Face the Heat

Face the Heat

At the dawn of the '90s, Scorpions were facing the fourth decade of their existence. As a result, the members were less daunted by the latest cataclysmic changes in rock music. To aid in this transition they hired Bruce Fairbairn, a producer who'd engineered massively successful comebacks for Aerosmith and AC/DC. Face the Heat shares a resemblance to Aerosmith’s Permanent Vacation, presenting a bigger, bouncier version of a classic band while retaining its essential charisma. Few could argue with the punches of “Alien Nation,” “Unholy Alliance,” and “Nightmare Avenue,” the last of which revives the kinetic shuffle of Sweet’s 1973 hit “Ballroom Blitz.” While Scorpions had recently had a smash with the international ballad “Wind of Change,” they'd always embraced a form of good-time rock 'n' roll held over from the early '70s. Hence, the surging pop songs “Someone to Touch,” “Hate to Be Nice," and “Ship of Fools” seem simultaneously fresh and completely traditional, in the warmest sense of the word. The finale is “Lonely Nights,” a classic ballad in the Scorpions mold. It proved that at age 45, Klaus Meine still possessed one of rock’s finest sets of pipes.

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