Scorpions – ‘Crazy World’ (1990) – Album Review (The Scorpions Collection Series)

The band’s eleventh studio was recorded in 1990 and was the first album in year (maybe decades) to not include Dieter Dierks as producer. Instead, they went with Keith Olsen and went back to a less polished sound which helped see the album go to #21 in the U.S. upon its release on November 6, 1990. It is also the last album to be certified 2X Platinum in the States. It is also known as the band’s first #1 album in their home country of Germany which I find insane it took that long.

The band is still in tact with Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Mathias Jabs, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell. Little did we know though that this would be the last album to feature longtime bassist, Francis Buchholz. But before he leaves, he actually gets his first songwriting credit with the song “Kicks After Six” which we will talk about soon enough. This album saw the band have a more mature tone in some of their songwriting, but don’t worry there is still the whole sleazy piece of rock as well. The best of both worlds.

SIDE 1:

The album opens with, “Tease Me Please Me”, which is a sleazy little track that seems part Motley Crue, part everything else at the time and that is okay. The song is a rocker that doesn’t take a lot of thought, but it still kicks ass. A fun opening track with a cool riff, some nasty guitar work, Klaus’ gritty vocals and overall catchy as hell. It is straight up down and dirty rock & roll. Yes, please…sign me up.

Don’t Believe Her” is up next and it is proof that the Scorpions were now an American rock band as the sound is like every other band rocking out in the U.S. at the time. I really like the opening guitar work and then it goes very Ratt-like with the tone. The only thing missing was Pearcy’s rough vocals. Instead we get much better with Klaus. The song isn’t something to write home about, but it is still a fun, upbeat song although chorus is pretty weak.

Then it is more radio-fodder with “To Be With You In Heaven”. I thought it was going to be a ballad, but it is too upbeat and too much a rocker to be one, but it doesn’t miss by much. Rarebell has a slamming drumming beat as the base to the song. The song does have those romantic lyrics you’d expect in a ballad and Klaus delivers them flawlessly, but still not a ballad with that dual guitar work from Jabs and Schenker.

The next track was the first ballad and it is the band’s mega-hit “Wind of Change”. The song was written by Klaus Meine and was inspired by the band’s trip to the Moscow Peace Festival in 1989. The song is about the change that was brewing in the Soviet Union and in Berlin. When the Wall fell and the Soviet Union was no more, the song was a unifying song for everyone. The whistling in the song was by Klaus, Mathias was playing the rhythm guitar and Schenker handled the solo. A slow ballad that seem to strike a chord with everyone as it went to #1 in 9 countries and #4 in the U.S. It was certified Silver, Gold or Platinum in 9 countries as well. To say this was a worldwide phenomenon would be understatement. And the YouTube video is closing in on almost 1 Billion views…impressive.

The band ends Side 1 with “Restless Nights” which is very bluesy and almost a doom like vibe to the whole thing. The chorus picks up and is more melodic while the everything is a little dark and foreboding. Even Klaus sings it with a little doom & gloom until his more sunny-vibed chorus. Jabs does lay down a great solo amongst the Meine screams. Still not a huge favorite of mine though.

SIDE 2:

Side 2 kicks off like Side 1 did with pure sleazy, sexualized rock and roll. “Lust of Love” is pretty mindless fun with a great, driving beat and a chorus that lingers long after its gone and you find yourself singing it around the house and your wife looks at you with a suspiciously strange evil eye. It is a rousing metal anthem…well pretty close. I do like it though.

And the next rack is the song with Francis’ first co-writing credit. “Kicks After Six” is more of the same, enticingly good time rock & roll. I have to admit, I like the raucous, sleazy, dirty little rockers. The are fun, joyful and put a little bounce in my step. This one opens with a really cool riff that I think makes the song. Rarebell pounds away the driving beat and the song kicks some major ass for me. Oh, and the solo…don’t forget the solo. Crank it baby!!

“Hit Between the Eyes” keeps the party going with some almost speed metal riffs and what I believe is a killer dual guitar solo between Mathias and Rudolf…love it! Klaus is brutal as he attacks the verses with a feistiness we haven’t seen yet on this album. Probably the heaviest track here and what a 1-2-3 punch we get on this side. A total rocking good time.

