By Jason Wellwood
Admittedly, when I hear that a band like Scorpions is putting out yet ANOTHER compilation, I’m the first one to cry ‘cash grab’. Comeblack is a little different however, and I support this sort of album from a band that has gone through lineup changes over the years. Comeblack is comprised of 7 Scorpions classics and 6 unique cover songs all recorded with the current members of the band. The original tracks actually come across very well, and benefit from the updated sound. James Kottak’s drums give a little more power and groove at the same time to ‘The Zoo’ while the guitar sound in ‘No One Like You’ is much crunchier. Of course, Klaus’s voice has changed a little with age, but his distinct tone is still there, the delivery much the same but with a little more emotion and a little less nasal hysterics. The vocal effect on ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ works very well, though Klaus sounds a lot less frenetic during the chorus. The beefed up background vocals really give the song a punch that the original lacked (in my opinion). ‘Blackout’ is hands down my favourite Scorpions track, and this version is quite good, again much punchier, but I do miss Klaus’s craziness on this one.
The covers on Comeblack are a little eclectic and in some places laughable, but I think that’s the point of a cover, isn’t it? ‘Tainted Love’ has some tasty guitar squeals instead of keyboards, and you can tell the band had a good time doing it, a little heavier and fuzzier, but still it’s a pretty faithful cover. ‘Children of the Revolution’ features Klaus with an almost dirty feeling vocal during the verse, like he’s a dirty old man trying to seduce you into his house with candy. Then he slips into standard Klaus voice for the chorus, leaving you a little confused. ‘Across the Universe’ is a faithful cover as is ‘Tin Soldier’. ‘All Day and All of the Night’ sees them rip it up a little bit (but no more than the Kinks themselves!) while ‘Ruby Tuesday’ becomes a solid power ballad in Rudolf Schenker’s hands.
All in all, Comeblack is a pretty good record, it’s not going to take the place of the classics but it’s a pretty awesome way to let those of us who never saw the latest incarnation hear how things would have sounded.