Today is the birthday of Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine,
who was born in 1948 in Hanover, Germany. The hard-rock sounds of the Scorpions
bridged the gap between 1970s guitar-rock and 1980s metal bands, charting with
classics like "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and "Wind of Change."
Scorpions were formed in late-1960s Germany as a pop band by guitarist Rudolph
Schenker, who abandoned the idea in favor of a rock group including his brother
Michael on guitars, drummer Jurgen Rosenthal and vocalist Meine.
Scorpians' debut, Lonesome Crow, was released in 1972 to tepid reviews;
they switched to RCA and found better distribution throughout Europe but failed
to crack the U. S. market. That changed with 1979's Lovedrive, and an
extensive tour which highlighted the band's considerable chops.
release of 1982's Blackout came a top 10 hit in "No One Like You," and
1984's Love at First Sting went double-platinum on the success of "Rock
You Like a Hurricane." In 1988 the band became the first rock act ever to tour
the Soviet Union, peaking with the Moscow Music Peace Festival which included
acts like Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Ozzy Osbourne and Cinderella.
music took on slight political leanings in later years, especially on 1990's
Crazy World, in which the band chronicled the USSR's political demise in
"Wind of Change." A Russian version of the song even earned them an audience
with Mikhail Gorbachev. 1993's Face The Heat included musical musings on
Germany's political reunion. Their most recent album was 1996's Pure
Other birthdays: John Grimaldi (Argent), Brian "Blinky"
Davison (Nice), Miles Davis, Clifford Asher (Atlantic Starr), Paul Weller
(Jam/Style Council), Robert Steinhardt (Kansas). -- Beth Winegarner