Then we get to a different tone on the album and first up is “Money And Fame”. It harkens back to an older Scorps sound, but I’m not really feeling this one. You’d think I like the gloomy feel to it. The talkbox, by Jabs, has been played to death by most bands at this time. The song drags on for me and doesn’t feel like it gets where it is trying to go.

The title track, “Crazy World”, is up next and it does pick up the pace and has a little more rocking feel to it. The “ooohs” by Klaus are a nice touch especially accompanied by some cool riffing. This is a different track from the rest of the album. A little more sophisticated from the sleazy tracks and I kinda dig it. A nice change of pace and a pretty deep cut that maybe should’ve been placed earlier in the set. Who knows.

And finally we get to end and as usual, Scorpions end with a ballad and I think it is one of their best ballads ever. “Send Me An Angel” sees Klaus give his best vocal performance as he conveys both a melancholy vibe yet there is still a shimmering light of hope. The keyboards add to the sadness and they are handled by Jim Vallance who actually co-wrote 7 of the tracks on here as well. You know Jim from his work with Bryan Adams. There is a desperation to the lyrics as he feels so lost but the hope that an angel will come and make everything better. A really beautiful track and one I never tire of hearing. They outdid themselves with this one in my book.

Track Listing:

  1. Tease Me Please Me – Keeper
  2. Don’t Believe Her – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  3. To Be With You In Heaven – Keeper
  4. Wind of Change – Keeper
  5. Restless Nights – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  6. Lust or Love – Keeper
  7. Kicks After Six – Keeper
  8. Hit Between the Eyes – Keeper
  9. Money And Fame – Delete 
  10. Crazy World – Keeper
  11. Send Me An Angel – Keeper

The Track Score is 9 out of 11 Tracks or 82%. I like this one and the fact they didn’t over produce this one like ‘Savage Amusement’.  The sleazy songs were so much fun and sometimes you just need down & dirty.  The more sophisticated tracks like “Winds of Change”, “Crazy World” and “Send Me An Angel” also were a nice dichotomy to the album.  You got some slick and some sick…that is what you need sometimes.  It was good to bring Keith Olsen in to produce as the guys needed to shake things up a bit.  My Overall Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars as this is their last great album for some time to come…at least in my book.

NEXT UP: CRAZY WORLD – 4 TRACKS FROM CRAZY WORLD – PROMO VINYL (1990)

THE SCORPIONS COLLECTION SERIES:

  1. Lonesome Crow (1972)
  2. Fly to the Rainbow (1974)
  3. In Trance (1975)
  4. Virgin Killer (1976)
  5. Taken by Force (1977)
  6. Tokyo Tapes (1978)
  7. Lovedrive (1979)
  8. Best of Scorpions (1979)
  9. Animal Magnetism (1980)
  10. Rock Galaxy (1980) – Bonus Edition
  11. Blackout (1982)
  12. Hot & Heavy (1982)
  13. Love at First Sting (1984)
  14. Still Loving You Maxi Single (1984)
  15. Best of Scorpions Vol. 2 (1984)
  16. Gold Ballads (1984)
  17. World Wide Live (1985)
  18. Savage Amusement (1988)
  19. Rhythm of Love – Single (Box Set) (1988)
  20. Best of Rockers ‘n’ Ballads (1989)
  21. Crazy World (1990)
  22. Crazy World – 4 Track From Crazy World Promo Vinyl (1990)
  23. Tease Me Please Me Promo CD (1990)
  24. Don’t Believe Her Promo CD (1990)
  25. Send Me An Angle Promo CD (1991)
  26. Face the Heat (1993)
  27. Live Bites (1995)
  28. Pure Instinct (1996)
  29. Big City Nights (Compilation) (1998)
  30. Eye II Eye (1999)
  31. Moment of Glory (with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) (2000)
  32. Acoustica (2001)
  33. Unbreakable (2004)
  34. Humanity: Hour 1 (2007)
  35. Sting in the Tail (2010)
  36. Comeblack (2011)
  37. MTV Unplugged – Live in Athens (2013)
  38. Return to Forever (2015)
  39. Rock Believer (2022)
  40. The Albums Ranked Worst to First

