Posted 2009-09-09 @ 09:40:34 In articles > features

A Crazy World

Brought to you compliments of I’m a South African Rocker

Part III


For the SCORPIONS too, the wind of change continued to blow. Before the production and release of their worldwide mega seller, Crazy World (1990), their long relationship with Dieter Dierks, the Cologne-based producer of so many successful recordings, came to an end. The very first album to be produced by the SCORPIONS themselves, Crazy World, made in Los Angeles, co-produced by Keith Olsen and featuring the smash hit Wind of Change, immediately became the most successful CD to date.

In 1993, Scorpions released Face The Heat. Bassist Ralph Rieckermann replaced long-time bass player Francis Buchholz. For the recording process, Scorpions brought in producer Bruce Fairbairn. The album’s sound was more metal than melodic and divided the band’s fan base somewhat. Many "headbangers" responded positively to the album while many longtime fans were put off. Neither the hard rock single "Alien Nation" nor the ballad "Under The Same Sun" came close to matching the success of "Wind of Change". Face the Heat was a moderate success.

Another high point of their career came when, at the invitation of the family of the "King of Rock ‘n’ Roll", Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, and the "King of Pop", Michael Jackson, the SCORPIONS performed their cover version of His Latest Flame at the 1994 Elvis Presley Memorial Concert in Memphis, Tennessee.

In the same year the SCORPIONS committed themselves to helping United Nations efforts on behalf of refugees from the civil war in Rwanda. In only one week the band produced and released their benefit single White Dove.


At the end of 1995, just before completing the Pure Instinct CD, co-produced by Keith Olsen and Erwin Musper and released in 1996, the SCORPIONS’ veteran drummer and long-time companion Herman "The German" Rarebell left the band and it was then that newly appointed manager Stewart Young (AC/DC), called Californian drummer James Kottak and hire him as drummer for the upcoming 1996/97 Pure Instinct Live Tour. Kottak had already left an impression on the band during the 1998 Savage Amusement tour as the then drummer for US hard rockers Kingdom Come who were support act for the SCORPIONS.

With the two new members, bass player Ralph Rieckermann and drummer James Kottak, the SCORPIONS had introduced a new generation of musicians into the group. On the Pure Instinct world tour, the SCORPIONS proved that they were still among the global players on the international rock scene. Not only did they play in Europe, the USA and South America. In countries like Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, they continued to notch up well above average record sales and collect gold and platinum discs. In November 1996, the SCORPIONS were the first international hard rock band to play to fans in Beirut after the end of the civil war in Lebanon.


On the 1999 recording of Eye to Eye, produced by Peter Wolf, James Kottak worked in the studio with the SCORPIONS for the first time. The cover of Eye to Eye marked a change of image for the SCORPIONS. Only the founder members of the band, Rudolf Schenker, Klaus Meine and Matthias Jabs feature on the front cover. The album itself is a statement of the SCORPIONS’ awesome talents as songwriters and instrumentalists. While the album was slickly produced, fans were unsure what to make of the band, responding negatively to almost everything from pop-soul backup singers to the electronic drums present on several songs.


True to their motto "Don’t stop at the top" the SCORPIONS started the new millennium with a new musical challenge: a crossover project with the internationally renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In January 2000, the SCORPIONS and conductor Christian Kolonovits began studio recordings for Moment Of Glory in Vienna. The Berlin Philharmonic recorded the orchestral parts in April 2000. The complete work was mixed at Galaxy Studios in Belgium, using the state-of-the-art Surround System Atmos 5.1. Critics accused the SCORPIONS of following on the coattails of Metallica’s similar collaboration (S&M) with the San Francisco Symphony which had been released the previous year, even though the orchestra had first approached the SCORPIONS with the idea in 1995. 


With their uncompromising rock album Unbreakable, the SCORPIONS have unequivocally sounded their return in 2004 to the worldwide hard’n’heavy arena. UNBREAKABLE is a concept album in a very special sense. It symbolises the indestructibility of the basic musical coordinates of the SCORPIONS. Pawel Maciwoda was announced as the new bass player. Together with drummer James Kottak, this hard rock bass player, steeled in the New York professional scene, represents a pressure build-up in the SCORPIONS’ now outstanding rhythm’n’groove section. The album was the heaviest the band had released since Face the Heat, and fans responded well to tracks such as "New Generation", "Love ’em or Leave ’em" and "Deep and Dark".


