Humanity: Hour I
|Humanity: Hour I|
|Studio album by Scorpions|
|Released||May 14, 2007 (Europe)
August 28, 2007 (North America)
|Recorded||Little Big Guy Studios, Gentlemen's Club, Glenwodd Place Studios, Track Record Studios, The Village and Record Plant,
Los Angeles, California
October 2006-February 2007
|Genre||Heavy metal, hard rock|
New Door/UME (US & Canada)
|Producer||James Michael & Desmond Child|
|Singles from Humanity: Hour I|
Humanity: Hour I is the sixteenth studio album by the German hard rock band Scorpions, which was released in Europe on May 14, 2007 and in the United States and Canada on August 28, 2007. Humanity: Hour 1 is a concept album based on a loose storyline by Desmond Child and futurist Liam Carl, which predicts a world torn apart by a civil war between humans and robots. This apocalyptic nightmare serves as a warning shot to all mankind, whose only hope of survival is to reclaim our humanity.
The album was produced by James Michael and Desmond Child, who also provide backing vocals. The song "Humanity" was performed for the first time by Scorpions on March 24, 2007 in Brussels, Belgium and released as the first single from the album.
Also of note is the band's logo on the album's cover: the text font is similar to their first two albums, as opposed to the band's more famous logo. This marks only the third time in the band's career (and the first time in 33 years) the less familiar font has been used. However, if one looks closely, their more familiar logo can be seen on the back of the neck of the female android.
Background and recording
After the Scorpions had finished the U.K. tour as a special guest for Judas Priest, Rudolf Schenker revealed that band started to work on a live video album which will later become Unbreakable World Tour 2004: One Night in Vienna and also revealed that the band is planning to start working on a new album in late 2005. In an interview for The Malay Mail in May, 2006, Schenker confirmed that band is working on a new album which will be hopefully released in late 2006. or early 2007. Describing the upcoming album, Schenker said: "For now, I can only tell you that it's going to pick up where Unbreakable left off. It will have superb power ballads and hard-rocking songs playable on commercial radio. I guess you can say that the new SCORPIONS album is going to sound fresh and rocking. Also one more thing, it's going to be a great album and not an album with one or two great songs".
Scorpions had been working intensively on the songs during the concerts in 2006 and invited several producers to come over to Germany for an interview (one of them was Roy Thomas Baker), but band members weren't really pleased with what producers had to offer, so in the end band decided to choose Desmond Child and James Michael as the producers of the new album. James Michael worked on the production of the guitars, drums and bass guitars. In October, 2006, Scorpions band members went to Los Angeles to start recording the new material and during the next month and a half they worked on recording the basic tracks for the album. Band came there with 30 songs already written and soon after they have started second songwriting process. In the end of the second songwriting process, band had around 20 songs and many of those songs were little bit "too dark" from the lyrical standpoint, so band choose to throw out many of the "darker" songs and put in more optimistic songs on the album. Among those songs are "The Game of Life" and "You're Lovin' Me to Death". In order to make those songs fit the concept of the album, songwriting teams had to rewrite the lyrics and the choruses on those songs.First couple of weeks, band was working together in a rehearsal space, every day for eight hours. After the rehearsals, they started to arrange and record in different studios in the Los Angeles area. Guitars were done in one studio with James Michael, while Klaus'es vocals were done with Desmond in another studio. Desmond Child also hired a vocal coach for Klaus, so he and the coach did about an hour of vocals warm-up session before vocals recording sessions. Matthias Jabs explained: "Vocal cords are like muscles and you need to warm them up. Desmond was a visionary guy and knew if the vocalist is in good form, then he'll get what he wants from them". In the period between October 2006 and February 2007, band managed to record thirteen songs, of which twelve managed to make the album. From the remaining 37 songs, several songs were managed to be recorded only as a demos.
Lyrical themes and composition
Humanity: Hour I is a concept album based on a loose storyline by Desmond Child and futurist Liam Carl, which predicts a world torn apart by a civil war between humans and robots. It's a concept album where songs are connected under the global theme of humanity. 
Speaking of the album sound, frontman Klaus Meine said. "We wanted to make an album that was up to date, with a more modern sound to it without losing the Scorpion signature and I think it's still there. A lot of people feel it's a very good connection between the typical Scorpions sound but in a new way. It wasn't so much that we were trying to experiment; we still wanted a Scorpions record but not so much a classic rock album like going back to the old days, the 80's. We really wanted a record that would sound like 2007". Guitars on songs on this album are in drop D, drop C and drop C sharp tunnings and those tunings are chosen depending on the vocal ranges of Klaus Meine on the certain songs. Matthias Jabs explained: "Sometimes if you play the guitar riff dropped to a D, it will not only sound different but play different. But what ever was the best for the vocals is how we proceeded. It is no point in recording something if it is too stressful for the singer to sing properly".
Album title and artwork
Album title and artwork were first released through the official French Scorpions fan club Crazyscorps in February, 2007. Album artwork is featuring human robot with the Scorpions logo on the back of its neck. However, after nearly two months since the fan club released album artwork on its website, they received information from the webmaster of the official Scorpions website that the band found out about the album artwork post on the official fan club website and that they are angry with what the fan club did because they legally didn't have right to post the artwork and because of that the band is willing to take distance in its relations with Crazyscorps because of this false step. Soon after the fan club got the information from webmaster, they immediately post a statement regarding the situation:
"We find this reaction completely disproportionate compared to the error we made. On the one hand because we ourselves had found this image on the Internet and on the other hand because the band should understand that we never did that to harm them but by excess of love and enthusiasm".
