Fifty years into their iconic career, the Scorpions are still rocking like a hurricane. That hurricane is heading straight for Florida.
September will see these rock titans deliver their brand of stinging rock for two shows in the state; Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood and Friday, Sept. 14 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. Showtime for both concerts is 8 p.m.
“Since we’re celebrating 50 years all around the world, we thought it would be nice to go back to the ‘70s and play some earlier material,” said singer Klaus Meine.
The Scorpions began their illustrious career back in 1965 in Hanover, Germany, when Rudolf Schenker, rhythm guitar/vocals decided he wanted to rock. An early version of the band knocked around Germany for several years as unknowns before Schenker’s younger brother Michael and vocalist Klaus Meine joined the ranks in 1970.
It wasn’t until 1972 that the band released their first album on RCA Records titled, “Lonesome Crow.” The band landed a support slot on British rock group UFO’s tour and out on the road they went.
Still a teenager, Michael was already turning heads with his guitar shredding abilities. By the end of the tour UFO had lured the young Schenker away from The Scorpions and into their ranks.
Guitarist Uli Jon Roth, a friend of Michael’s was brought in to fill the gap. From 1974-78, the band would record four more studio records and a live album with a rotating cast of members.
While the group was slowly building a fan base in Europe and Japan, not much was happening in the U.S. By the time album No. 5, “Taken By Force” came out, Roth had grown unhappy with the musical direction the band was taking.
He stayed long enough to tour Japan in support of the record after which time he left to form his own band, Electric Sun. “Tokyo Tapes” was the group’s first live recording. Although Roth appears on the album, he was long gone before its release in 1978. The Scorpions recruited guitarist Matthias Jabs as Roth’s replacement. Thus, one era ends and another, the band’s most successful would begin.
After the hiring of Jabs, the group left RCA records and signed with Mercury Records in the U.S. and Harvest Records worldwide. They began work on album No. 7, to be called “Lovedrive.” It was during this time that Michael Schenker briefly rejoined the band and appeared on the record.
In 1979 “Lovedrive,” considered by many to be the best recording The Scorpions would ever produce, hit the streets. By now the band had become focused and sharpened in their sound and direction. They had found a successful mix of hard rock and metal, with power ballads always in the mix.
The record was indeed a fine piece of work containing such favorites as “Loving You Sunday Morning,” “Always Somewhere,” “Holiday,” the instrumental “Coast to Coast” and rager, “Another Piece Of Meat.”
“Lovedrive” finally broke the band here in the states where it reached No. 55 on the charts.
The Scorpions were in the midst of their artistic “golden years.” From 1979-1985, it seemed the band could do no wrong. Momentum continued to build as excellent releases were the norm throughout this period of fruitfulness.
In 1980 and ‘82, two more highly accomplished works were put out. “Animal Magnetism” and the “Blackout.” The former contained classic tracks, “The Zoo” and “Make It Real” as well as the very impressive title track. The latter, contained the hit single, “No One Like You” and “Can’t Live Without You.”
It was in 1984 that this band reached their commercial zenith with “Love At First Sting.” The album was a huge success, containing three of the band’s most famous song. Arena rock anthem, “Rock You Like A Hurricane,” their best known song, reached No. 25 on the charts and has become a stalwart at sporting events all across the land.
“Big City Nights” which is nearly as famous, and “Still Loving You” were also giant hits for the band. The album, coming some 20 years into their career, was their most successful. It peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart in the year of its release. By the end of the year it had gone double-platinum and reached triple-platinum status the following year.
Another highlight came in 1990 when the band would put out “Crazy World.” What makes this an album of note is the inclusion of the single, “Wind Of Change.” The song was ripe for the times, with it’s socio-political views. It was released as a single shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
It is one of the biggest selling singles of all time with worldwide sales around the 14 million mark. The song has over 602 million views on YouTube.
After 50 years, 22 albums, 22 tours and counting, The Scorpions are still full of venom.
For tickets to both shows go to www.ticketmaster.com.