Sadly, Eric Carr passed away on November 24, 1991 due to an aneurysm that probably stemmed from the numerous surgeries he had to remove tumors related to his heart cancer. Before his death, Eric was always writing songs as he was a very creative soul. He could write, he could sing and he could play more than just the drums. ‘Rockology’ is a collection of the songs he had been working on prior to his death. These are demos and not necessarily full fledge songs in some cases so keep that in mind. Think of this as his ‘Vault’ because it is very similar in the type of songs you get on Gene Simmons ‘The Vault’. You get some fully fleshed out songs, you get some where lyrics are being scatted because their aren’t any yet and you get some straight-up instrumentals.
The album was put together by one of Eric’s great friends and former Kiss bandmate, Bruce Kulick. With the help of Adam Mitchell (co-writer of numerous Kiss songs), they pieced together a collection of songs from old cassettes or where ever they could find them. They would clean them up the best they could, add some backing vocals where appropriate and even Bruce overdubbed some killer solos in a few songs to help complete them. Bruce produced the album and I think this was a wonderful tribute to his old friend and bandmate.
This release is a Record Store Day release that came out on April 22, 2023 and it was released as a 2 LP Vinyl and a limited run of CDs (only 500 available). Luckily I got them both. The cool thing about this release is that there are 5 bonus tracks that have been previously unreleased so this it the only place to currently get them. The other really cool thing is how they changed up the cover to look like the 4 Kiss Solo albums with Eric getting an orange color around him. They even included a poster done in the same style of posters from the original Kiss Solo albums. The LP version comes on 2 LPs with translucent splatter vinyl, one orange and one clear. Both beautiful. The CD was designed as a Vinyl replica with a cardboard sleeve and the CD looks like a vinyl. Both packages done with care.
We are now on to the 15th Studio album from the Scorpions called ‘Unbreakable’. It had been 5 years since their last studio album, ‘Eye II Eye’, which was not a success. The band had some success with their live albums ‘Moment of Glory’ and ‘Acoustica’ and after some touring, the guys were ready to go at it again. They went to the studio in late March or early April and recorded 16 demos. Not a bad start…but…they scrapped every single one and started over. They tried again in June 2003 and nothing much from that one either. Finally after another short tour, they went back in to the studio a third time in September 2003 and did another 20 songs and finally they felt they could pull an album from those tracks.
They shopped for a producer and they had a number of people on the list that they sent the demos to in hopes of hiring a producer. They wooed Bob Rock, Max Martin, Rick Parasher, Erwin Musper and even old time producer Dieter Dierks. In the end they ended up using Erwin Musper and he did a pretty good job. But that wasn’t all they were shopping for as they also needed a bass player. The courted Jeff Pilson (Dokken) and Jimmy Bain (Rainbow/Dio), but they wound up with Paweł Mąciwoda who was able to play on about 10 of the 13 tracks.
After recording from October 2003 to January 2004, the album was finally complete. It saw the light of day on May 3, 2004 and I have to say after the last two albums were a departure from what we expect from Scorpions, this one brought the band back to form. They brought back the heavy riffs, the great bombastic choruses and even modernized it all a little. This is the album that reminded me that Scorpions still had the goods to deliver what the fans like best. Solid guitar rock. I think a lot of what I like about this one is due to the fact of there was so much I didn’t like about the last two. This probably elevates this one a little as a result, but still so much goodness.
It all starts with the killer opening track “New Generation” which starts out with a slow build that keeps getting grander as you go and then the song really kicks in slamming it home. The hypnotic guitar riff is stellar and the song sounds so modern yet so like classic Scorpions at the same time. A brilliant track that reminds a lot of the opening tracks from a lot of bands in the 80’s as it has that grand feel and runs close to 6 minutes. Love it!!