Thursday, 17 November 2011

Scorpions - Comeblack

Forecast: Fair to Middling

I missed the Scorpions in their 70s incarnation, their 80s commercial success, and thereafter. I happened upon this latest release by chance and listened, plugged in, to dig the garden. Anything relatively heavy is good earth-turning fare, and this assisted the process as predictably and consistently as the English weather. Their new album is made up of re-recordings of the band's hits - most of which I don't know - and then some from other bands. Were the Scorpions ever actually heavy? I found this loud because I had the volume on full, but otherwise essentially MOR. Blackout and Rock You Like A Hurricane got the spade working up an occasional bluster in the soil; Wind of Change and Still Loving You, however, wafted in the digger's doldrums. I know they're ballads, but....

What did startle, and the reason really for reviewing an album that hasn't worked for me, was the eighth track. As I've said many times, the 80s largely passed me by like a slow-moving and dull weatherfront, so imagine my surprise and horror when Tainted Love stopped me in my shovel swing. The chugging beat of the song played as heavy metal lite actually got my attention. I think I turned over three or four rows with considerable gardening gusto for those entertaining 3 minutes and 28 seconds.

That flash flood of enthusiasm was soon evaporated by the following covers: Children of the Revolution, Tin Soldier, All Day and All of the Night, and Ruby Tuesday. Covers will always be a peculiar liking, and it would take something special to harvest these absolute classics as a new crop, so you won't be surprised to hear that the Scorpions couldn't, for me, muster the muscle to turn these over afresh.

It can be done: listen to Vanilla Fudge.

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