The Scorpions are definitely one of Germany’s finest international rock music acts. Herman Rarebell has been part of the band. Now, he is back with Scorpions music – but without the band: together with the Hurricane Orchestra, he is releasing Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic on 21st January 2022 – 17 songs he (partially) wrote with the band in a new orchestral sound. I have been too curious and share my thoughts.
Herman Rarebell & The Hurricane Orchestra – About The Artists
Herman Rarebell was born on 18th November 1949 in Hüttersdorf, Saarland in Southwest Germany. His civil name is Hermann Erbel. Since the mid-1960’s, he has been the drummer in several bands. In 1977, he finally became part of the Scorpions. He co-wrote several big hits of the band, including Rock You Like a Hurricane. He left the band in 1996. During this time, he gained more than one hundred golden and platinum records as well as the World Music Award.
Since 1981, Rarebell is also releasing solo albums, his debut has been named Nip in the Bud. He was also the drummer for Michael Schenker and initiated some charity projects. Even though there have been scattered stage performances with the Scorpions, either as a drummer or support act, he recently named his former band mates “rude” and “greedy”. I unfortunately could not find out too much about The Hurricane Orchestra.
Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic – Track by Track
The album features 17 songs and lasts 76 minutes.
1. Rock You Like A Hurricane
I haven’t listened to any of the two single releases before I reviewed the album – thus, I have been really curious about the sound of Rarebell and his orchestral sounds. My first thought is rather split: on the one hand, the opener Rock You Like A Hurricane. The vocals might not be as snappy as if Klaus Meine was on the microphone – but the orchestral cover has a lot of power, just like the original. Unfortunately, this also means that drums and electric guitars are a bit too present – which is unfortunately valid for several tracks on Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic.
2. Big City Nights
Big City Nights is one of my Scorpions favorite. I feel that the arrangement levels nicer between the orchestra and the rock instruments as well. Good one.
3. No One Like You
I feel that No One Like You could have been a cool track to re-arrange the song a bit, do it more orchestral style. I love electric guitars, I party any riff – but here they disturb me a bit too much. Especially the verses show how much potential is in the re-arrangement of the track.
4. Still Loving You
One of the deepest ballads written by the Scorpions – maybe one of the deepest ones in all rock history. Flutes, other wind instruments, the strings – the orchestra has a magnificent presence here. Still Loving You 2022 feels magical to me. One of my favorite songs.
5. Tease Me Please Me
Indeed, Tease Me Please Me is a cool Rock’n’Roll track. The 1990’s chorus is such a catching one. The orchestra version is close again – which means too close. Some instrumental interludes show a nice potential. Nonetheless, the cellos in the background are really cool.
6. Falling In Love
Falling In Love was a track from the 1980 album Animal Magnetism. The song has a bit of tough time during my review. I just don’t have too much relation, too many memories with it. The tracks before caught me better.
7. You Give Me All I Need
Blackout has been the first Top 10 album for the hard rock band. In this song, Rarebell manages to have some sort of balance between rock and classic sound. The song is nicely alternating between rocking parts and rather quiet moments, Nice.
8. Passion Rules The Game
I would really love to listen to these songs when Rarebell is presenting them live on stage this year and the next. In the studio version, the orchestra here feels too much in the background. Only the cellos and basses have some significant presence in this arrangement.
9. Is There Anybody There
The 1979 Lovedrive has been the first time a Scorpions album made it to the album charts at all. The 2022 version of the song Is There Anybody There is one of the best arrangement of the album to me. It beautifully creates a groovy atmosphere – almost like a cool blues rocker. The original had a touch of it, but this version is cooler.
10. Always Somewhere
The song starts with string and even harps, before the flutes introduce the melody line. The more than five minute Always Somewhere takes sufficient time to present different instruments, but overall keeps a rather quiet, decent sound. Really pleasant listen.
11. Loving You Sunday Morning
Loving You Sunday Morning is the only track on this cover album, which lasts longer than six minutes. A cool, soft version with a wise arrangement. Plushy… In a positive sense.
12. Send Me An Angel
The Crazy World album was likely the absolute peak of the Scorpions career. Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic thus not too surprisingly features three songs. After Tease Me Please Me, Rarebell does an amazing job arranging the closing track of the 1990’s album. The emotional, soft atmosphere becomes even softer in the orchestral sound. Luckily, the song does not become a kitschy schlager song under these circumstances. Love it – goosebumps are almost guaranteed.
13. White Dove
Ain’t that somehow an irony of fate that the damn hard rockers in fact had most of their most successful tracks in the ballad and power ballad sector? White Dove is such a breathtaking original. The drumming in the 2022 version could be a bit more gentle – but overall, this is a lovely one.
14. Don’t Stop At The Top
Regarding the popularity of the song, selecting Don’t Stop At The Top might be a rather surprising selection – but the 2022 arrangement is a nice one and really feels to have a collaboration between the rock band and the orchestra. Thus: well done – it’s a good listen.
15. Wind Of Change
At least from a German perspective, Wind Of Change is likely THE Scorpions of all times (internationally, it may rather be Rock You Like A Hurricane). Thus, I was especially curious how this arrangement will work out. The flutes take over the whistling by Klaus Meine, the freedom bells are really ringing. That’s a song simply recorded to smile for five minutes.
Holiday is a bit of boring to me. However, that’s more about the original than about the way the song is setup in the environment of Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic. The recording is absolutely fine.
17. Moment Of Glory
I already stated it: finally, the Scorpions are rockers for romance, ballad gods. I am sure that it somehow still hurts their heart. But, hey, they wrote songs like Moment of Glory. And that’s indeed a beauty. It has been a good one in 2000. And I feel it is even better in 2022. Perfect selection for an energetic finale of the album.
Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic – My View
Herman Rarebell’s Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic has some downs. The key point on the negative side is that I feel he wants to rock too hard. Give the violins, give the oboes, give the flutes sufficient space – they spread magic in so many songs of the album. The album is full of memories to me – and the re-arrangement definitely does not spoil my love for these songs. I overall really like the album.
Scorpion’s Songs Symphonic Tour 2022/23
Herman Rarebell and his music friends rock and strum over Europe in 2022 and 2023. Here are his planned tour dates (there are a couple of shows postponed from 2021):
|Su 27.02.2022||Stuttgart (Germany) – Liederhalle|
|Mo 28.02.2022||Augsburg – Kongress am Park|
|Tu 01.03.2022||Fürth – Stadthalle|
|Th 03.03.2022||Krakow (Poland) – ICE Krakow|
|Fr 04.03.2022||Brno (Czech Republic) – SONO Centrum|
|Sa 05.03.2022||Cottbus (Germany) – Stadthalle|
|Su 06.03.2022||Prague (Czech Republic) – Rock Opera|
|Tu 08.03.2022||Leipzig (Germany) – Gewandhaus|
|Fr 17.06.2022||Bialystok (Poland) – Filharmonia Podlaska|
|Sa 18.06.2022||Lublin – Centrum Sportkania Kultur|
|Su 19.06.2022||Warsaw – Progresja|
|Sa 04.03.2023||Saarbruecken (Germany) – Congresshalle|
|Su 05.03.2023||Frankfurt – Batschkapp|
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