Platinum Collection [Box Set]

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It appears as though many metalheads lost track of the Scorpions after their whistle-heavy ballad, "Wind of Change," hit in 1991. But as fans who have faithfully stuck by the group's side will tell you, they have continued to issue new albums and tour on a regular basis since then. And while there have been quite a few Scorpions compilations issued over the years, none traced their career over a 30-year span from 1974's In Trance through 2004's Unbreakable. But all that changed with the arrival of 2006's three-disc overview, Platinum Collection. What you get is quite a lot of the expected fare -- some of arena rock's most foundation-shaking anthems ("Rock You Like a Hurricane," "Big City Nights"), as well as Bic-hoisting power ballads ("Still Loving You," the aforementioned "Wind of Change"). With 1984's Love at First Sting considered by many to be the group's high-water mark both artistically and commercially, this set can neatly be summed up as "before Love at First Sting" and "after Love at First Sting." This point certainly has evidence stacked in its favor here, as it appears as though the group was building momentum ("The Zoo," "Blackout") hit the jackpot, and then lost their way, as they favored more pop-based material over metallic muscle ("Believe in Love," "Send Me an Angel"). As a result, the Scorpions saw their stature as one of metal's leaders dwindle considerably, but have subsequently returned to their hard rocking roots ("Alien Nation") -- as well as experimenting with modern sounds ("Mysterious") and orchestras ("Here in My Heart"). Ultimately, although it consists of a trio of discs, Platinum Collection features far too much post-1984 material (a full disc and a half), and not nearly enough '70s selections, when the Scorpions were one darn vicious metal act (and the non-inclusion of such early classics as "Speedy's Coming" and "The Sails of Charon" is absolutely ridiculous). As a result, one of the many shorter -- yet more wisely assembled -- Scorpions collections would make a better purchase (such as 2006's Gold).

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