Commercial success (1979-1990)

Following the addition of Jabs, Scorpions left RCA for Mercury Records to record their next album. Just weeks after being evicted from UFO for his alcohol abuse, Michael Schenker also returned to the group for a short period, giving the band three guitarists (though Schenker's contributions to the final release was limited to only three songs). The result was Lovedrive, an album which some critics consider to be the pinnacle of their career.Containing such fan favorites as "Loving You Sunday Morning","Holiday" and the instrumental "Coast to Coast",the "Scorpions formula" of hard rock songs mixed in with melodic ballads was firmly cemented. The album's provocative artwork was named "Best album sleeve of 1979" by Playboy magazine but was ultimately changed for American release. Lovedrive peaked at #55 on the US charts proving that Scorpions were gathering an international following. Michael, still coping with alcoholism, left during the following tour when Matthias Jabs was hired to fill in for him on those occasions when he couldn't perform.In 1980, the band released Animal Magnetism, again with a provocative cover showing a girl kneeling in front of a man's crotch. While Animal Magnetism contained classics such as "The Zoo" and "Make It Real",it was a critical disappointment when compared with Lovedrive. Soon after the album's release, Meine began experiencing throat problems. He required surgery on his vocal chords and there were doubts as to
whether he would ever sing again with Scorpions.While Meine made a full recovery, the band began working on their next album, Blackout. Don Dokken was brought in to provide guide and backing vocals so that Meine could let his vocal chords completely heal.Meine eventually healed completely and was able to finish the album. Blackout was released in 1982 and quickly became the band's best selling to date, eventually going platinum. Meine's voice showed no signs of weakness and critical response to the album was good. Blackout spawned three hit singles: "Dynamite","Blackout" and "No One Like You".It was not until 1984 and the release of Love At First Sting that the band finally cemented their status as rock superstars. Propelled by the single "Rock You Like A Hurricane", Love At First Sting went up the charts and went double platinum. However, Scorpions did manage to stir up controversy once again with their provocative album cover. This time it was a boy kissing a girl and at the same time planting a tattoo on her naked thigh. Some shops refused to sell the album, mimicking a gag from the satire movie This Is Spinal Tap that came out the same year. MTV gave the album's videos "Rock You Like A Hurricane," "Bad Boys Running Wild," "Big City Nights," and the power ballad "Still Loving You" significant airtime, greatly contributing to the album's success. The channel even supplied Scorpions with the nickname "The Ambassadors of Rock."The band toured extensively behind Love At First Sting and decided to record and release their second live album, World Wide Live. Recorded over a year long period and released at the height of their popularity, the album was another success for the band, peaking at #17 on the charts.After their extensive world tours, the band finally returned to the studio to record Savage Amusement.Released in 1988, four years after their previous studio album, Savage Amusement represented a more polished pop sound similar to the style Def Leppard had found success with. The album sold well, but was considered somewhat of a critical disappointment. British heavy rock magazine Kerrang! did award the album 5 K's out of 5 though.On the Savage Amusement tour in '88, Scorpions became the first Western group to play in the former Soviet Union with a performance in Leningrad. The following year the band returned to perform at the Moscow Music Peace Festival. As a result, Scorpions developed a strong Russian fan base and still return regularly to perform throughout the area.Wishing to distance themselves from the Savage Amusement style, the band separated from their long-time producer and "Sixth Scorpion," Dieter Dierks, ultimately 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 a hit, 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 in Berlin. Scorpions performed both versions of "In the Flesh" from The Wall.