The Scorpions were one of my first rock bands. At 13, it was their 'Unbreakable' album that I first bought and devoured, then two different 'greatest hits' collections, following by 'Humanity Hour 1', and the majority of their back catalogue. As I moved onto other forms of music (mostly rock and metal, mind you) in the interceding years, I found myself returning once in a while to the Scorpions - the riffs would hit me hard, like they first did when I first heard them. 'Alien Nation', 'Rock You Like a Hurricane', 'No-one Like You', 'Tease Me, Please Me, and 'The Zoo' are still as fresh as I can only imagine how they sounded when they were first released, with only the production grounding these classics in the decades that they were released in.
This is what I speculate was partially the thought process of the Scorpions when they came up with the idea to do 'Comeblack' (The less said about that album name, the better - although it comes from a long tradition of dodgy sounding album names such as 'Virgin Killers' and 'Love at First Sting'). An album of covers and updated versions of their hits sounds like a strange concept, and in many ways, it is. The original recordings of their originals were already great, and surely could be remastered in a 'Queen/Greatest Hits ' way. You can't really hear the same amount of 'drive' in the band as well: they definitely sound 'hungrier' in the original recordings, as would be expected. It is easy to forget while listening to 'Comeblack' that the band are all 50 and over, with Klaus Meine pushing 65, standard retirement age in many countries! Meine's voice is ridiculously fresh sounding for a 65 year old. Not only can he still hit the notes, he still has virtually the same amount of breath control and tone! I found myself questioning how this was even possible while listening to the album. This is especially shown in the ballads 'Wind of Change' and 'Still Loving You' showcase Meine's incredible voice.
Despite any misgivings fans or casual listeners might have about this album, I would still recommend it for one simple reason. 'Comeblack' is the sound of a retiring band having a great time while playing their greatest hits from a career of over 40 years. The production is great: Jabs and Schenker sound just as a two guitar-onslaught should, and the thundering drums of James Kottak are mixed and compressed perfectly. Paweł Mąciwoda's bass is mixed louder and is substantial throughout, adding huge weight to songs like 'The Zoo', 'Tainted Love' and 'Children of the Revolution'. Eventually, this final offering from The Scorpions is as fun and rocking as it gets: Cinderella's Tom Kiefer once stated that 'as long as I got rock n' roll, I'm forever young'. While this prophetic statement may not have applied to him, it most certainly does in case of the Scorpions. Turn the volume up, and relive the power of their hits on a modern soundscape!