Scorpions Break Up

Music Germany Scorpions

n this Feb. 21, 2009 file photo, the German rock band The Scorpions arrives for the Echo 2009 music award ceremony at Berlin, Germany. The band, known for its early 1990s hit 'Wind of Change' among others, said on its Web site Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010, that 'we agree we have reached the end of the road.' (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

My initial reaction to the YahooNews headline “German rock band Scorpions to end career” was, “The Scorpions are still around?!

1990’s “Wind of Change” was the last song of theirs I recall, with1984’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane” as the song that I most associate with the band.  But, in fact, the band was formed the year I was born and has been around ever since.

The German rock band Scorpions is bringing down the curtain on a career spanning more than four decades.

The band, known for its early 1990s hit “Wind of Change” among others, said on its Web site Sunday that “we agree we have reached the end of the road.”

It said it would end its career with a final album — “Sting In The Tail,” to be released in March — and a tour that will start in Germany in May and take it across the world “over the next few years.”

Guitarist Rudolf Schenker founded the band in Hannover in 1965. Singer Klaus Meine joined a few years later. Both men are 61.

I turned to the German papers available in English, but neither Spiegel nor Deutsche Welle have any more information.   The latter did have an interesting feature last June titled “Scorpions rocked through changes in Europe.” An excerpt:

The fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago started a domino effect which saw the Soviet Union collapse and the landscape of Europe change forever. As these events were taking place across the continent, the Scorpions’ hit “Wind of Change” – released on November 6, 1990 – captured the feeling of the times better than any other and will forever be associated with those revolutionary years.

The Scorpions story began in Hanover in 1965 when guitarist Rudolf Schenker started a band inspired by the beat sound popular at the time. After singer-songwriter Klaus Meine joined the band they released their debut LP, “Lonesome Crow.” In 1975 the Scorpions released their debut single, “In Trance,” which established their hard rock sound.

The Scorpions became Germany’s premiere hard rock band and enjoyed success outside of their native country. In 1984 they released the “Love at First Sting” album, which went double platinum in the United States and provided the Top Ten Hit “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”

Most of the piece focuses on “Winds of Change.” I was especially amused by this:

As well as celebrating the new freedoms for citizens of the former Warsaw Pact countries, “Wind of Change” also describes the world contracting and people from both political sides being able to live together again like brothers.

I suppose it requires that sort of naivete for 40-year-old men to slip into spandex and rock and roll. But, let’s just say that their fantasy world did not come to pass, either in their native Germany or anywhere else.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    Considering that Mick, Keith, and the rest of the Rolling Stones (and many of the other rockers of that era) refuse to gracefully retire in their sunset, this is hardly a surprise. It’s hard to take 60 and 70 year old rock and roll rebels seriously. I did recently hear that John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten) is starting back with another band again.

  2. just me says:

    Well my first thought was “they were still around?” This might be news to somebody.

    I am not bothered at all by 70 year old rockers-if they can still play and sing and love doing it, then they should keep doing what they love.

  3. yetanotherjohn says:

    What struck me is the idea of ‘an end to the road’ followed by an album and a couple of years of touring.
    Perhaps they will be like Streisand and be making farewell performances that number in 4 digits.

  4. DC Loser says:

    This sounds too much like something out of “Spinal Tap.”

  5. Schließlich!

    Seriously, though, 45 years for any going concern is quite impressive – especially in R & R.