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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Herman Rarebell

and Friends - Herman's Scorpions Songs

Review by Gary Hill

This album features Scorpions drummer (he’s done so much more than that, too, though) Herman Rarebell along with some pretty great “friends” as guests. They work their way through a number of Scorpions songs that were written or co-written by Rarebell. I have to say that some of this works really well (at times even eclipsing the original for me) and some isn’t as successful. It’s all pretty darned entertaining, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Rock You Like a Hurricane - Bobby Kimball (Toto)

I think I might actually like this better than the original. I mean, musically it’s pretty close, but you can understand the lyrics better here. Besides, it’s just good to hear a fresh take on it.

Passion Rules the Game - John Parr
I don’t think I remember the original of this one. The song as presented here is a real scorcher. It has a great hard rocking edge to it. The vocals really drive it into an emotional powerhouse.
Loving You Sunday Morning - Michael Voss (Mad Max)
I’m a big fan of the original of this. This rendition loses a bit of the metal edge. It gains a more mainstream, almost glam sound in the process.
Is There Anybody There - Alex Ligertwood (Santana)
I’ve always loved this song, too. I am not sure which version I like better, this one or the original. There is definitely a different vibe on this take. It’s great stuff.
You Give Me All I Need - Don Dokken
With a great melodic guitar solo, this slower tune is a real scorcher. It has a great sound here.
Make It Real - Doogie White (Rainbow)
In some ways this feels more like the original than a lot of the others here, do. It was a great song to begin with, so this rendition rocks, too.
Dynamite - Johnny Gioeli (Axel Rudi Pell)
I think I like this screamer better than the original. It’s high energy and works very well.
Arizona - Thomas Perry
I like the vocal arrangement here, but overall beyond that it doesn’t do much for me..
Love Is Blind - Paul Shortino
I don’t think I remember this song. This isn’t the most metal thing here, by a long shot. It’s almost more like something from Bryan Adams. It’s not one of my favorites.  
Don't Make No Promises - Jack Russell (Great White)
This is more metal, and it does sound like Scorpions music. It’s just not a favorite for me. It’s not bad, though.
Falling in Love - Gary Barden (Michael Schenker Group)
A metal stomper, I like this one a lot. It’s one of the better tracks here. It’s got a real driving sound to it.
Another Piece of Meat - Tony Martin (Black Sabbath)
I love the raw energy of the original. This seems to lose a lot of that. I still like the song, but it’s not the killer that the Scorps version is.
Animal Magnetism - Michael Nagy
This is a very different arrangement. Spanish guitar is heard on this. Yet, it has the Scorpions metal intensity in place. This slow screamer is one of the cooler renditions here.
Let It Shine - Al Crespo (Unbreakable)

I’m not a fan of this one at all. The anthemic ballad approach is trite and I don’t like the vocal performance. I think this would have been a better set without this tune

 
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