Herman Rarebell & Friends - 'Scorpion Songs'
Herman Rarebell - drums
Jose Antonio Rodriguez - flamenco guitar
Corey Whitehead - flamenco guitar
Claudia Raab - saxophone
Holggy Begg -keyboards
Arno Baum - bass guitar
Chris Hasler - guitar
***vocalist listed below***
1.) "Rock You Like A Hurricane" – Bobby Kimball (Toto)
2.) "Passion Rules The Game" – John Parr
3.) "Loving You Sunday Morning" – Michael Voss (Mad Max)
4.) "Is There Anybody There" - Alex Ligertwood (Santana)
5.) "You Give Me All I Need" – Don Dokken (Dokken)
6.) "Make It Real" - Doogie White (Rainbow)
7.) "Dynamite" – Johnny Gioeli (Axel Rudi Pell)
8.) "Arizona" - Thomas Perry
9.) "Love Is Blind" – Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot)
10.) "Don´t Make No Promises" – Jack Russell (Great White)
11.) "Falling In Love" – Gary Barden (Michael Schenker Group)
12.) "Another Piece Of Meat" – Tony Martin (Black Sabbath)
13.) "Animal Magnetism" – Michael Nagy
14.) "Let It Shine" – Al Crespo (Unbreakable)
Herman Rarebell began his life on the 18th of November 1949 in Saarbrucken, Germany, his zodiac sign being Scorpio. By the age of 12 his passion for drumming was so extreme that he would practice on anything available, including an old sloped chair. His song writing was influenced by the music of Led Zeppelin, a group which he still loves.
After qualifying in drums and piano at the Music School in Saarbrucken, and after he played with Mastermen (1965) and with Fuggs Blues (1968) he moved on to England from 1971 to 1977 where he was hoping to find the next great Heavy Metal Band and there Michael Schenker introduced him to the Scorpions and began his international career as drummer and songwriter for the Scorpions. He was a driving force for the band, leading it with the full sound of his drums and especially during the live appearances, making the band perform the songs in a spectacular way. He was an important composer in the history of the group, writing classic songs like "Another piece of meat", "Falling in Love" and the second single from 'Savage Amusement' "Passion rules the game" and writing the lyrics for some of the most classic songs of the band like "Rock You Like a Hurricane", "Make It Real", "Dynamite", "Blackout", "Arizona", "Bad Boys Running Wild", "Don't Stop At the Top", "Tease Me Please Me" and other songs.
In 1982 he released his first solo album 'Nip In The Bud' (which he re-recorded as Herman ze German & Friends with the help of some friends of his as guest such as members of Dokken, Great White, Ratt etc.) It is worth noting that he is and was the only musician of the Scorpions who did his own solo project while still a full member of the band.
In April of 1996 he left the band following their 1993 album 'Face the Heat' and the third Scorpions' live album 'Live Bites'. His career with the band has seen his name on an international reputation boasting 32 million album sales. Surely with his absence, the consistency of the group was lost and the change in the sound was obvious to all the fans.
Maybe the fatigue from the non stop touring, maybe the disagreements regarding the recordings and musical directions of the upcoming Scorpions album ('Pure Instinct') and making the acquaintance with Prince Albert were some of the reasons he decided to leave the group and to get involved with a new challenge, to become a producer and to co-find the record company Monaco Records. He participated in many of the projects as a drummer and he released a second solo album under the label called 'Stings Like a Scorpion', while he had already released Nip in the bud and Herman Ze German and Friends while he was still with the Scorpions which were produced by Ric Browde. The two albums are essentially the same but the latter has re-recorded vocals and a re-mix courtesy of Michael Wagener. The track "I'll Say Goodbye" was co-written with Dokken main man Don Dokken. Artists on the album include bassist Juan Croucier of Ratt, vocalists Don Dokken, Jack Russell of Great White, Charlie Huhn of Victory, Steve Marriott and guitarists Chris Storey and David Cooper. His artistic restlessness lead him to a project with his wife Claudia Raab, former 7 Sins saxophonist and well known actress, and released a debut album 'The Rhythm of Art'. Its musical direction was atmospheric dance music with saxophone, drums and electronic music. Herman also performed with some live appearances under the Art Meets Music project with shows which would become a lot more than regular Rock n' Roll events, also featuring dancers as well as featuring original paintings by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and Ronald Muri, founder of the "Pop-Expressionist Movement". He participated in the Drum Legends project with his friend Pete York (ex Spencer Davis Group) where they released a live CD & DVD with the contribution of Jazz drummer C.Antonini. He also released a great 'soft' album with the Monte Carlo Pop Orchestra (Let me take you to the moon) as well as a single with the singer of Unlimited Ray Slijngaard (a remake of the song "The Eye of The Tiger") showing his need to experiment.
The Scorpions put on a celebratory event including former members for their headline show at the Wacken Open Air festival on the 3rd of August 2006 billed "A night to remember: A journey in time". Herman was invited by his old friends to join them on stage as their guest and the band perform many archive songs featuring Uli Jon Roth, Herman Rarebell and Michael Schenker.
This inspired him to put together his own group and go on tour and led to Herman announcing the formation of the project Herman Rarebell And Band for a new album 'Take It As It Comes!' This album includes a re-recorded version of the Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane", as well as the classic song "Heya Heya" by Jeronimo. The group involved singer Stefan Erz and his wife Claudia Raab on saxophone.
The Scorpions was one of the first hard rock bands my brother turned me onto in the seventies. During this time, I was playing snare drum in the school band and had my own full kit at home. Though I really loved the Scorpions I honestly thought Herman was just an average drummer. It was not until I bought their album 'Blackout' (1982) and listened to the song "No One Like You". During the third chorus Herman changed the bass drum kick adding a couple extra notes. Still to this day, I get chills when I hear it!
'Scorpion Songs' is the twelve CD Herman 'Ze German' has released as a solo artist. All of the tracks here were co-written by Rarebell – some he wrote the music for, some he wrote the lyrics for – all are great tracks, and delivered well by a revolving cast of big names. The CD starts out with what is by far the most popular Scorpions song "Rock You Like A Hurricane". It is a little strange hearing this version sung by Bobby Kimball of Toto. However, it does not sound as bad as I expected.
Will longtime Scorpion fans such as myself want to hear Herman covering songs with vocalists that we are so use to hearing Klaus Maine sing? Rarebell and company stay fairly close to the way the songs were originally recorded. Though the vocalists Herman chose do an admiral job on the songs they sing. They way everything was designed makes it more of a Scorpions tribute album. Now this may have been what Herman was going for. However, it would have been nice for the songs to have been re-arranged just a little more to breathe more life into them and make them less like Scorpions covers.
With that said for me this was still a very cool CD. However, as cool as it this is just for the most die-hardest of Scorpions fans.