The German hard rock band SCORPIONS are legendary in their home country yet are still relatively unknown in most other countries around the world.
This is a situation that the group is hoping to change with the release of their newest single “Hammersmith”, which is named after the venue located in the London suburb of the same name.
The SCORPIONS have been around for a long time; the band was formed by Rudolf Schenker in 1965 and has progressed through numerous musical styles over the years including hard rock, heavy metal, glam metal, and soft rock.
The bands 1978 to 1992 lineup is often considered to be the most successful incarnation of the band, after which the group had something of a lull before coming back in a big way in 2016 with the help of former Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee and a royalty free music single which gave the band a fresh wave of international exposure.
The SCORPIONS newest single is named after the 4,000-capacity London venue of the same name, which is in turn named after the London district where it is situated. Hammersmith is a trendy district in the West of London, roughly 4.3 miles southwest of Trafalgar Square and the Charing Cross railway station. The district is the administrative center of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and is regarded as one of the 35 major population centers in the Greater London area.
The new single is being released through Universal’s Vertigo label and was originally a bonus track on the United Kingdom edition of the bands latest album titled “Rock Believer”. The song pays homage to the legendary music venue of the same name whilst its lyrics present a “contemporary manifesto” for the SCORPIONS. The band wanted to demonstrate that they still love the hard rock sound that they first became known for and was the roots of their present-day fame.
Behind the Music
The lead vocal on the track was performed by SCORPIONS singer Klaus Meine, who stated that “The song takes us back to a time when we played in the smallest clubs, just dreaming about being able to perform in the Temple of Rock – the Hammersmith Odeon”.
The music was composed by the original SCORPIONS founder and guitarist Rudolf Schenker alongside drummer Mikkey Dee of Motorhead fame, and Magnus Ax. Schenker was excited to give Klaus Meine an opportunity to show his skill at recreating the tone of previous SCORPIONS songs whilst also demonstrating his flexibility and rock voice.
“Hammersmith” kicks off with a heavy start from ex-Motorhead drummer Dee followed by driving guitar riffs which set the stage for Meine to unleash his vocals. The track then alternates between harmonic riffs and aggressive drumming as the song builds up an iconic guitar finale. Fans of SCORPIONS have been quick to make their feelings about the song known to the band, and the band have in turn responded by announcing their intention to create more songs with a similar feel to those they released in their earliest days on the music scene.
The album from which Hammersmith was taken is titled “Rock Believer” and was recorded in February 2022 at the Peppermint Park Studios in Hannover, Germany. Further mixdown duties were performed at the Hansa Studios in Berlin by engineer Michael Ilbert, who has received multiple Grammy nominations for previous mixdown work on albums for well-known names such as Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.
The band is due to go on a European tour later this year alongside Mammoth WVH as well as a North American tour with Thundermother and White Snake, the latter of whom have announced that their 2022 tour will be their final “farewell”.
The SCORPIONS are officially one of the best-selling bands of all time according to many sources, despite their limited market penetration in some countries. Official sales for the band currently top 100 million, which includes more than 10.5 million certified sales within the United States. Rolling Stone magazine has previously described SCORPIONS as “the heroes of heavy metal”, whilst MTV has called the band “Ambassadors of Rock”.
The SCORPIONS are one of the longest-running bands of all time having celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2015, but the group say they are still far from finished. It seems likely that we will see a 60th anniversary tour in 2025, and beyond that, who knows? The band say they will keep rocking until the day they die, and there seems little reason to doubt them on this!
“Rock Believer” and “Hammersmith” are both available for purchase now on all major online music outlets.