|The Scorpions - 'Forever And A Day'
Wishing to distance them from the 'Savage Amusement' style, the band separated from their long-time producer and "Sixth Scorpion", Dieter Dierks, replacing him with Keith Olsen when they returned to the studio in 1990. 'Crazy World' was released that same year and displayed a less polished sound. The album was propelled in large part by the massive success of the ballad "Wind of Change". The song muses on the socio-political changes that were occurring in Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world at the end of the Cold War. On July 21, 1990, they joined many other guests for Roger Waters' massive performance of 'The Wall Live In Berlin'. Scorpions performed both versions of "In the Flesh" from 'The Wall'. After the Crazy World tour Francis Buchholz, the band's long-serving bassist, left the group.
In 1993, Scorpions released 'Face the Heat'. Bass was handled by Ralph Rieckermann. For the recording process, Scorpions brought in producer Bruce Fairbairn. The album's sound was more metal than melodic. Neither the heavy metal single "Alien Nation" nor the ballad "Under the Same Sun" came close to matching the success of "Wind of Change". 'Face the Heat' was a moderate success. In 1995, a new album, 'Live Bites', was produced. The disc documented retro live performances from their Savage Amusement Tour in 1988, all the way through the Face the Heat Tour in 1994. While the album had a technologically cleaner sound in comparison to their best-selling live album, 'World Wide Live', it was not as successful.
Prior to recording their 13th studio album, 1996s 'Pure Instinct', drummer Herman Rarebell left the band to set up a recording label. Curt Cress took charge of the drumsticks for the album before Louisville, Kentucky-born James Kottak took over permanently. The album had many ballads. Still, the album's singles "Wild Child" and the soothing ballad "You and I" both enjoyed moderate success.
1999 saw the release of Eye II Eye and a significant change in the band's style, mixing in elements of pop and techno. While the album was slickly produced, it was not received well by fans. The video to the album's first European single, "To Be No. 1", featured a Monica Lewinsky look-alike that did little to improve its popularity.
The following year, Scorpions had an artistic collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic that resulted in a 10-song album named Moment of Glory. The album went a long way toward rebuilding the band's reputation after the harsh criticism of Eye II Eye. However, critics accused them of following on the coattails of Metallica's similar collaboration (S&M) with the San Francisco Symphony, which had been released the previous year, even though the orchestra had first approached Scorpions with the idea in 1995.
In 2001, Scorpions released 'Acoustica', a live unplugged album featuring acoustic reworkings of the band's biggest hits, plus new tracks. While appreciated by fans, the lack of a new studio album was frustrating to some, and 'Acoustica' did little to return the band to the spotlight.
In 2004, the band released 'Unbreakable', an album that was hailed by critics as a long-awaited return to form. The album was the heaviest the band had released since 'Face the Heat'. Whether a result of poor promotion by the band's label or the long time between studio releases, 'Unbreakable' received little airplay and did not chart. Scorpions toured extensively behind the album and played as 'Special Guests' with Judas Priest during the 2005 British tour—these were the Scorpions' first dates in the UK since 1999.
In early 2006, Scorpions released the DVD 1 Night in Vienna that included 14 live tracks and a complete rockumentary. In LA, the band spent about four months in the studio with producers James Michael and Desmond Child working on a concept album titled 'Humanity: Hour I', which was released in late May 2007, and was followed by the Humanity World Tour.
In 2007, the band collaborated with two of their signature tracks in the video game series, Guitar Hero. "No One Like You" was featured on the "Rocks the '80s" version of the game while "Rock You Like A Hurricane" was released on Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock.
On May 14, 2007, Scorpions released 'Humanity – Hour I' in Europe. 'Humanity – Hour I' became available in the U.S. on August 28 on New Door Records, entering the Billboard charts at number No. 63.
In a September 2007 podcast interview, Meine said the album was not so much a "concept album", but rather a collection of songs with a common theme. "We didn't want to make another record with songs about boys chasing girls. I mean, come on, give me a break," Meine said.
Asked in 2007 if the band was planning to release a Humanity – Hour II, Meine replied: "That is what everybody is asking. There might be. Who knows? Right now we are at the beginning of the world tour. It is exciting to play the new songs and they go very well with the classics. It is exciting that there is a whole new audience out there. There are many longtime fans but there are a lot of young kids. We just played in London and in Paris and there were young kids rocking out to songs that were written way before they were born. It is amazing. I don’t want to think about Hour II right now because Hour I is so exciting. It is very inspiring to see how much the audience enjoys this new music."— Klaus Meine.
