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REVIEW: German rock legends The Scorpions release MTV Unplugged in Athens on Bluray, DVD, and CD

When it comes to making immaculately crafted acoustic sets that warrant repeated listens, MTV Unplugged has a nearly unparalleled track record. For a program and recording series that has spanned more than twenty years, and seen such a wide and disparate cast of talents, the show has become a cornerstone for acoustic sets. From Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam, to Led Zepplin and Kiss, to LL Cool J and Jay-Z, one thing remains the same, and that is the consistency and standard they hold to the audio quality of all of their recordings.

On the latest release, Scorpions Unplugged In Athens, MTV has stayed true to their format and delivered another high quality performance from a group of musical legends. The release, a CD-DVD combo set, is set below the stars in a gorgeous open-air amphitheatre in Athens in front of a decent sized crowd Scorpions loyalists. The band has come dynamically well equipped and full bodied to this performance, appropriating 6 additional musicians, a full 8-piece string section accompaniment from the group Strings From Heaven, as well as special guest appearances from Morten Harket, Johannes Strate, CATHE, and Dimitra Kokkori. The sound is full and rich, the quality is exceptional, and most of all the music is on point, staying true to the spirit and energy the Scorpions have been conjuring since the early seventies.

All the huge classics are here in spades: “Rock You Like a Hurricane“, “No One Like You“, “Send Me an Angel“, “Still Loving You“, and “Wind of Change“. The instrumental arrangements are dynamic and robust, doing justice to the sound that brought these German rock legends international fame and recognition. Around every corner there are visually as well as audibly interesting details that make watching worth the price of admission. For instance, the finger picking insanity at the beginning of “Speedy’s Coming”, or any of the mid-set solos illustrating the guitar chops and expertise of a lifetime of performing.

As this Unplugged album comes on the heels of the worldwide Scorpions farewell tour, it seems these guys are alive and still kicking. While they’ve had a long touring history and become heavy metal icons, it seems fitting to see a group that have been together for the better part of forty years to step into a subtler arena and do an acoustic set. Although the boys have additionally confirmed after the farewell tour that they will not be breaking up, it seems that they might be ready to step back and take some time to reflect. Overall this is an entertaining set, albeit a bit relaxed and calmed down compared to the Scorpions early catalog. A must have for any die-hard Scorpions fan.

CD review SCORPIONS "MTV Unplugged - live in Athens"

Tracklist:

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

13. Send me an angel

14. Where the river flows

15. Passion rules the game

16. Rock you like a hurricane

17. Hit between the eyes

18. Rock’n’roll band

19. Blackout

20. Still loving you

21. Big city nights

22. Wind of change

23. No one like you

24. When the smoke is going down

25. Where the river flows

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