Self Made Man boasts four decades of hard rocking experience and he brings you his exclusive musings every week.
The Scorpions aren’t cool. And being a fan of the German rockers definitely isn’t cool.
Let’s face it, over the years, the band haven’t really helped themselves in their bid for mainstream acceptance.
They once released an album called Virgin Killer whose cover was subsequently and quite correctly, banned.
Lyrically, they’re more likely to shock or be ridiculed than provoke thought and debate.
“Oh No, Don’t Make No Promises, Your Body Can’t Keep…” eh, we’ll stop there before diggng a bigger hole for them but you get the message.
Even their biggest hit is mocked. The political message that “Wind Of Change” carries is an intellectual strastosphere away from songs like “Another Piece Of Meat” or “He’s A Woman, She’s A Man.”
But then they spoilt it with all that whistling – or so their critics say.
The Scorpions were one of the biggest bands in the world during the 1980s, releasing multi-million selling albums such as Blackout, Love At First Sting and Crazy World.
Then their popularity dipped and for a few years, they became a parody of their former selves.
They tried to be clever. On 2001’s Eye To Eye, they went all political again, writing a poppy song called “To Be No. 1.” It was about President Bill Clinton’s alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky. Then there was a track called “Priscilla” …….about a cockroach!
The joke, however, was on themselves. Poor sales and a critical panning seemed to spell the end of The Scorpions.
But Klause Meine, Rudi Schenker and company bounced back with the excellent Unbreakable. As one reviewer put it, they’d rediscovered the art of rocking.
It was no flash in the pan. 2007’s Humanity Hour ! was decent too. Three years later, Sting In The Tail came out and was widely regarded as their finest piece of work since their 80s heyday.
That was supposed to be their last-ever studio album. The Scorpions embarked on a world tour which went on and on and on though the UK remained off their itinerary.
It didn’t turn out to be a farewell tour after all and a few months ago, Meine and Schenker announced they would not be disbanding after all.
Next month, to celebrate the band’s 50th birthday. they release “Return To Forever” their 19th and probably last studio album.
I’ll be buying it and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Scorpions will tour the UK before finally packing it in.
They were last here five years ago and their gig at a sold-out Newcastle Academy was one of the best I’ve attended in recent years.
It is easy to mock The Scorpions – they still wear spandex, Meine and long-time guitarist Matthias Jabs both wear headgear which I assume is to hide bald patches.
And the singer still sings ” The bitch is hungry, She needs to tell, So give her inches and feed her well” on Rock You LIke A Hurricane without a hint of embarrassment.
For all their faults, The Scorpions remain one of the most melodic rock bands ever to have graced a stage and Meine’s vocal delivery is still crisp, emotive and powerful.
In the past decade, they have released two Acoustic albums and one classical collaboration with the Berlin Philamonic Orchestra.
They are all hugely enjoyable because the music itself transcends their own genre.
Writing memorable tunes remains the top requirement for any band and for five decades, The Scorpions have written some bloody good tunes.
You can even whistle to some of them!!