My Sunday Song – “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith

For My Sunday Song #305, we are discussing the opening track “Eat the Rich” off the 1993 Aerosmith album ‘Get a Grip’. “Eat the Rich” was the second single released on April 17, 1993. The song was written by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the great Jim Vallance who has written for so many, most notably Bryan Adams. I don’t think the song did much as a single, but the album did go on to sell well over 9,000,000 copies worldwide.

The song was written as a dig against wealthy people who look down upon others with a disdain as if their wealth makes them so much better than everyone else. Funny thing is Aerosmith was quite wealthy at this time, but they didn’t come from money. They had very poor and humble beginnings as they were practically homeless at times. They knew where their money came from and were grateful.

The album kicks off with an “Intro” that should’ve been merged with the first track “Eat the Rich”.  The “Intro” sees Steven Tyler rapping some rhymes along a some cool drumming. And then ends with a riff of “Walk This Way” before going straight in to “Eat the Rich” with some killer tribal drumming by Kramer with a ton of people doing log drumming. There were 6 people credited as log drummers…insane. The song is full of witty lyrics and Tyler just rips through them with ease. It is catchy as hell and the bass groove on this one is sensational along with Perry who slays it on the riffs and the solo. It is a brilliant opening track that gets the juices flowing. So take that Grey Poupon and shove it up your ass. Oh yeah, the song ends with a massive burp. Only fitting!

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith”

Aerosmith – ‘Get A Grip’ (1993) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)

After the massive success of their previous album, ‘Pump’, the band took a little break in 1992. They started recording the next album in January & February, but stopped for some rest and didn’t return until September of that year to finish up the album. The music environment had significantly changed since 1989’s ‘Pump’ so I believe everyone was curious as to what they would do. And it turns out, they would keep doing what they do best and didn’t change a thing. When most bands faded away around this time, Aerosmith ended up flourishing even more. How did they do it?

First thing was they brought back Bruce Fairbairn as their producer as he has been creating gold with everything they had done…or should I say Platinum since the last album went 7 x’s Platinum. Second, they brought in some friends to help out such as Don Henley and Lenny Kravitz. Third, the record company wanted them to continue using outside writers to help so back was Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw, Richard Supa, Mark Hudson and Taylor Rhodes. Damn, that is a lot of help!!

The line-up was still unchanged with Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. The Boston Boys we ready to take on the world again. The album was released on April 23, 1993 and became the band’s first album to debut at #1 on the Charts. They released 7 singles on the album and selling over 7 million copies again in the U.S. It was the band’s third straight album of over 5 million in sales. If that wasn’t enough, the album won two Grammy’s for Best Rock Vocal Performance for a Duo or Group in both 1993 and 1994. The band was on fire still and the fans were eating it up.

Continue reading “Aerosmith – ‘Get A Grip’ (1993) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)”

Aerosmith – “Rag Doll” (1988) – 7″ Single (The Aerosmith Collection Series – Bonus Edition)

We are to the final single that I have for the ‘Permanent Vacation’ album and I am sure you will be happy to get back to the normal reviews as it has been 4 weeks of this album. The final single if for the song “Rag Doll”. The song was written by Joe Perry, Steven Tyler and Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams) as well as Holly Knight (Kiss). Tyler was furious that Holly got a writing credit because he says all she contributed to the song was changing the name from “Rag Time” to “Rag Doll”. One word got her a writing credit and it didn’t sit well.

“Rag Doll” went to #17 on the Top 40 Chart which continued to push the album to multi-platinum status…5 X’s platinum. The single was released on May 3, 1988 and my version is the standard U.S. version. The B-Side is “St. John” and both songs are the basic, standard LP version. No new mixes here.

