Rock Me Like a Himmicane
Ah, yes. Here we are with another in the long line of the 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection discs brought to you by the fine folks at Universal. These affordably priced “best ofs” have often been either good collections of the artist or band being compiled, or just another quick cash in product to sell the familiar hits once again. In the case of the Scorpions Millennium Collection, I have to say that it’s a pretty good rockin’ disc with all the hits you would expect, minus some favorite that hardcore fans will most likely complain about not being there. But hey, for casual fans like myself, this disc does the trick.
Most music fans will undoubtedly know the Scorpions for their heavy rockin’ anthem “Rock You Like a Hurricane” if nothing else. The song has been a long-time staple of AOR stations and countless hard rock compilations throughout the years. However, there’s plenty more to the band than just that one hit. In fact, there’s eleven more examples of the German group’s work laid out here that acts as a good sampler and introduction to the Scorpions’ catalog.
Of course, the other song that I instantly recognized when first getting this disc, was the band’s heavy take on the classic Who tune “I Can’t Explain”. The Scorp’s version came out back when I was still in high school. My one friend and I were really into the Who at the time, and while he thought the cover version was blasphemy, I thought it was pretty good. Granted, all these years later, I think some of that goodness has worn away a bit, but still it’s a nice version of the song which features the trademark Scorpions sound, and not something akin to the Scorpions trying to copy the Who.
For those with only a slight knowledge of the band and a fear that these guys might be too “heavy” to include in your collection, fear not. Klaus Meine has always had a good voice that allowed him to hit those high notes without turning into a banshee. Guitarist Rudolf Schenker also knows just how to lay down the notes and solos without turning the whole affair into some kind of bombastic thrill ride that makes you sick before the songs are even halfway through. The Scorpions have always had a good sense of melody within their hard rocking, and that is exactly what has allowed them to remain popular all these years.
Let’s not forget that the band was also responsible for some classic album art as well. When Virgin Killer was first issued in the early ‘70s, its cover photo on the sleeve was quickly banned (and rightfully so). However, who could forget such oddball sexual excursions as depicted on the covers of Lovedrive and Animal Magnetism? They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore. The Blackout LP also has your standard classic Scorpions freak-out art as well. Go give them all a look and I’m sure a lot of you will recall seeing maybe one or all of the albums while shopping for music at some point in your life.
But it’s really all about the music here. You get such big time rockers as “No One Like You” and “The Zoo” here, but you also get “Loving You Sunday Morning” from Lovedrive. This song has always reminded me of Supertramp for various reasons, and has remained one of my all-time fave Scorpions tunes. So it’s nice to have it here. I can’t say I ever enjoyed the power ballad “Still Loving You”, which, granted, a million other heavy bands borrowed from, but it was never good in its “original” form here, either. “Believe in Love” also suffers from the same problem. The Scorps were just better at rocking than serenading their female fans.
Yet this is just a small complaint, as there are plenty of rockers here, including “Big City Nights” and “Tease Me Please Me”. It’s forgivable that the ballads are included, as they were indeed hits, and this disc is a basic attempt at showing the different aspects of what the Scorpions could and can do. So given that, The Best of Scorpions is a solid, thoroughly enjoyable budget priced best of that has a good helping of rockers and a couple tunes for the ladies thrown in. There are undoubtedly better and more thorough collections that represent the cream of the Scorpions’ work, but if you want a quick fix and aren’t looking for a whole lot more than the expected hits, you can’t go wrong here.
// Notes from the Road
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