#397: Face the Heat (Mail From Sydenham)

Part 1 of 2 — First the tale, tomorrow the review!  This tale itself is a direct sequel to Aaron’s story “Mail From Jedi Master LeBrain”.


#397: Face the Heat (Mail From Sydenham)

I collect Japanese imports, especially when there are bonus tracks afoot. A year ago, I found a Japanese copy of Scorpions’ Face the Heat CD with two such bonus tracks. I bought it from one of my favourite vendors, at the Toronto Musical Collectibles Record & CD Sale. It was $15 and complete with obi strip. A steal. (Who says Japanese imports are very expensive anyway?)

TOP OF THE BILLBecause I try to avoid redundant copies in my collection, I donated my original CD of Face the Heat to Aaron. He reviewed it and called it “a collection of strong songs that gets better as it goes along”. I played my Japanese copy, and filed it away without giving the album much thought until recently. Martin Popoff’s excellent Scorpions tome, Top of the Bill, reminded me of an Elvis cover that Scorpions did as a hidden bonus track.

The Scorpions almost recorded “His Latest Flame” back in 1989 for their hits compilation, Best of Rockers ‘n’ Ballads. It was between Elvis and The Who’s “I Can’t Explain”. “I Can’t Explain” won out, but the Scorps gave it another go in 1993 for Face the Heat. (Incidentally both tracks were produced by the late Bruce Fairbairn.)

“His Latest Flame” was one of the first “hidden bonus tracks” in my collection. It’s very unlike anything the Scorpions had done before, but they did a damn fine job of it in my opinion. I love the horn parts. I’m sure that was Fairbairn’s doing, a trumpet player. It was buried unlisted after the end of “Lonely Nights”, the final song on the CD, as part of the same track. When I read Popoff’s book, I realized, “When I gave Aaron my original CD, I didn’t check if the Japanese CD retained that bonus track…”

Indeed, “LeBrain” the Bonehead did fail to check if “His Latest Flame” was on the Japanese CD, and it is not. It’s very rare to find a domestic CD that has a bonus track not included on a Japanese version, but it does happen, and it did happen on Face the Heat!

Gratefully, when “LeBrain” the Bonehead asked if he could have the disc back, Aaron immediately said “no problem”! He knows the kind of collector I am. He sent it back to me as a part of a recent parcel exchange that we enjoy doing from time to time!

I do appreciate that he was willing to send this “gifted” CD back. It just goes to show how two collectors understand one another! As for Face the Heat, look for my review of both CDs right here tomorrow!



  1. One of my favourite Elvis tunes. While i didn’t really enjoy the Scorpions version all that much, it’s really cause I know the Elvis one so well. Right in the mood to listen to it now. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a soft spot for Elvis too, J. I have the #1’s CD. That’s my only Elvis but there are a lot of songs on there!

      My favourite track is and probably forever will be “Suspicious Minds”.


      1. Can’t go wrong with that CD, Mike. Though, I did find the remix track unnecessary. ‘Suspicious Minds’ is a good choice – great song. I think my favourite will always be ‘Mystery Train’.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I lied, that was a complete fabrication :( Bad Mike.

          My wife banned me from eating garlic. Last week was the last straw. I wish I could say I was making that up.


        2. Funny you should ask because we just had this conversation two days ago. I don’t even like sausage that much. I know I’m always talking about Sausagefest but that’s the only time each year that I eat Sausagefest, and I loathe Oktoberfest and saurkraut!

          So yeah it was the spaghetti. My mother in law bought me these lovely huge “elephant garlics” and they were delicious but explosive.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey man, the way I look at it, you sent me those discs and that’s awesomeness beyond awesomeness. But if you needed one back, well, here ya go! :)

    Funny, when I reviewed that record for the KMA, I played it down to the last track and then shut it off. Clearly, I didn’t wait around to hear the Elvis track and never even knew it was there!


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