In 2006 the band spent about four months in the studio in L.A. with producers James Michael and Desmond Child working on their new concept album titled Humanity: Hour I, which was released in late May 2007, followed by the "Humanity World Tour". Hour I became available in the U.S. on August 28 on New Door Records, entering the Billboard charts at number #63. The album also featured a host of guest musicians such as Billy Corgan (vocals on "The Cross"), Eric Bazilian (Guitar on "Love Will Keep Us Alive"), John 5 ( Guitar on "Hour I"), Russ Irwin (Piano on "The Future Never Dies") and Jason Paige (Background vocals).

When asked if the band plans to release a Humanity - Hour II, Klaus Meine replied:

“There might be. Who knows? Right now it is exciting to play the new songs and they go very well with the classics. It’s exciting that there is a whole new audience out there. There are many longtime fans but there are a lot of young kids. I don’t want to think about Hour II right now because Hour I is so exciting and it’s inspiring to see how much the audience enjoys our new music.” Klaus Meine

On February 21, 2009, Scorpions received Germany’s ECHO Honorary Award for lifetime achievement at Berlin’s O2 World.

The SCORPIONS are currently in studio with producers Mikael Nord and Martin Hansen to record their next album which is due to be released in spring 2010.

This November, the world wide release of the new SCOPRIONS DVD „Amazonia – Live in the Jungle!“ will be heading your way…


Compiled by: Frank Riester


++++++++++++ DISCOGRAPHY +++++++++++++


Lonesome Crow (1972)
Fly to the Rainbow (1974)
In Trance (1975)
Virgin Killer (1976)
Taken by Force (1977)
Tokyo Tapes (1978, live)
Lovedrive (1979)
Animal Magnetism (1980)
Blackout (1982)
Love at First Sting (1984)
World Wide Live (1985, live)
Savage Amusement (1988)
Crazy World (1990)
Face the Heat (1993)
Live Bites (1995, live)
Pure Instinct (1996)
Eye II Eye (1999)
Moment of Glory (2000)
Acoustica (2001)
Unbreakable (2004)
Humanity: Hour I (2007)


First Sting (1985)
World Wide Live (1985)
To Russia With Love (1988)
Moscow Music Peace Festival (1990)
Roger Waters The Wall Berlin 1990 (1990)
Crazy World Tour Live ... Berlin 1991 (1991)
Moment of Glory - Berliner Philharmoniker Live (2001)
Acoustica (2001)
A Savage Crazy World (2002)
Unbreakable World Tour 2004: One Night in Vienna (2004)
Live At Wacken Open Air 2006 (2007)

Current Line-Up:
Klaus Meine - lead vocals (1970-present)
Matthias Jabs - lead & rhythm guitars (1978-present)
Rudolf Schenker - rhythm & lead guitars (1965-present)
Pawe³ M¹ciwoda – bass (2003-present)
James Kottak – drums (1996-present)

Former members:

Lothar Heimberg - bass, backing vocals (1965-1973)
Wolfgang Dziony - drums, percussion (1965-1973)
Michael Schenker - lead & rhythm guitars (1970-1973, 1979)
Ulrich Roth - lead & rhythm guitars, vocal parts (1973-1978)
Francis Buchholz – bass (1973-1983, 1984-1992, 1994)
Achim Kirschning - keyboards (1973-1974)
Joe Wyman – drums (1973)
Jürgen Rosenthal – drums (1973-1975)
Rudy Lenners – drums (1975-1977)
Herman Rarebell – drums (1977-1983, 1984-1995)
Ralph Rieckermann - bass (1993-2000, 2000-2003)
Curt Cress - drums, percussion (1996)
Ken Taylor - bass (2000)
Barry Sparks - bass (2004)
Ingo Powitzer - bass (2004)


Official Website:

Official Myspace:

Official Scoprions Video Channel:

Facebook Fan Page:

Tags . scoprions



Note: This article may not be republished without written permission from Alternative Eye. Failiure to adhere to this will result in a good hard spanking.

Request permission


post a comment

Security Question: 7 + 4 =



apply here