"Scorpion Tales" (Deadline; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

When I stumbled across this CD at my local record store, I found myself thinking: Why would George Lynch record an entire album of Scorpions tracks? I picked it up anyway, based on the tracklisting and the guest vocalists (a complete list of which can be found below). 

Well, after giving the CD a listen and doing a little research, I discovered that this was actually a re-release of a 2000 Tribute CD entitled "Cover You Like a Hurricane." Fortunately, that CD wasn't already in my collection. Had it been, I'd have been back at the store, asking for a refund.

History aside, "Scorpion Tales" isn't a bad CD by any means, although it is probably an unnecessary one. Lynch and his partners in crime pretty much play each Scorpions song note for note as the Scorpions did, adding little, if anything, to the vast majority of the twelve tracks here. Despite the pedigree of the vocalists featured hereon, none of them can match the unparalleled uniqueness of The Scorps' Klaus Meine. Each gives their track a flavor of their own, to varying degrees of success (Kelly Hansen, John Corabi and Paul Shortino do well while Stevie Rachelle and Taime Downe not so much).

Still, fans of tribute albums while find this CD intriguing while Scorpions fans will no doubt be split into two camps: Those who find the tribute versions interesting and those who think their favorite songs have been butchered.

Featured along with George Lynch on "Scorpion Tales" are: Kelly Hansen (Hurricane/Foreigner); Steve Whiteman (Kix); Marq Torien (Bullet Boys); Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot); Stevie Rachelle (Tuff); Jizzy Pearl (Love/Hate); Joe Leste (Bang Tango); Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns); Kory Clarke (Warrior Soul); John Corabi (Union); Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt); Taime Downe (Faster Pussycat).

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"Sacred Groove" (Elektra; 1993)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

When he was with Dokken, George Lynch always ripped out the most vicious solos. I used to listen to him play, and even worse, watch him play and I would curse my fingers for not being limber enough to produce his incredible legato technique. 

After the self-loathing ended, I learned to marvel at his playing. Because he made Dokken what it was, I thought that he would always create something original after leaving that band. Lynch Mob was enough to sustain those who loved Lynch’s guitar and wanted him to kill Dokken on the charts but, alas, it was not to be. So when “Sacred Groove” came out I snatched it up because I hated grunge and I wasn’t going to let another guitar hero wither on the vine. 

Lynch basically hired singers for this project; they must have known that they would be playing second fiddle to his monstrous gitfiddle. The singers he uses are just instruments in their own right. Lynch’s guitar is the focus and you’d better swab your ears clean so you can hear some of his best picking.  

Although the lyrics on a couple of tracks will cause you to roll your eyes (As in "The Beast Pt. 1" and “The Beast Pt. 2 (Addiction To The Friction)," you will still be entertained by Lynch and his guitar prowess. “Love Power From The Mama Head” starts the instrumental attack early on. A few songs are placed after an instrumental and you get a see-saw effect. The highlights are when Lynch plugs in and destroys another guitar pick. 

This release may have slipped by metal fans and if you have to take a few steps back to get it, do so, because Lynch, whether he’s in a band or solo, still makes the top five when it comes to guitar players in my book. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.