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A solid Mercury-Era Scorps Set - 80%

OlympicSharpshooter, December 31st, 2003

Nice expansion on the horribly named "Best of Rockers'n'Ballads" disc. This covers most of the essentials of the Mercury output, but it would've been better as a single disc. Why? Because there are only three or four tracks on disc 2 worth your time.

Still, this is a nice overview of their 80's years, and you won't find many better acts from the era. "Holiday" and "Loving You Sunday Morning" are topnotch early ballads, while "Lovedrive" and "The Zoo" are worthy rockers. Saves the trouble of buying two 'pretty good' albums.

The "Blackout" tracks are well chosen, but you really should own this album, no? Anyway, the title track is absolutely metal thrashing mad, with some brilliant Matthias Jabs axework and one of the most over Klaus Meine performances ever. "No One Like You" is poppy as hell, but check out those steely leads! "Can't Live Without You" is some blues based classic rock, but listen close and drool at the continuous soloing that pervades the entire tune. And then you get "China White" a screaming, earth-shakingly heavy apocolypse. The Scorps have never been more metal.

"Love at First Sting" was the biggest record, and the songs seem destined for your radio. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" has one of the greatest riffs ever, a metallic maelstrom that almost cops out come catchy chorus time. Check out the symphony version of the song ASAP! "Still Loving You" is a truly epic ballad, and it contains one of my top 9 or 10 solo's ever. And of course Meine is bigger than life, even if he is a pint-sized dude. "Dynamite" and "Bad Boys Running Wild" sound dead identical, but you just get to rock out twice as much. Or something. "Coming Home" is the heaviest song on that particular album, and it acquits itself well here with a great use of the soft-loud dynamic.

Next up, a solid live instrumental called "Coast to Coast". It takes one back to the pre-"Call of Ktulu" instrumentals that were simple, short, and punchy. Nice twin leads.

Disc two. Bleech. Poppy, formulaic claptrap for the most part, with only "When Passion Rules the Game" really sticking in your head the way it's designed to. An horribly, you want it OUT! However, "Alien Nation" is probably the Scorpions last great song, a lean mean monster of a song. Soul-mate to "China White", but less epic and more angry. "Send Me An Angel" is suitably angelic, but "Under the Same Sun" is just sacharine, and I feel dirty listening to the undeniably powerful "Wind of Change".

It's all worth it for a SUPERB rendition of RCA era classic "In Trance", one of the bands greatest compositions.

If this set had the first disc minus a few needless tracks("Bad Boys Running Wild" for example) with the choice cuts from Disc 2, and the other disc being the RCA era tunes("We Burn the Sky", "In Trance", "Sails of Charon", etc.) it'd be a big 100%. Since it isn't, it gets an 80%.

Dynamite! - 97%

UnleashtheHeathen, December 27th, 2003

I recently read that this band was added to the archives, so I'm sort of excited. Anyhow, this is a double disk set, released in two different ways; a topless woman on the cover, and no topless woman on the cover. Both CD's feature a live song, along with all the Scorpion classics. The second disk features two previously unreleased tracks, ''Over the Top'' and "Life Goes Around", which are okay. The booklet is very nice, showing various pictures of the band, including a little history. The last pages include the full track listings of both CD's, and what album each of the songs came from.

This is a very good compilation album, I recommend it if you're having trouble finding their other CD's. Unfortunately, there are no songs from any album before "Lovedrive".