Scorpions are a heavy metal/hard rock band from Hanover, Germany, probably best known for their 1980s rock anthem “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and their singles “No One Like You”, “Send Me an Angel, “Still Loving You“, and “Wind of Change“. The band has sold over 75 million albums worldwide, and they were ranked #46 on VH1’s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock program. “Rock You Like a Hurricane” is also #18 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
Rudolf Schenker, the band’s rhythm guitarist launched the band in 1965. At first, the band had beat influences and Schenker himself did the vocals. Things began to come together in 1969 when Schenker’s younger brother Michael and vocalist Klaus Meine joined the band. In 1972, the group recorded and released their debut album Lonesome Crow, with Lothar Heimberg on bass and Wolfgang Dziony on drums. During the Lonesome Crow tour, the Scorpions opened for upcoming British band UFO. Near the end of the tour, the members of UFO offered guitarist Michael
Schenker the lead guitar job; an offer which he soon accepted. Uli Roth, a friend of the Schenker brothers, was then called in temporarily to finish off the tour.
The departure of Michael Schenker led to the breakup of the band. In 1973, Uli Roth, who had helped the Scorpions complete the Lonesome Crow tour, was offered the role as lead guitarist, but turned the band down, preferring instead to remain in the band Dawn Road. Schenker eventually decided that he wanted to work with Roth, but did not want to resurrect the last Scorpions lineup. He attended some of Dawn Road’s rehearsals and ultimately decided to join the band, which consisted of Roth, Francis Buchholz (bass), Achim Kirschning (keyboards) and Ju”rgen Rosenthal (drums). Roth and Buchholz persuaded Rudolf Schenker to invite Klaus Meine to join, which he soon did. While there were more members of Dawn Road than Scorpions in the band, they decided to use the Scorpions name because it was well-known in the German hard rock scene and an album had been released under that name.
In 1974 the new line-up of Scorpions released Fly to the Rainbow. The album proved to be more successful than Lonesome Crow and songs such as “Speedy’s Coming” and the title track began to establish the band’s sound. Achim Kirschning decided to leave after the recordings. Soon after, Ju”rgen Rosenthal had to leave as he was being drafted into the army. Later, in 1976, he would join a German progressive rock band called Eloy and record three albums with them. He was replaced by a Belgian drummer, Rudy Lenners.
In 1975 the band hit their stride with the release of In Trance, which marked the beginning of Scorpions’ long collaboration with German producer Dieter Dierks. The album was a huge step forward for Scorpions and firmly established their hard rock formula, while at the same time garnering a substantial fan base, both at home and abroad. Cuts such as “Dark Lady”, “Robot Man” and the title track are still considered classics by fans today.
In 1976, Scorpions released Virgin Killer. The album’s cover featured a nude prepubescent girl covered with broken glass. The cover art was designed by Stefan Bohle who was the product manager for RCA Records, their label at the time. The cover brought the band considerable criticism and was pulled or replaced in several countries. Despite the controversy, the album itself garnered significant praise for its music from critics and fans alike.
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