1. Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker.
2. Since the band’s inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal.
3. The lineup from 1978–92 was the most successful incarnation of the group, and included Klaus Meine (vocals), Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar), Francis Buchholz (bass guitar), and Herman Rarebell (drums).
4. The band’s only constant member is Rudolf Schenker, although Meine has been the lead singer for all of the band’s studio albums, and Jabs has been a consistent member since 1979.
5. During the mid-1970s, with guitarist Uli Jon Roth part of the line-up, the music of Scorpions was defined as hard rock.
6. After the departure of Roth in 1978, Matthias Jabs joined and, following the guidance of producer Dieter Dierks, Scorpions changed their sound towards melodic heavy metal, mixed with rock power ballads.
7. Throughout the 1980s the group received positive reviews and critical acclaim from music critics, and experienced commercial success with the albums Animal Magnetism (1980), Blackout (1982), Love at First Sting (1984), World Wide Live (1985) and Savage Amusement (1988).
8. Their best-selling album Crazy World (1990) includes the song “Wind of Change”, a symbolic anthem of the political changes in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
9. It is one of the best-selling singles in the world with over fourteen million copies sold.
10. Scorpions have sold over 100 million records in total.
11. They have released 18 studio albums, 27 compilation albums and 74 singles.
12. Six of their singles have reached number one on the charts in different countries.
13. Their albums, singles, compilations and video releases have reached 200 times gold, platinum and multi-platinum status in different countries.
14. Rolling Stone magazine describes Scorpions as “the heroes of heavy metal”, and MTV called them “Ambassadors of Rock”.
15. The band was ranked number 46 on VH1’s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme, with “Rock You Like a Hurricane” at number 18 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
16. “Still Loving You” ranked 22nd place among the greatest ballads.
17. Scorpions have received prestigious awards such as three World Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Rock wall, and a presence in the permanent exhibition of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
18. In 2015 the group celebrated its 50th anniversary.
19. Producers throughout the years: Dieter Dierks (1975-1989), Keith Olsen (1990), Bruce Fairbairn (1993) and (2004), Peter Wolf (1999), Christian Kolonovits (2000-2001), Desmond Child (2006-present).
20. Their biggest hits were produced by Dieter Dierks (“Rock You Like a Hurricane”) and Keith Olsen (“Wind of Change”).
21. Unknowing fans often use the article “The” in conjunction with the band’s name (e.g. “The Scorpions”). Their name is actually just “Scorpions”.
22. Lead vocalist Klaus Meine lost his voice during the recording of Blackout (1982) and he had to undergo surgery on his vocal cords. So, it was uncertain whether he would be able to record the album till the end. Demos of the material were recorded with Don Dokken as vocalist; however none of those recordings are featured on the album.
23. Rudolf Schenker, the band’s rhythm guitarist launched the band in 1965. At first, the band had beat influences and Schenker himself handled the vocals.
24. Things began to come together in 1970 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, Scorpions opened for upcoming British band UFO. Near the end of the tour, guitarist Michael Schenker accepted an offer of lead guitar for UFO. Uli Roth, a friend of the Schenker brothers, was then called in to finish off the tour.
25. The departure of Michael Schenker led to the breakup of the band. In 1973, Uli Roth, who had helped 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. Rudolf 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 Jürgen Rosenthal (drums). Uli Roth and Buchholz persuaded Rudolf Schenker to invite Klaus Meine to join on vocals, 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.
26. 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 established the band’s sound. Achim Kirschning decided to leave after the recordings. Soon after, Jürgen Rosenthal had to leave as he was being drafted into the army. In 1976, he would join a German progressive rock band called Eloy recording three albums. He was replaced in July 1974 by Jurgen Fechter. In 1975 Rudy Lenners from Belgium became the next drummer. That year (1975) the band released 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 established their heavy metal formula. It garnered a fan base at home and abroad with cuts such as “In Trance”, “Dark Lady” and “Robot Man”.
27. In 1976, Scorpions released Virgin Killer. The album’s cover featured a nude prepubescent girl behind a broken pane of 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 market exposure but was subsequently pulled or replaced in other countries. The album itself garnered widespread praise for its music from select critics and fan base. In 2008 this image was blacklisted from the English wikipedia by the Internet Watch Foundation, see Internet Watch Foundation and Wikipedia. The following year, Rudy Lenners resigned for personal reasons and was replaced by Herman Rarebell.
