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Biography of Scorpions
Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band’s inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal. The lineup from 1978–1992 was the most successful incarnation of the group, and included Klaus Meine (vocals), Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar), Francis Buchholz (bass), and Herman Rarebell (drums). The band’s only constant member has been Schenker, although Meine has been the lead singer for all of Scorpions’ studio albums, while Jabs has been a consistent member since 1979, and bassist Pawel Maciwoda and drummer Mikkey Dee have been in the band since 2003 and 2016 respectively.
During the mid-1970s, with guitarist Uli Jon Roth part of the line-up, the music of the Scorpions was defined as hard rock. After the departure of Roth in 1978 and short-lived reunion with Schenker’s brother Michael, Matthias Jabs joined and, following the guidance of producer Dieter Dierks, the Scorpions changed their sound towards hard rock/heavy metal, mixed with rock power ballads. 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), the live recording World Wide Live (1985), Savage Amusement (1988) and Best of Rockers ‘n’ Ballads (1989), which is their best-selling compilation album.
Scorpions’ eleventh studio album Crazy World (1990) was also well-received, and included 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. It is one of the best-selling singles in the world with over fourteen million copies sold. Scorpions have sold over 110 million records in total. They have released 18 studio albums, 27 compilation albums and 74 singles. Six of their singles have reached number one on the charts in different countries. Their albums, singles, compilations and video releases have reached gold, platinum and multi-platinum status 200 times in different countries.
Rolling Stone described the Scorpions as «the heroes of heavy metal», and MTV called them «Ambassadors of Rock». The band has influenced a number of acts such as Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Ratt, Skid Row, Cinderella, Spinal Tap, W.A.S.P., Saxon, Doro, Helloween, Hanoi Rocks, and Yngwie Malmsteen. The Scorpions were 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. «Still Loving You» ranked 22nd place among the greatest ballads. They 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. In 2015 the group celebrated its 50th anniversary.
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