What happens when two music icons join forces to record an already great song? In this case, it’s pure magic! Engelbert Humperdinck and Gene Simmons joined forces and recorded “Spinning Wheel” for Engelbert’ “Calling” album and the result was magnificent.
Engelbert and Gene independently have charismatic, expressive, strong and mellifluous voices. They both exude total confidence and control yet can pepper in a dash of vulnerability when it suits the song. In fact, there is an undertone to each of their voices that is quite similar and results in what seems to be a natural collaboration. Yet, at the same time, there voices offer very divergent characteristics that somehow couldn’t be more complementary to each other.
There are 12 notes in music. Therefore, what sets every melody, every groove & every song apart is what we do with those notes. Not just the arrangement/timing of the notes, but how we get from one note to the next. This process is what I call the “emotion of music” and both Engelbert and Gene exemplify an acute understanding and display of tremendous emotion in “Spinning Wheel”. This duet is real treat.
The song opens with an accelerating stacatto movement that immediately grabs your attention then quickly transitions into a slightly relaxed groove. Right as you get comfortable and settled in, Gene & Engelbert have a brief conversational-type exchange that lets you know you are in for a real treat and then the show begins.
In addition to the great vocal work by these two icons, the musicians who played all those instruments as the foundation of the song also did an outstanding job. “Spinning Wheel” holistically is strong, well recorded, mixed and mastered. It’s delightfully pleasing to the ear and emotionally energized for the soul.
“Spinning Wheel” – two iconic legends working together to create a unique work of art for the world to enjoy.
In a word: magnificent.
—John J. Simpson
on twitter at @johnjsimpson