28. For the follow-up Taken by Force, RCA Records made a determined effort to promote the album in stores and on the radio. The album’s single, “Steamrock Fever”, was added to some of RCA’s radio promotional records. Roth was not happy with the commercial direction the band was taking. Although he performed on the band’s Japan tour, he departed to form his own band, Electric Sun prior to the release of the resultant double live album Tokyo Tapes. Tokyo Tapes was released in the US and Europe six months after its Japanese release. By that time in mid 1978, after auditioning around 140 guitarists, Scorpions recruited guitarist Matthias Jabs.
29. Following the addition of Jabs, Scorpions left RCA for Mercury Records in the United States and Harvest/EMI Electrola worldwide to record their next album Lovedrive. Just weeks after quitting UFO, Michael Schenker returned to the group for a short period during the recordings for the album. This gave the band three guitarists (though Schenker’s contribution to the final release was limited to only three songs). The result was Lovedrive, an album which some critics consider to be the pinnacle of their career. Containing such fan favourites as “Loving You Sunday Morning”, “Always Somewhere”, “Holiday” and the instrumental “Coast to Coast”, it firmly cemented the ‘Scorpions formula’ of hard rock songs mixed with melodic ballads. The album’s provocative artwork was named “Best album sleeve of 1979” by Playboy magazine, yet ultimately changed for American release. Lovedrive reached No. 55 on the US charts, demonstrating that the band was gathering an international following. After the completion and release of the album the band decided to retain Michael in the band, forcing Jabs to leave. However, in April 1979, during their tour in France, Michael quit and Jabs was brought in permanently to replace him.
30. In 1980 the band released Animal Magnetism, again with a provocative cover this time showing a girl kneeling and a Doberman Pinscher sitting in front of a man. Animal Magnetism contained classics such as “The Zoo” and “Make It Real”. Soon after the album’s release, Meine began experiencing throat problems. He required surgery on his vocal cords and doubts were raised about whether he would ever sing again.
31. The 1984 album Love at First Sting cemented Scorpions’ status as an internationally popular band. Propelled by the single “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, Love at First Sting climbed the charts and went double platinum in the USA a few months after its release.
32. MTV gave the album’s videos “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, “Bad Boys Running Wild”, “Big City Nights”, and the power ballad “Still Loving You” significant airtime greatly contributing to the album’s success. The channel even supplied Scorpions with the nickname “The Ambassadors of Rock” to the chagrin of industry insiders who recognised the executive influence behind the scenes. Rolling Stone magazine named them “The Heroes of Heavy Metal”.
33. The band toured extensively behind Love at First Sting and released their second live album, World Wide Live in 1985. Recorded over a year-long world tour and released at the height of their popularity, the album was another success for the band, peaking at No. 14 in the charts in the US and at No. 18 in the UK.
34. In November 2009, Scorpions announced that their 17th studio album, Sting in the Tail, would be released in early 2010, recorded in Hanover with Swedish producers Mikael “Nord” Andersson and Martin Hansen. Sting in the Tail was released on March 23, 2010.
35. On 24 January 2010, the band announced their intentions for Sting in the Tail to be their last album, with the tour supporting it being their final tour, although the band later made the decision to continue recording past the end of the tour. Dokken was scheduled to open for them but cancelled after a dispute.
36. On October 23, 2014 Scorpions’ leader Klaus Meine spoke to the band’s French fan-club Crazyscorps, and announced that the new record would be published in February or March 2015, to coincide with the band’s 50th anniversary. Contrary to what the band said in 2013, the new record will present not only newly recorded versions of never-published songs, but also new material, written between 2011 and 2014. The album is being recorded in Sweden, with producers Martin Hansen and Mikael Nord Andersson. Drummer James Kottak, who left the band in May 2014 for rehab, would return to play drums on the new record.
37. The new album Return to Forever was released on February 20, 2015. On August 29, 2015, the Scorpions announced 50th anniversary deluxe editions of their albums Taken By Force, Tokyo Tapes, Lovedrive, Blackout, Love At First Sting, World Wide Live, and Savage Amusement which are set to be released November 6, 2015. These deluxe releases include “dozens of unreleased songs, alternate versions of big hits, rough mixes, and rare live concert recordings”.