Covered like a Hurricane
A Tribute to Scorpions (Deadline/Cleopatra)
by Scott Hefflon
These things can go either way, and sometimes they go both. There are ideas here worth your bucks, and then there’re things that should inspire you to cringe, ask “What the fuck were they thinking?” then pick up something large, blunt, and rather heavy and head west to find whoever’s responsible and do the world a goddamn favor. You decide which is which.
It should go without saying that the Scorpions were many, many people’s introduction to hard rock. They began in ’72 with Lonesome Crow (thanks God for Popoff’s book, no one I know actually owns that turd), fumbled about a bit in the early ’70s (hey, didn’t everyone?), started not sucking by the late ’70s, started to get popular in the early ’80s with classics like Blackout and Love at First Sting (the latter being perhaps one of the most-memorized albums by axe-slingers at the time), released a double live record, World Wide Live, one of a handful of live records that actually did a career-thus-far some justice, and then it was all downhill for the next decade. There was a hit single in there, but most fans’d recognize it as a steaming formulaic pile (but Aerosmith has been reshaping the same few songs for how long now?).
So this tribute gives a whole buncha has-beens another crack at it. With the backing band consisting of George Lynch (Lynch Mob/Dokken), Chuck Garric (L.A. Guns), Steve Riley (L.A. Guns, W.A.S.P.), with the additional talent of Jake E. Lee (Badlands, Ozzy), it’s pretty obvious these guys know the work and gots the chops (and most can’t get mention outside of VH-1’s Where are they Now?), but with few exceptions, they’re just the backing band. Funny, cuz most of us probably never really thought of the Scorps as, like, vocal-driven. Sure, there are nice melodies and that Klaus guy has a rockin’ voice (try not to tease him for his inane stage banter and “funny” enunciation, he’s like, foreign or something), but when you reduce the music to cold precision, your attention is now focused entirely on the singers. That could be the point, but I think it’s a mistake. See, a lot of these singers were second-rate to begin with, and that was a long time ago — their distinctive vocals have gotten scratchy though lack of use (aside from asking us if we want regular or super-unleaded). But then again, some put in performances that take a decent rocker and make it theirs, man, and them’s the moments that make it all worthwhile. Too bad there are so few of those sparkling moments, and so many moments you sit through, just in case, then’ll avoid like the wet spot forever after.
Powerful stingers and hot-air blowers: Kelly Hansen (Hurricane) “Here I Am (Rock You Like a Hurricane),” Steve Whiteman (Kix) “Still Lovin’ You,” Marq Torien (Bulletboys) “Falling in Love,” Kevin Dubrow (Quiet Riot) “Big City Nights” remixed by Lee Fraser (Sheep on Drugs), Stevie Rachelle (Tuff) “Blackout,” Jizzy Pearl (Love/Hate) “No One Like You,” Joe Leste (Bang Tango) “The Zoo,” Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns) “Steamrock Fever,” Kory Clarke (Warrior Soul) “In Trance,” John Corabi (Union) “He’s a Woman, She’s a Man,” Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt) “Holiday,” Taime Downe (Newlydeads/ Faster Pussycat) “Lovedrive.”
(13428 Maxella Ave. #251 Marina Del Rey, CA 90292)