The Scorpions – Comeblack (CD)

When is retirement not really retirement? When you’re in band, of course.

Just look at Cher’s farewell tour which stretched out for years ; the same can be said for the group Kiss, and let’s be honest as long as Gene Simmons thinks he can squeeze out one more penny from the band they will never go away. So when The Scorpions, by far Germany’s most successful musical export since Kraftwerk (and a far guiltier pleasure), announced that 2010’s Sting in the Tail would be their last effort before hanging up the spandex and stretched out leather, did anyone really think the end was the end? Sure they have officially run out of bad scorpion puns for album titles, but that never stopped any of their other 80’s metal brethren. On Comeblack (sigh, yes another bad pun), Klaus and the boys waited about a year and a half before serving up yet another offering of distorted guitars and hooky, accented English sing-along choruses.

Comeblack is an interesting concept, a mix of re-recordings of their biggest hits and a selection of covers, from the obvious (T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution”) to the unusual… at least for them (The Beatles’ “Across the Universe” and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”). While none of the re-recordings sound dramatically different the second time around, it is amazing to think of just how many hits the band actually had (“Rhythm of Love”, “No One Like You”, Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “Wind of Change”)

While many can look at this greatest hits/covers hybrid as one last cynical cash grab (I do, by the way), it’s hard to argue that the album isn’t pure fun for those of us weaned on episodes of late 80’s Headbanger’s Ball and issues of RIP, Circus and Hit Parader. We’ll miss you guys… until the reunion tour that’s likely just around the corner.

Top tracks: “Tainted Love” and “Someone Like You”
The Scorpions – Comeblack/13 songs/Sony and Legacy/2012

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