Best known for "Rock You Like a Hurricane," the Scorpions history is considerably longer. The group came together in '71 when rhythm guitarist Rudolf Schenker was joined by his kid brother Michael and lead vocalist Klaus Meine.
The Scorpions debut "Lonesome Crow" went nowhere but managed to land as the soundtrack for the film "Das Kalte Paradies" which also went nowhere. Michael then departed for U.F.O., Uli Jon Roth replaced him and the Scorpions Rocked through four albums and a double live set, "Tokyo Tapes," that traded on the group's impressive popularity in Japan.
In the late '70s Roth left to start his own group, Electric Sun. Michael, who'd been kicked out of U.F.O. for drug and alcohol abuse, returned to the fold. But his personal troubles necessitated a second departure after only one album ("Lovedrive").
Issued in '80 "Animal Magnetism" with the line-up of Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Francis Buchloz (bass) Matthias Jobs (lead guitar), and Herman Rarebell(drums) went gold. After years of trying to crack the U.S. market, they were in. Quickly they returned to the studio and recorded "Blackout" which contained "No One Like You." The album passed the million sales mark without the benefit of a hit single.
The '84 release "Love At First Sting" was THE album. Featuring "Rock You Like A Hurricane," it sold millions. The "Hurricane" video, with the group in a flimsy cage while fans pressed against it, was an MTV favorite.
Often featured on "Monsters Of Rock" tours the Scorpions unleashed "World Wide Live." That CD along with studio albums "Savage Amusement" and "Crazy World" kept the group popular and working through the remainder of the '80s.
With new members Ralph Rukermann (bass) and James Kottak (drums) "Face The Heat" appeared in '93 but the Scorpions were over in the U.S. Still, they soldiered on selling 75 million records worldwide.
In '10 they were awarded a star on the Hollywood Rock Walk.
Four years later, the Scorpions welcomed back Kottack following his '14 arrest and jail time in Dubai. He was convicted of insulting Islam, flashing his middle finger at the passengers on his flight and consuming alcohol, which is illegal in Dubai. Following his stint behind bars Kottack went into rehab for alcohol abuse.
1972 Lonesome Crow
1974 Fly To The Rainbow
1975 In Trance
1976 Virgin Killer
1977 Taken By Force
1980 Animal Magnetism
1984 Love At First Sting
1988 Savage Amusement
1990 Crazy World
1993 Face The Heat
1996 Pure Instinct
1999 Eye II Eye
2007 Humanity: Hour I
2010 Sting In The Tail
2015 Return To Forever
The Scorpions prospered during both the pre and post "Rock You Like A Hurricane" periods, largely on the strength of producing good, solid Hard Rock records. "Love At First Sting" is easily the highpoint in their catalog. No coincidence, it contains "Hurricane." Pass on the Scorpions' '90s releases. The concept is worn, the material is threadbare and the energy lags. "Hot + Heavy" culls the best from the '70s and is an OK collection. "Best Of Rockers 'n' Ballads" (their last few hits were ballads) surveys the Scorpions' entire career and does a decent job of it. Of the three live albums, the second "Worldwide Live," released in '85, has the best songs and performances. It's not a classic live album by any means, but it is a straight-ahead effort.
One might view the 51 track "Box Of Scorpions," released in '04, as overkill. But remember, the group's brief popularity in the U.S. is easily eclipsed by their long-term fame in Europe and Japan. The set chronicles thirty years ('72-'02) and there is a lot of quality material including the obvious, obscure tracks and live cuts. For those who don't have "Best Of Rockers 'n' Ballads" this is worth checking out.