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Scorpions - When the Smoke Is Going Down

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Scorpions - When the Smoke Is Going Down

By the early 1980s, rock 'n' roll music had been through many phases. Emerging from folk and pop music, it went through experimental, psychedelic phases that were popular during the 1960s, and became heavier and more technical in the 1970s with the first wave of heavy metal and the emergence or punk and progressive rock. Heavy music was underground, and was rather unconventional. However, the early 1980s proved how hard rock and heavy metal could be mainstream.

When The Smoke Is Going Down

During a time when people were fed up of the fear-riddled events of the 1960s and '70s, '80s pop culture was all about feeling good. The doom and gloom of heavy music transitioned to a more light-hearted approach. The Scorpions are a perfect example of this attitude, with 1982's Blackout being the embodiment of perfect cross between pop and hard rock.



Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 by guitarist Rudolf Schenker, who is the band's only constant member. At first, the band had beat influences and Schenker himself did the vocals. Things began to come together in 1970 when Schenker's younger brother Michael and vocalist Klaus Meine joined the band. In 1972 the group recorded and released their debut album Lonesome Crow, with Lothar Heimberg on bass and Wolfgang Dziony on drums.

Rudolf Schenker


Lonesome Crow and next five albums failed to attain any serious attention in the United States, they were all quite popular in Japan. With a lineup of Klaus Meine on vocals, Rudolf Schenker on rhythm guitar, Matthias Jabs on lead, Francis Buchholz on bass, and Herman Rarebell on drums, the band released Animal Magnetism in 1980 and embarked on another world tour. Surprisingly, Animal Magnetism went gold in the United States, and the Scorpions immediately went back into the studio to record their next release.



Problems arose, however, and the project was postponed because Meine had lost his voice and would have to have surgery on his vocal cords. Many thought Meine had been fired from the band, and rumors spread that metal singer Don Dokken had already replaced him. The Scorpions proved these rumors untrue when Meine returned for the 1982 release Blackout, a major success worldwide, Blackout sold over a million copies in the U.S. alone.

Klaus Meine


Starting off guns blazing with its title track, Blackout has many fast-paced guitar riffs to go around. With this base comes the rest of the album. However, with pop comes cheese. Throughout the album, listeners are treated to very simple lyrics about boys chasing girls, and how awesome rock 'n' roll is.

Matthias Jabs


Though album closer “When the Smoke Is Going Down” takes a bit of deeper mood. With a booming vocal performance from Klaus Meine and some nice, searing guitar melodies, and then even the ballad of the album, "When the Smoke is Going Down" isn't sappy or over-done at all (rather a very quiet song, closing out the album with grace); very nice for this sort of music!

Herman Rarebell


This Album is one of those albums that function as a definition of Traditional Metal. Just pure, catchy, mildly heavy Traditional Heavy Metal. In conclusion, this album is essential, it can’t be missed on any metal collection.

Album Blackout


When The Smoke Is Going Down, lyrics

Just when you make your way back home
I find some time to be alone
I go to see the place once more
Just like a thousand nights before

I climb the stage again this night
'Cause the place seems still alive
When the smoke is going down

This is the place where I belong
I really love to turn you on
I've got your sound still in my ear
While your traces disappear

I climb the stage again this night
'Cause the place seems still alive
When the smoke is going down
I climb the stage again this night
'Cause the place seems still alive
When the smoke is going down
When the smoke is going down
When the smoke is going down

Scorpions, 1982



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