Scorpions-Born to Touch Your Feelings- Klaus Meine, Rudolph Schenker

The Hanover Germany veteran band which pioneered the power ballad  more than four decades ago, Scorpions, has come out of self-imposed retirement to collect practically all of those gems together as the album Born to Touch Your Feelings.  It includes a proper studio recording of the melodic “Follow Your Heart” as well as two brand new Scorpions songs, the sunny sing-along “Melrose Avenue” by lead guitarist Matthias Jabs, and the tender “Always Be with You” written by band co-founding guitarist Rudolph Schenker after the birth of his youngest son.

With the Winter Olympics coming up, recalling the last one in 2014 which focused the world’s attention on the post-Communist Era Russia, it was fascinating to be reminded by members of Germany’s  Scorpions just how much rock music  had changed the world. And they should know better than anyone: they were there, living it every day in 1988-91. “We were not proud of our country, and our parents were not proud of our country,” says Scorpions lead singer Klaus Meine.” They just survived the (Second World) War. So rock music is the way we got out. And starting as young musicians playing English and American music, it was in a way something like an attempt to be part of the world community, to escape a place where you feel this burden.”
The Scorpions from Hanover Germany had been the decade-long international long shot when their 1982 album Blackout  blew up Top 10 in the US, powered by the # 1 Rock radio track “No One Like You”. The Scorpions’ follow-up album Love At First Sting   two years later soared to # 6 on the Billboard album chart with triple platinum sales while delivering a blitzkreig of rock anthems including “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, “Big City Nights”, and the signature power ballad “Still Loving You”.

But the real story is how the Scorpions overcame potentially unsurmountable barriers of distance, language, lack of management, lead singer Klaus Meine’s desperate throat surgery, the notorious East German Stasi secret police, and the Berlin Wall to be key players with Soviet Premiere Mikhail Gorbachev’s dismantling of Communism in the Soviet Eastern Bloc. Lead singer/ songwriter Klaus Meine and guitarist/songwriter Rudolph Schenker share how rock’n’roll helped the Scorpions escape the uber guilt of Germany’s Nazi past and build a future.”We played Leningrad and the Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1988 and 1989, one hundred thousand Russians for each of two days in Lenin Stadium…When we were growing up in Germany, the Russians were the ‘bad guys’. But in 1989 there was such a feeling of hope…We told the Russians, ‘Our parents came with tanks. We come with guitars.”

In 1997 powerful feelings, not of social liberation but of deeply personal loss, swept through the Scorpions inner circle while recording the album Eye to Eye   for eventual 1999 release, and Klaus Meine reveals the inspiration for that album’s title song. –Redbeard