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Herman Rarebell: Herman's Scorpion Songs
Herman Rarebell & Friends - Herman's Scorpion Songs CD Album Review

Herman Rarebell: Herman's Scorpion Songs

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal

My first observation, or question, is why? Why make re-recordings of Scorpions songs. The answer, for drummer Herman Rarebell, is rather specific. These are covers of songs that he either wrote or co-wrote while in the band. In doing so, he allows a bevy of famous hard rock singers (Tony Martin, Don Dokken, Doogie White, Bobby Kimball, Gary Barden and many more) an opportunity to put their mark on these tunes.

Herman Rarebell Photo

Herman Rarebell

Therein may lie the rub. Klaus Meine's voice has been as much a recognizable part of the Scorpions sound as their classic melodic hard rock sound. Will Scorps fans actually want to hear someone else interpreting these songs? I don't know. Or do they even care? Again, the point is probably moot. This in turn presents another problem. The only way you're going to determine whether the use of different guest singers works for each song is to buy the album. Actually, that's a rather a clever, likely unintentional, ploy on Rarebell's part. But on to the covers.

Generally, Rarebell and company don't mess with the innards of any of the songs. The melody and basic arrangement stay true to the original. As to the vocal side, most every singer tries to imitate Meine's expression without sounding like him. Most cases it works out fine. Arizona with Thomas Perry, Make It Real with Doogie White, Dynamite with Jonny Gioeli, and Loving You Sunday Morning with Michael Voss are adequate enough to be entertaining.

Other songs not so much. Bobby Kimball's interpretation of Rock You Like A Hurricane is nearly brutal to the ears. He should stick to singing AOR melodic rock. The classic ballad You Give Me All I Need finds Don Dokken uninspired, but this just fits the wooden rendition of the tune itself by the rest of the band.

Frankly, out of the bunch, I found the original number, Let It Shine, featuring newcomer vocalist Al Crespo from Unbreakable, the most important and promising part of the album. Rarebell, the rock veteran, writes a great song, in the vain of Wings of Change. Then he gets a young man, probably old enough to be his son, representing the next generation of hard to rock, to deliver it. It's a great combination. Perhaps it's the direction this project should have gone from the start: Rarebell writing new songs with new promising young talent for a new album. Just thinking out loud here. Otherwise, as much as I'm a huge Rarebell and Scorpions fan, I'm ambivalent about this album. Read into that what you wish.

Herman Rarebell w/ Al Crespo (Unbreakable) - Let It Shine - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

Plainly, Herman's Scorpion Songs is drummer Herman Rarebell covering the Scorpions songs he wrote using a plethora of different singers. As much as I'm a huge Rarebell and Scorpions fan, I'm ambivalent about this album. Read into that what you wish.

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