Lonesome Crow is the debut album by the German hard rock band Scorpions. It was recorded soon after Scorpions became a fully professional band under the production of Conny Plank, apparently in only six or seven days, and released February 1972 in West Germany as the soundtrack to the German anti-drug movie Das Kalte Paradies, and May 1973 in the United States.
It is the band’s only album with lead guitarist Michael Schenker as a full-time member. He left not long after to join UFO and was replaced by Ulrich Roth on later albums. Schenker, however, would rejoin the band briefly during the recording and touring of 1979’s Lovedrive.
Of the album, vocalist Meine said:
With Lonesome Crow, we were just a young band trying to find our way, trying to shape an artistic style to find the Scorpions DNA. There was a ballad with “In Search of the Peace of Mind”, and a psychedelic rocker with the title track, “I’m Goin' Mad”, [which] was a great rocker with Michael Schenker playing great solos. We were just a young band with talented guys, with no idea on where to go from here. For the subsequent album, Fly to the Rainbow, we brought in Uli Roth, who had a Hendrix influence, and Rudolf and I became a songwriter team. When Matthias Jabs joined the band, we found our style, fast riffs but great melodies, along with the power ballads.
Apart from occasional performances of “In Search of the Peace of Mind” up to 1978 and between 1996 and 2006, Scorpions have never played any song from Lonesome Crow in concert since the tour in support of their third album In Trance.
The album had several different cover art sleeves and was re-titled Action for its initial release in Scandinavia, The Scorpions for one 1976 release, and The Original Scorpions with a different running order for a Japanese release in 1981 and its first-ever CD issue in 1986,. The 1982 German re-issue cover art was created by the artist Rodney Matthews.