Continue reading “Aerosmith – “Rag Doll” (1988) – 7″ Single (The Aerosmith Collection Series – Bonus Edition)”

Aerosmith – “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” (1987) – 7″ Single & 12″ Maxi-Single (The Aerosmith Collection Series – Bonus Edition)

We have a little break here from the album reviews in the Aerosmith Collection Series. As it turns out, I have 4 singles from ‘Permanent Vacation’ and we are going to go through those over the next few weeks. First up is the second single from the album “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” and this one is a two for the price of one treat as I have both a 7″ Single and a 12″ Maxi-Single of the song. Since I don’t want to completely bore you to tears with two separate posts on the same song, I decided to them both together in one giant treat.

7″ Promo Single:

First up we will tackle the 7″ Single. My version is the the Promo Copy of the song so the A-Side and B-Side are the same song. Since this is 1987, both versions are the stereo version and not one of them being a Mono like in the earlier years. The song was released as a single on September 22, 1987 and did really well for the band. It brought them back to the mainstream after years of filling up the discount rack. The song went to #12 on the Billboard Top 40 and was a regular on MTV.

The song started out as a song called “Cruisin’ for a Lady”, but thanks to help from co-write Desmond Child, we got “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”. The song is about a man that goes in to a strip club and falls for one of the dancers. They go back stage and she whips out her gun and is actually a man. The song inspiration actually came from the band seeing this blonde beauty at the far end of a bar and it turning out to be Vince Neil from Motley Crue.

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Aldo Nova – “Blood On The Bricks” – 12″ Promotional Single

Another 12″ Single I picked up from Noble Records on that big Metal Collection he was selling was from Aldo Nova. You remember Aldo from his early 80’s song “Fantasy”. This was a Promotional 12″ Single for his fourth album ‘Blood on the Bricks’ that came out in 1991. It was for the first single, the title track “Blood on the Bricks”.

This particular single was the “Metal Radio Exclusive” red vinyl 12″ (in gatefold clear PVC sleeve with color insert) with three songs from the “Blood On The Bricks” album. It was promotional only and not for sale at the time..but now it is fair game because Noble had it for sale almost 30 years later. This was the album and Tour that I saw and got to meet Mr. Aldo Nova and his band and get autographs. They were all super nice.

The cool thing about this album for Aldo Nova is that it was produced and all of the songs were co-written with some guy named Jon Bon Jovi. You see, Jon and Aldo go way back as Aldo worked with Jon on his debut album that became the debut Bon Jovi album before Richie and the gang were a full band. Jon was returning the favor in what they hoped would be Aldo’s big comeback album…which didn’t really work out. Jon had signed Aldo to his Jambco record label.

The A-Side of this LP was “Blood on the Bricks” which was a straight-up rocker. It was uptempo with a hard driving, very catchy chorus. Even though Jon put his stamp on these songs, the guitar still sounds like Aldo’s tone and feel so he didn’t completely strip away that thank goodness. The song was all street tough and had that Jon Bon Jovi storytelling vibe. Like most of the album, it is a little overproduced, but hey, it still isn’t half bad.

The B-Side of this disc had 2 songs. First up was “Young Love” which was written by Aldo and Jon but also had the help of Bryan Adams writing partner Jim Vallance. This song was a little cheesy that was leaning between power ballad and pop song and seemed to be a leftover track that wasn’t good enough for a Bon Jovi album.

The last track is called “Modern World” which was soley written by Aldo and Jon. This is a tough, street fighting type song. It has a lot of edge and balls and has a really cool riff and groove to it with a whole tribal flair. You even get a shout out to Donald Trump, but this was way before his time as president. This was around the time he cheated on his then wife with Marla Maples. There are a lot of cultural references from the time which actually dates the song a little…okay a lot. But Aldo’s playing is sensational and he lays down a great solo in only the way Aldo can.

And there you have it. The 12″ Promotional Single for “Blood on the Bricks” by Aldo Nova. It is a nice piece to add to my ever growing Aldo Nova collection. I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by.

Heart – “What About Love” – The 45 Single

I haven’t done one of these in awhile where I highlight a 45 Single in my collection so I went through and pulled out “What About Love” from the band Heart.  The song is from what is considered their comeback album ‘Heart’ that was released in 1985 and the single was the first off the album and released on June 1, 1985.

