4
Dec 03

URGENT TRANSMISSION FROM DAVE Q

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 233 views

We’re trying to invite Mr Q onto NYLPM but the invites are snarling up. Meanwhile, here’s his review of…

SCORPIONS – ‘Drifting Sun’
track from Fly to the Rainbow, 1974

Krautrock was the most escape-obsessed genre ever, aptly for a country then obsessed with escaping its own identity. The future, space, or a quadruple-digit speedometer — anything went, as long as it didn’t come back. Being from wherever the industrial German heartland is (keep it up, please — Eurosceptic Ed.), the Scorpions engaged with the sturm und drang of their geist (eat shit — E.E.) while having the highest percentage of gtr-solo-spots/’other shit’ on record. This song was recorded somewhat previous to when they annexed the Dire Straits’ compact disc market by causing the state to wither away. If they’d used a theremin and not whistled it would’ve sent the ‘wrong signal’, horrible results available on the ‘Euroshima Mix’ (Parallel-world import only).

Guitarist Uli Roth was a truly incredible Jimi Hendrix/Michael Karoli hybrid and the Faustian (and to my ears, successful) struggle between Teutonic repression (the amount of which is necessary to suppress Teutonic paganism) and electrofuturist hedonism produced a singular guitar tone both simulating and responding to both the early (Musicland Munich Studios! They probably did the Chicory Tip record down the hall on the same day! Also explains why the next track ‘Fly People Fly’ unfortunately goes on even longer than ‘Fly Robin Fly’ should’ve) synths and Klaus Meine’s voice, which you all know from that Euroshima song and is an instrument of unequalled clarity and roughness, range and complexity, abandon and control. On ‘Drifting Sun’, however, the lead vocal is by Uli Roth. He sounds like a very excellent guitarist singing in a second language, also after having drunk as much as is possible without choking on your own vomit. In fact he sounds like Bobby Gillespie. Coincidentally the chorus of ‘Drifting Sun’ is ‘shine on’. Like, you could fool the tabloids with this, or maybe Alan McGee. Elsewhere in Germany that year Jean-Paul Sartre interviewed the imprisoned urban terrorist Andreas Baader, whose preserved brain was recently stolen from Tuebingen University’s Neurological Research Institute. Also at the time, Hall & Oates hadn’t yet released Big Bam Boom and the city of Philadelphia hadn’t started firebombing city blocks yet.

The picture on the front would be the worst cover art in history if it yielded to any explication whatever. Then again it’s not as bad as the back cover where the propeller-appendaged clown with the Shriner hat is bending over and the band personnel is printed on his butt. 1978 and the Lovedrive bubblegum pic were years away. The lesser-noted In Trance cover is a strange one too, the guitar the chick’s squatting over has a whammy bar on it. Like, wouldn’t that hurt? (Dave Queen)

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