To express their disappointment and dissatisfaction with the injustice they were facing from the side of the band and its management, Crazyscops closed their website for an initial duration of 8 days. Before they closed fan club website, they delivered following message to the Scorpions band members and their management:
"Not only have we found your reaction disproportionate but also incorrect with respect to the fact that, for the past three years, we have been doing everything to support you and to contribute to your success with devotion without equal. Your reaction undermines the respect you pretend feeling for your fans and you should keep in mind that, in spite of our awkwardnesses and our errors, all that we always made, we did it with love and not in the intention to harm you in any manner. It is a thing that each artist, each band, should never forget: neither TV programs, neither radio stations, nor any article in the press will never replace the fans because an artist is nothing without his fans".
Humanity: Hour I generally received very good reviews. Dan Marsicano from 411mania.com rated album with seven and a half points out of ten by saying that "This album really shows the band on fire and as powerful as they were 35 years ago". Chad Bowar from About.com gave album four out of five stars by saying that "Humanity Hour 1 proves that even though Scorpions have been around for a long time, their creative juices, excellent songwriting and musicianship are fully intact". Thom Jurek from Allmusic rated album with three and a half stars out of five stating that "This is the disc that deserved an American issue, since radio needs the Scorpions more than the Scorpions need radio at this point".  Don Kaye from Blabbermouth.net gave the album seven and a half point out of ten by saying that "it's quite easy to say that "Humanity - Hour 1" is probably the best SCORPIONS album since 1990's Crazy World an that "Scorpions recovered their sting". MelodicRock.com rated album with 94% stating that "The extra time and effort put into it has paid off and this will be a record the fans love and the band can feel very proud of". Metal Storm gave album 8.3 points out of 10 by saying that "Humanity - Hour 1 released in 2007 has a distinct sound that sets it aside from the rest. Hard-rock yes, but with a slightly different radio vibe that might not please the die-hard fans". Grgoris Chronis from Metal Temple rated album with eight stars out of ten by saying that Scorpions "have still enough to say and to give to the world of music". RockReport gave the album five and a half stars out of six by saying that "this is the first album that bridges the old and the new Scorpions the way it should have been done, thanks to Desmond Child who showed the band the right direction".
Album also received mediocre critics. Ben McViker from Daily Vault rated album with C- stating that "it sounds more like an album written by two architects of latter-day Aerosmith, with the Scorpions performing the music". Andrew Blackie also rated album poorly with four out of ten stars stating that "if Humanity is an unremarkable album in itself, complete with a frankly laughable social slant, the band sound more confident stuck to their hammy hard-rock than anywhere else".
|1.||"Hour I"||Rudolf Schenker, James Michael, Desmond Child, John Lowery||3:26|
|2.||"The Game of Life"||Klaus Meine, Child, Mikael Nord Andersson, Martin Hansen||4:04|
|3.||"We Were Born to Fly"||Matthias Jabs, Eric Bazilian, Marti Frederiksen||3:59|
|4.||"The Future Never Dies"||Meine, Child, Bazilian, Jason Paige, Russ Irwin||4:03|
|5.||"You're Lovin' Me to Death"||Schenker, Child, Andreas Carlsson, Bazilian||3:15|
|6.||"321"||Schenker, Child, Frederiksen, Paige||3:53|
|7.||"Love Will Keep Us Alive"||Meine, Child, Bazilian, Frederiksen||4:32|
|8.||"We Will Rise Again"||Jabs, Michael, Paige, Child||3:49|
|9.||"Your Last Song"||Schenker, Child, Bazilian||3:44|
|10.||"Love Is War"||Jabs, Michael, Child, Frederiksen||4:20|
|11.||"The Cross"||Jabs, Michael, Child, Frederiksen||4:28|
|12.||"Humanity"||Meine, Child, Bazilian||5:26|
|Bonus tracks available on Limited Edition, LP, and Japan releases|
|13.||"Cold"||Jabs, Child, Bazilian, Frederiksen||3:52|
|14.||"Humanity (Radio Edit)"||Meine, Child, Bazilian||4:06|
|15.||"Love Will Keep Us Alive (Radio Edit)"||Meine, Child, Bazilian, Frederiksen||4:06|
- Band members
- Klaus Meine – lead vocals
- Matthias Jabs – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Rudolf Schenker – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Paweł Mąciwoda – bass, backing vocals
- James Kottak – drums, backing vocals
- Additional musicians
- Billy Corgan – vocals on "The Cross"
- Eric Bazilian – guitar on "Love Will Keep Us Alive"
- John 5 – guitar on "Hour I"
- Russ Irwin – piano on "The Future Never Dies"
- Harry Sommerdahl - programming on "Love Will Keep Us Alive"
- Jason Paige, Jeannette Olsson, James Michael, Desmond Child – backing vocals
- Angela Whittaker, Roman Shaw Child - voice-overs
- David Campbell - orchestra conductor
- Desmond Child - producer, executive producer, art supervision
- James Michael - producer, engineer
- Jules Gondar, Matt Gruber, Steve Churchyard - engineers
- Greg Collins - mixing
- Stephen Marcussen - mastering
|2007||Greek Albums Chart||1|
|Russian Albums Chart||5|
|Argentinian Albums Chart||8|
|German Albums Chart||9|
|French Albums Chart||16|
|Swiss Albums Chart||27|
|Finnish Albums Chart||29|
|Swedish Albums Chart||36|
|Canadian Albums Chart||40|
|Austrian Albums Chart||41|
|Italian Albums Chart||44|
|Czech Republic Albums Chart||47|
|Oricon Japanese Albums Charts||54|
|Spanish Albums Chart||59|
|Billboard 200 (US)||63|
|Ultratop Belgian Charts||79|
|GfK Dutch Charts||91|
|Mexican Albums Chart||97|
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