On December 20, 2007, Scorpions played at a concert for the elite of Russia’s security forces in the Kremlin. The concert was a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Cheka—predecessor of the KGB. The band has claimed that they thought they were performing a Christmas concert. They have said that their concert was by no means a tribute to the Cheka, communism, or Russia's brutal past. Members of the audience included Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.
On 22 February 2009, Scorpions received Germany's ECHO Honorary Award for lifetime achievement at Berlin's O2 World.
In November 2009, Scorpions announced that their 17th studio album, 'Sting in the Tail', would be released in early 2010, recorded in Hanover with Swedish producers Mikael "Nord" Andersson and Martin Hansen. 'Sting in the Tail' was released on March 23, 2010.
On 24 January 2010, the band announced their intentions for 'Sting in the Tail' to be their last album, with the tour supporting it being their final tour, although the band later made the decision to continue recording past the end of the tour. Dokken was scheduled to open for them but cancelled after a dispute.
On 6 April 2010, Scorpions were enshrined in Hollywood's Rock Walk in a handprint ceremony, with the band members placing their hands in a long slab of wet cement next to other musical artists.
Frontman Klaus Meine was asked in a July 2011 interview about the future of Scorpions and whether the band was going to make another album. He replied, "Our newest project comes out in the next few months. It gives you a chance to experience the Scorpions in 3D. You can actually feel the smoke string out of the guitar like it is a live show. It is an incredible experience. The DVD features our concerts in 3D in Germany. We are just about to do the mix and it should be in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia hopefully soon. Indeed, the strong 3D technology makes us feel like pioneers after all these years (he says, laughing). We have an album coming out later this year featuring classics. You know our love for them. The '60s was the era for our inspiration. Our movie/documentary also is soon to be released. We have cameras with us on tours, so this documentary is being made during our tours. It also gives you a picture of the Scorpions career and journey."
Despite ongoing rumors of a break up or retirement, guitarist Matthias Jabs told AZ Central on June 12, 2012 that the Scorpions would not be splitting up. A month later, Jabs told Billboard magazine that the band has been working on an album that will contain unreleased songs they recorded for the albums 'Blackout', 'Love at First Sting', 'Savage Amusement' and 'Crazy World' and plan to release it in 2014. In April, Scorpions announced shows in Russia and Belarus with an orchestra in October 2013. On 11, 12, and 14 September 2013, the Scorpions played three MTV Unplugged concerts at the Lycabettus-Theatre in Athens. On November 6, 2013 they announce 4 more MTV Unplugged Concert in Germany 2014. In December 2013 in an interview at Rock Show radio program in Greece, Klaus Meine said he is not sure if the album that will contain unreleased songs they recorded for the albums 'Blackout', 'Love at First Sting', 'Savage Amusement' and 'Crazy World' is going to be released in 2014 or later on.
On 2014 Scorpions were nominated for two Echo Awards ("Euro Grammy's") for their 'MTV' Unplugged.
On August 16, Scorpions announced that there's a new album in the works due for release sometime in 2015.
On October 23, 2014 Scorpions' leader Klaus Meine spoke to the band's French fan-club Crazyscorps, and announced that the new record would be published in February or March 2015, to coincide with the band's 50th anniversary. Contrary to what the band said in 2013, the new record will present not only newly recorded versions of never-published songs, but also new material, written between 2011 and 2014. The album is being recorded in Sweden, with producers Martin Hansen and Mikael Nord Andersson. Drummer James Kottak, who left the band in May 2014 for rehab, would return to play drums on the new record. The new album Return to Forever was released on February 20, 2015. On August 29, 2015 the Scorpions announced 50th anniversary deluxe editions of their albums Taken By Force, Tokyo Tapes, Lovedrive, Blackout, Love At First Sting, World Wide Live, and Savage Amusement which are set to be released November 6, 2015. These deluxe releases include "dozens of unreleased songs, alternate versions of big hits, rough mixes, and rare live concert recordings".
