Even at the height of their popularity, the Scorpions weren't really taken too seriously. Sure, they had great riffs and a Schenker for a guitarist to go with their super-catchy rock hooks, and they always had great Hipgnosis album covers. But between Klaus Meine's oddly stilted English singing and Klaus Meine's oddly balding head, Scorpions were just too German and too old to ever be considered "real" metal. Apparently, nobody bothered to inform the band or their many, many fans and Scorpions have soldiered on past their brief bit of "Rock You Like a Hurricane" fame and are still putting out records that are consistent with their history, which is well-represented by this excellent, if unlikely, triple-disc box set.
As with all such multidisc collections, there's a bit too much attention paid to recent work (in this case, the entire third disc, which features the rather unfortunate "Hurricane 2000"), but what's surprising is how well most of that recent work compares to the band's "prime" material. What's even more surprising is how well the "early" work on the first disc compares with, well, anything. Only sporadically in print over the past decades, these tracks (recorded for RCA) are meaty and substantial bits of expansive hard rock; tracks like "Virgin Killer" are explosively visceral in a way that a song like the overly calculated "Another Piece of Meat" could only wish it was. And that's despite Klaus Meine's vocals.