the controversy. “Pictured Life” is a hard rock song that in terms of its style influenced King Diamond. Scorpions’ rhythm guitarist Rudolf Schenker went in depth trying to explain the circumstances that led into the creation of a most controversial album cover. Schenker said that it was not the band’s idea for the cover but that it was the record company’s idea to have that image as the cover. He (Schenker) explained that the song “Virgin Killer” is about the fact that time is the virgin killer. In addition to this, the band’s former lead guitar player Uli Jon Roth during a separate interview gave his thoughts on that controversial album cover by saying: “The record company came up with the idea, I think.”[1] He also said that looking at the album cover today makes him cringe.


There is a sort of collaborative effort in this album in the sense that lead guitarist Uli Jon Roth does the lead vocals in the songs “Hell-Cat” and “Polar Nights.”

"In Your Park"

The sound quality of the album Virgin Killer is very similar to other albums of the time period such as Judas Priest’s 1977 studio album Sin After Sin. However, in terms of hard rock especially in this time period, which band could have performed as good as these guys did?

The Songs

From the beginning of the album with the guitar work the way it is, you know that this album is going to be enjoyable. Virgin Killer consists of both fast rock songs as well as the slower ones. One example of a slower song is called “In Your Park.” This song is lyrically a song that is about a person that feels that he is all alone so he wants to walk in the park of the one that he loves. He wants to take a walk in her heart so that he can connect with her spiritually. The title track of the album lyrically describes what happens when someone loses their innocence. They lose their ability to be naïve and they get caught up in all the different kinds of vices known to humans. In short, the song is lyrically trying to tell us that as we get older, we are drawn to all the socially unacceptable things. “Crying Days” is a song that lyrically tries to tell us that the world is filled with hatred and bloody games. Will we ever turn the world around for the better? Virgin Killer ends with the melodic rock song “Yellow Raven” as it builds up into this sort of rock song that I’d be hesitant to call hard rock. In life, there are times that we wish we were somewhere that we could escape to so that we could get rid of our life drama and stress. Virgin Killer represents a period of growth for Germany’s Scorpions as they would gradually get better in the early 1980s.

"Yellow Raven"

Reference

Wright, Jeb. “Uli Jon Roth Says ‘Virgin Killer’ Album Cover Makes Him Cringe.” Blabbermouth.net, May 9, 2010. Accessed on April 5, 2021.


[1] Jeb Wright, “Uli Jon Roth Says ‘Virgin Killer’ Album Cover Makes Him Cringe,” Blabbermouth.net, May 9, 2010, Accessed on April 5, 2021.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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