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 as popular as Blackout was, it was the band's powerful follow-up. Love At First Sting, that made them superstars. Released in
1984. the album boasted the single Rock You Like a Hurricane and would eventually achieve double-platinum status. The group undertook one of their most successful world tours, boasting an outstanding stage show with high-energy performances.
After releasing World Wide Live in 1985. the band took a long hiatus for two years. Their tenth studio album. Savage Amusement, was finally released in 1988, and the hit ballad Rhythm of Love brought on another major success. For their next project, the group participated at the Monsters of Rock tour in 1989 and performed in Russia for the first time, selling out seven shows in a row. Obtaining tremendous inspiration from their Russian tour, Meine wrote the song "Wind of Change," which was placed on the 1990 release Crazy World. The content on this album made Crazy World \\\e most popular Scorpions' release ever.