The song is a cover song actually and was originally performed by the band Toronto.  It was written by Brian Allen. Sheron Alton and Jim Vallance.  You know Jim as he is the writing partner for some guy named Bryan Adams.  Brian & Sheron were in Toronto, however, Jim wasn’t although he did play drums on the song.  Enough about them, let’s get to Heart.

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Bryan Adams – ‘Shine A Light’ – Album Review

Bryan Adams is coming in concert to Charlotte, NC on May 4th, 2019.  I thought this would be a great date night for my wife and I so bought 2 tickets.  With each pair of tickets you buy, you get a copy of the new Bryan Adams album ‘Shine A Light’.  I hadn’t bought any new Adams stuff in quite some time so I was glad to get this and I thought, why not review it.  So, here is that review.

The first thing I noticed is that Bryan is more Easy Listening than he is rock now and I guess that comes with age.  And getting through those first two tracks was not easy to listen to at all.  The first song is the title track, “Shine A Light”, and was written by both Bryan and Ed Sheeran.  Yes, the Ed Sheeran.  It is a catchy enough song, but it is pure pop dribble.  And the second track is no better as it is a duet with Jennifer Lopez called “That’s How Strong Our Love Is”. Yes, the J-Lo herself.  Now if you can make it through those tracks, it will get better, I promise.

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“Part Friday Night, Part Sunday Morning” is probably my favorite song on the album.  It is a fun, good old-fashion rock song that Bryan is really good at it.  Great tempo and great rhythm and all around good time.  Not to be out done is “Driving Under the Influence of Love” written with his long time writing partner, Jim Vallance.  Another rocker that takes me back to Bryan in the 80’s.  These are the two songs that should have kicked off this album rather than that crap before it.  It is uptempo and has a guitar solo.  What more could you want.

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Bryan Adams – Diana 12″ EP

Back in 1984, Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams wrote a fun song about a young lady that was about to marry her Prince…literally.  The song was about Princess Diana or so it is assumed.  The song is taken from the viewpoint of a gentleman who had seen Diana in a magazine and then on TV and fell in love with her.  “Diana” was his profession of that love for her and he begged her to leave the life she was about to enter and be with him.

We know that she didn’t do that, sadly, as she might still be with us today.  “Diana” was supposed to be on Bryan’s album ‘Reckless’; however, he left it off as he didn’t want to upset the Royal Family.  He also probably didn’t want to make them mad and screw up his dual Canadian & British citizenship.  The song has actually never been released on any Bryan Adams album or compilation.  It is probably his most popular non-album song.

“Diana” was released as a B-Side to the song “Heaven” and it was released as this very special 12″ 3 Song E.P. which I came across in a collection of vinyl I picked up.  Bryan used to play the song in concert on a regular basis, but upon Princess Diana’s death he has since put the song to pasture and no longer plays it live.  I did find a rumor that stated that Bryan actually did date Diana after her split from Prince Charles.  Now of course, it is solely a rumor and has never been stated as fact by Bryan or anyone from Diana’s camp.  It was a rumor started by one of Bryan’s ex-girlfriends.

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Bryan Adams – “Straight From the Heart” & “Cuts Like A Knife” – The 45 Single (1985)

For the next single that was in my box of vinyl, you get two for the price of one.  It is actually a re-issued single of two of Bryan Adams most popular songs from his ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ album.  A&M Records had a 45 single series called A&M Memories where they re-released singles of artists and both sides were previously released singles from the artist and from the same album.

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The original singles “Straight From the Heart” and “Cuts Like a Knife” were actually released in 1983 as separate singles.  The B-Side for “Straight From the Heart” was “One Good Reason” and the B-Side for “Cuts Like a Knife” was “Lonely Nights”.  This release of those singles was done only a couple years later in 1985. The concept of this A&M series was pretty smart as it gave the customer two hit songs for the price of one.

Continue reading “Bryan Adams – “Straight From the Heart” & “Cuts Like A Knife” – The 45 Single (1985)”