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith once said, "Bands are like painters, you are only as good as your last painting". In a musicians case it would be their latest release. That has never been more evident than it is within the American music industry. If that statement is true then you could make the argument that Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine are the Leonardo di Vinci and Michelangelo of lyric and music writers. As I was watching the DVD, I realized that The Scorpions are just three years younger than the Rolling Stones are. It is very easy to say The Scorpions have had a long, illustrious, and successful career!
Of the fifteen DVD's the band has released 'Forever And A Day' is the first authorized DVD sanctioned by The Scorpions. 'Forever And A Day' chronologically documents the band while they were on their Sing In The Tail Farewell Tour. Laced within the interviews with the band discussing how they came to the decision to call it quits is a firsthand account from Rudolf and Klaus of the history of the band. Some of the other interviews are with Dieter Dierks (Hans-Dieter Dierks) who produced all of The Scorpions albums from1973 through 1988, several German journalist, Paul Stanley (Kiss), Don Dokken (Dokken), the only former member of the band that has a interview segment was with lead guitarist Michael Schenker (The Scorpions, UFO & MSG) and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. There is even a segment where Klaus is in a limo with his wife of forty years Gabi Meine. Where Gabi talks about how exhausting it is for the members when they come off the road. Klaus then tells that most of the songs he has wrote over the years are written about Gagi. You could tell she was a little embarrassed about this. Maybe it is because I as raised mainly by my great-grand and grandparents and a little old fashion. However, I found this to be one of the sweetest things a person can do for their loved one!
As the band went from city to city and through country and country the more love the fans showed the band which in turned re-energized the members. So due to the fans love the band decided to scrap their retirement plans. Founding SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker says "that if you watch 'Forever And A Day', you can see the veteran rockers come to the realization that they weren't ready to call it quits". Schenker explains, "Seeing all these old fans, the new fans coming, everything was sold out, and getting told by the fans what the music means for them, then we more and more" understood that the time wasn't right for the band to retire.
One of the most interesting career highlights covered in the movie is the Scorpions' historic 1991 visit to the Kremlin in Moscow to meet Mikhail Gorbachev. The band presented the then-Soviet president with a gold record for their hit ballad "Wind Of Change", which celebrated the end of the Cold War.
Describing "Wind Of Change" as "the soundtrack of the most peaceful revolution on Earth," Schenker says the Scorpions' visit with Gorbachev was "something very special" since they were the first, and possibly the only, Western band ever invited to the Kremlin. He adds that the Scorpions are still friendly with Gorbachev, who makes an appearance in 'Forever And A Day', commenting about the group and the impact of "Wind Of Change".
Scorpions recently wrapped up the 2015 U.S. leg of their 50th-anniversary tour, which also is in support of their latest studio album, "Return To Forever". With regard to the band's future, longtime Scorpions guitarist Matthias Jabs says, "It doesn't look like the end is near. You know, we keep ourselves open now. We tried the farewell tour, and we [called] it afterwards the 'went well' tour."
One of the things I really liked was the honesty in all the interviews. The band also talks about the darker side of the business and how this affected their personal lives. A thing such as the effect touring has on relationships, families, and friends. Klaus Meine speaks about his marriage; Pawel Maciwoda explores the effects of the loss of his mother and much more. This story Pawel tells was one of the most touching stories I believe my wife and I had ever heard from a band.
Bonus features for 'Forever And A Day' includes the movie trailer along with a bonus video. The bonus feature contains a interview with Night Flight. The interview is Rudolf and Klaus talking abot their latest live release, 'World Wide Live'.
Back on June 18, 2002 in Nashville Tennessee, my wife and I was special guest of drummer James Kottak. He invited us to come down from Kentucky to see and meet Dio, The Scorpions and Deep Purple. We spent time with the band before Dio performed and after The Scorpions performed. We spent the entire time Deep Purple played hanging out backstage with the Scorpions. When we had the pleasure to meet Klaus, Rudolph, Matthis, Pawel and James they were the kindest and most genuine musicians we have ever met in the twenty-years I have been doing Blast Magazine. This DVD is mainly for Scorpions fans however, I think all music fans should own this. 'Forever And A Day' is the best music documentary I have seen since The Beatles released 'Anthology'! I had no problem watching it and reading subtitles. However, I felt that under the bonus section they should have showed all of their videos. You must buy this DVD!!!!!