With a musical style similar to Bon Jovi or Def.Leppard, the Scorpions
have fully explored the world of rock & roll throughout their long
career. Known best for their 1984 anthem "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and
the 1990 ballad "Wind of Change", the German rockers have sold well over
22 million records, making them one of the most successful rock bands to
ever come out of continental Europe.
Originally formed in 1969 by Rudolf Schenker, the original lineup
consisted of rhythm guitarist/vocalist Schenker, lead guitarist
Karl-Heinz Follmer, bassist Lothar Heimberg and drummer Wolfgang Dziony.
In 1971, Schenker's younger brother Michael joined the band to play lead
guitar, and good friend Klaus Meine became the new vocalist. In 1972,
the Scorpions released their remarkable debut album, Lonesome Crow.
Although they failed to get into the public's eye, the early incarnation
of '70s rock band UFO noticed Michael Schenker's guitar playing and
hired him as their lead guitarist; Michael, therefore, would leave the
band in 1973.
Guitarist Uli Jon Roth replaced him, and under his guidance, the group
released four consecutive albums: Fly to the Rainbow (1974), In Trance
(1975), Virgin Killer (1976) and Taken By Force (1977). Although these
albums failed to attain any serious attention in the United States, they
were all quite popular in Japan. By the time Taken By Force was
released. Roth made the decision to leave the band and form Electric Sun
after feeling that his musical ideas would take the group in an entirely
different direction. Tokyo Tapes, a double live album that the group
recorded in Tokyo with Roth, was released in 1978.
Shortly after Roth's departure, Michael Schenker was kicked out of UFO
for his constant alcohol abuse and came back to play with the Scorpions
in 1979, who had recently signed with Mercury Records. The group
released Lovedrive that same year and played their first American tour,
but Lovedrive failed to attract attention being banned in the United
States because of its sexually explicit cover. Still coping with his-
drug and alcohol addiction, Michael missed tour dates repeatedly and
guitarist Matthias Jabs was hired to fill in for him on nights when he
was absent. Michael eventually would leave the band a second time after
realizing that he was failing to meet their expectations.
Now with a lineup of Klaus Meine on vocals, Rudolf Schenker on rhythm
guitar, Matthias Jabs on lead, Francis Bucholzon bass and Herman
Rarebell on drums, the band released Animal Magnetism in 1980 and
embarked on another world tour. Surprisingly, Animal Magnetism went gold
in the United States, and the Scorpions immediately went back into the
studio to record their next release. Problems arose, however, and the
project was postponed because Meine had lost his voice and would have to
have surgery on his vocal chords. Meine returned for the 1982 release
Blackout, which contained the hit "No One Like You." A major success
worldwide, Blackout sold over one million copies in the U.S. alone. But
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