F L Y T O T H E R A I N B O W
( S C O R P I O N S - 1974 - 30 years ago)
Recorded - April 1974
Released - 1974
Original record label - RCA Germany with worldwide rights
Original medium - vinyl LP (2-sided longplay record)
Later re-released on CD under different labels and distributors
Klaus Meine - Vocals
Uli Jon Roth - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Rudolf Schenker - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Francis Buchholz - Bass Guitar
Juergen Rosenthal - Drums
Achim Kirschning - Keyboards
Produced by SCORPIONS
Recording Engineer - Mack, Mixing Engineer - Horst Andritschke
Recorded at Musicland Studio, Arabella House, Munic, Germany
Mixed at Studio Maschen, Hamburg, Germany
Artwork: Wandrey, Hamburg
FLY TO THE RAINBOW was the first album Uli ever participated in.
Recorded during the first week of April 1974 in only about six days, the album nevertheless manages to capture something special. This album already established Scorpions as Germany’s leading rock band.
From the beginning, the Scorpions of the “Ulrich Roth period” were a band, which was strong in melodic invention, but one of its most attractive and most mystifying features was a certain ambivalent duality in the character of the group.
Klaus Meine’s unmistakeable rock tenor sound is a voice easily distinguished in a thousand - the same was true of Uli’s guitarsound and note choice, which equalled Klaus melodies, while adding a definite virtuoso element. The truth was that Scorpions back then produced a novel and unique sound; a fact which would not go unnoticed in the US as well as in Japan. Soon the band fostered the styles of lots of other bands who took a leaf out of their book - Van Halen, then being one of many, used to play “Speedy’s Coming” in their set, before they themselves became famous in the Eighties.
The unifying element was Uli’s magical guitar playing, which effortlessly bridged the gap between the two worlds and which manages to intrigue to the present day.
The material on ‘Fly To The Rainbow’ consisted partially still of songs written while Michael Schenker was still in the band, such as “Far Away” and “Fly People Fly”, while songs like the slightly dylanesque “Drifting Sun” clearly already bore a very distinct U.J.R. trademark. This track was in a way already foreshadowing the music of Electric Sun, while, at the same time, also hearkened back to Dawn Road.
The same is true of the spacey finale of the title track which has Uli’s evoking images of Atlantis with his talking voice reciting his first-ever poem. This song is seen by many as the highlight of the album and it already foreshadows some of U.J.R.’s later epics. This piece was to be a staple centerpiece of the Scorpions live show for all the five years of Uli’s tenure and had its last ever performance in Tokyo, 1978, where it was one of the major moments of magic on the album “Tokyo Tapes”.
PRINTED BELOW IS A TREAT FOR COLLECTORS
So far all detailed information on the production of the first Scorpions albums has been very sketchy and scant to say the least. Here you will find the complete recording schedule for ‘Fly To The Rainbow’ with accurate dates taken directly from Uli’s diary. These are published here for the first time ever. The notes reflect mainly Uli’s own recording schedule and do not include specific dates for vocal Klaus’ performances, however.
|APRIL 1, 1974 -
||MUSICLAND STUDIO, MUENCHEN, GERMANY
Setting up equipment and getting sounds
Recording the first song ‘Speedy’s Coming’ completely live in one go.
Sessions usually last from 11.00 - 20.00 hs
|APRIL 2 -
||Decide to record some instruments separately for better sonic separation
1) ‘Speedy’s Coming’
2) ‘They Need A Million’
|APRIL 3 -
||Recording all day long (no tracks specified) - in the evening U.J. goes to see the
Dutch band ‘FOCUS’ in concert with brilliant guitarist JAN AKKERMAN
|APRIL 4 -
||Recording ‘This Is My Song’ and other things. Engineer Mack asks Uli to invent
and play new basslines for this track as well as for the intro of ‘Far Away’, both
of which are recorded there and then. Francis plays bass on all the other songs.
|APRIL 5 -
||Recording guitar leads for ‘Drifting Sun’, ‘Far Away’, ‘They Need A Million’.
Uli is very dissatisfied with the guitar sound they are getting in the small room.
Engineer Mack, who had just worked with Jeff Beck, says ‘what do you want?
This is the best guitar sound Germany coming out of your amp...’
Photo session in the studio with a photographer from Munich.
In the evening there is a second photo shoot at the studio of the ‘brother of Gila
von Weitershausen’ (sic) for the German magazine ‘BRAVO’.
|APRIL 6 -
||Master tracks for ‘Fly People Fly’ and ‘Fly To The Rainbow’.
Keyboard overdubs by Achim Kirschning and vocal recording for ‘Far Away’.
|APRIL 7 -
||Vocals for ‘Drifting Sun’ and talking voice for ‘Fly To The Rainbow.
Guitar leads for ‘Fly People Fly’ and all guitars for ‘Fly To The Rainbow’.
MIXING DATES AT MUSICLAND
|APRIL 26 -
APRIL 27 -
APRIL 28 -
APRIL 29 -
APRIL 30 -
|Mixing ‘Drifting Sun’
Mixing ‘Far Away’ and ‘They Need A Million’
Mixing ‘Fly People Fly’, ‘This Is My Song’ and ‘Speedy’s Coming’.
Mixing ‘Fly To The Rainbow’
Remixing all songs from the 28th (Mack had had a bad day)
Throughout the mixing sessions Uli kept complaining that the vocals were
being mixed too quietly, but Mack insisted they were fine.
The result was that RCA rejected most of the mixes upon hearing them on the
grounds of the vocals not being clearly audible. They then insisted on a com-
plete remix at a different studio.
JUNE 24 -
|MIXING AT WINDROSE HAMBURG AND STUDIO MASCHEN
Remixing 3 tracks at Windrose Studio Hamburg with engineer Horst
Andritschke with just Rudolf and Uli present. (’Speedy’s Coming’, ‘They Need
A Million’, ‘Drifing Sun’) At the end of the day the engineer detects that the
tracks had been recorded using the Dolby system, but had not been clearly
labelled as such. The mixes were thus invalid once again.
|JUNE 27 -
||Photosession in Hamburg in the morning - dinner with RCA in the evening
21.00hs Rudolf and Uli drive to Studio Maschen on the outskirts of Hamburg
to completely remix the album in two consecutive night marathon sessions.
FIRST NIGHT OF MIXING (21.00 - 8.00hs) :
1) Speedy’s Coming 2) They Need A Million 3) Drifting Sun 4) Fly People Fly
||rehearsal in the afternoon
SECOND NIGHT OF MIXING (21.00 - 8.00)
Mixing all the remaining tracks with Fly To The Rainbow being the last one
after sunrise. FLY TO THE RAINBOW was thus completed
Incidentally, Uli and SCORPIONS had had their first ever gig together precisely
a year before. Another important event: in the evening after finishing the album
SCORPIONS played their last ever show with Juergen Rosenthal, who had been
drafted by the army - the concert was in Hanover at Glocksee.