With Lovedrive, The Scorpions made it in America and with the fame came a new more melodic sound. Their record label and manager pushed the band to record a follow up album sooner rather than later so Animal Magnetism from 1980 was recorded between tours. It´s the second album with new guitarist Matthias Jabs who contributed in songwriting with the song Don´t make no promises, the lyrics were done by Herman Rarebell who wrote the major part of the lyrics on Animal Magnetism.
Some songs like Hold me tight, were composed in the studio but most had been written on the road. Rudolf came up with the idea to The Zoo when he was hanging out in hotel rooms. This song was inspired by their first encounters with America. The song is about the busy nightlife around 42nd street in 1980´s New York. The Zoo is widely regarded as one of their classic tracks and remained in their concert setlists for many years.
Lady starlight is an underrated ballad with a beautiful string and horn arrangement by Alan MacMillan, this song is actually much better than their biggest hit ballads Still loving you and Winds of change. Other rockers like Make it real and Falling in love are cornerstones for the trademark of Scorpions typical sound more than a million fans have learned to love.
My personal fave is Twentieth century man that features great guitarwork from both Rudolf and Matthias, the recording session was exhausting for the band with countless hours of tracking and once the last beat was recorded, Rarebell had simply dropped off his chair and gone straight to sleep on the floor behind his drumkit.
The 50th band anniversary edition contains 6 bonus tracks, starting with Hey You (lead vocals by Rudolf), this song is also featured on the 2001 remaster. I think it´s a good song, not what you´d expect from Scorpions perhaps but still really nice. The other 5 are demos, 3 tracks of official songs like a different version of Animal Magnetism, Get Your Love (demo version of the b-side Heroes don´t cry), Restless man (demo version of Twentieth century man). And 2 unreleased songs All night long and American Girls, quite cool for the Scorpions collector but they aren´t any good. There is reason why these songs didn´t make it onto the final cut.
Animal Magnetism is a good album, it cannot compete with Lovedrive but greater things were to come.