Known best for their 1984 anthem "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and the 1990 ballad "Wind of Change," the German rockers the Scorpions have sold over 22-million records, making them one of the most successful rock bands to ever come out of Continental Europe.
Originally formed in 1969 by Rudolf Schenker, the original lineup consisted of rhythm guitarist/vocalist Schenker, lead guitarist Karl-Heinz Follmer, bassist Lothar Heimberg, and drummer Wolfgang Dziony.
In 1971, Schenker's younger brother Michael joined the band to play lead guitar and good friend Klaus Meine became the new vocalist. The group recorded Lonesome Crow in 1972, which was used as the soundtrack to the German movie Das Kalte Paradies.
Although they failed to get into the public's eye, the early formation of '70s rock band UFO noticed Michael Schenker's guitar playing and hired him as their lead guitarist; Michael, therefore, would leave the band in 1973. Guitarist Uli Jon Roth replaced him, and under his guidance the group released four consecutive albums under the RCA record label: Fly to the Rainbow (1974), In Trance (1975), Virgin Killer (1976), and Taken by Force (1977). Although these albums failed to attain any serious attention in the United States, they were all quite popular in Japan. By the time Taken by Force was released, Roth made the decision to leave the band and form Electric Sun after feeling that his musical ideas would take the group in an entirely different direction.
Tokyo Tapes, a double live album that the group recorded in Tokyo with Roth, was released in 1978. Shortly after Roth's departure, Michael Schenker was kicked out of UFO for his constant alcohol abuse and came back to play with the Scorpions in 1979, who had recently signed with Mercury Records.