Wind of Change (Scorpions song)

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"Wind of Change"
Wind of change2.jpg
Single cover
Single by Scorpions
from the album Crazy World
B-side"Tease Me Please Me"
ReleasedJanuary 20, 1991
Format
Recorded
GenreHard rock[1]
Length
  • 5:10 (album version)
  • 3:44 (radio edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)Klaus Meine
Producer(s)
Scorpions singles chronology
"Don't Believe Her"
(1990)
"Wind of Change"
(1991)
"Send Me an Angel"
(1991)
Music video
"Wind Of Change" on YouTube

"Wind of Change" is a power ballad by the West German rock band Scorpions, recorded for their eleventh studio album, Crazy World (1990). The song was composed and written by the band's lead singer Klaus Meine and produced by Keith Olsen and the band. The lyrics were composed by Meine following the band's visit to the USSR at the height of perestroika, when the enmity between the communist and capitalist blocs subsided concurrently with the promulgation of large-scale socioeconomic reforms in the USSR.

"Wind of Change" was released as the album's third single in January 1991 and became a worldwide hit, just after the failed coup that would eventually lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The song topped the charts in Germany and across Europe while peaking at number four in the United States on August 31, 1991, and at number two in the United Kingdom. It later appeared on the band's 1995 live album Live Bites, their 2000 album with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Moment of Glory, and on their 2001 unplugged album Acoustica. The band also recorded a Russian-language version of the song, under the title "Ветер перемен" ("Veter Peremen")[2][3][4] and a Spanish version called "Vientos de Cambio".

With estimated sales of 14 million copies sold worldwide, "Wind of Change" is one of the best-selling singles of all time.[5] It holds the record for the best-selling single by a German artist. The band presented a gold record and $70,000 of royalties from the single to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991.[6]

Background and writing[edit]

The lyrics celebrate glasnost in the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, and speaks of hope at a time when tense conditions had arisen due to the fall of Communist-run governments among Eastern Bloc nations beginning in 1989.[7]

The Scorpions were inspired to write the song after performing at the Moscow Music Peace Festival in August 1989,[7] and the opening lines refer to the city's landmarks:

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change

The Moskva is the name of the river that runs through Moscow (both the city and the river are named identically in Russian), and Gorky Park is an urban park in Moscow named after the writer Maxim Gorky.

The song also contains a reference to the balalaika, which is a Russian stringed instrument somewhat like a guitar. The balalaika is mentioned in the following lines:

Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

Composition[edit]

"Wind of Change" opens with a clean guitar intro played by Matthias Jabs, which is played alongside Klaus Meine's flat whistle. The song's guitar solo is played by Rudolf Schenker.[citation needed]

Legacy[edit]

The song became associated with the Revolutions of 1989 and the Fall of the Berlin Wall also in 1989 and was performed by the Scorpions at the Brandenburg Gate on 9 November 1999, during the 10th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.[8][9] In 2005, viewers of the German television network ZDF chose this song as the song of the century.[7] "Wind of Change" is featured in the films In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007), Gentlemen Broncos (2009), The Interview (2014), and Love Island (2014), and the video game SingStar Rocks! (2006). Most recently the song can be heard in the opening scene of the action comedy film The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon and Justin Theroux. The song is also featured in television shows Melrose Place, Chuck, and Car Share. [10]

The song is the subject of the podcast "Wind of Change", released May 11, 2020, raising questions regarding the song's origin. The podcast suggests that the song was written by or connected to the CIA, citing a rumor originating from inside the agency.[11] In a SiriusXM interview with Eddie Trunk on May 13, 2020, Meine stated "It’s a podcast, and there will be a lot of people who will get into this. It’s a fascinating idea, and it’s an entertaining idea, but it’s not true at all.”[12][13][14]

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[46]
physical sales in 1991
Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[47]
physical sales in 1991
Platinum 50,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[48]
digital sales
Gold 45,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[49] Gold 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[50]
physical sales in 1991
Platinum 500,000^
Italy (FIMI)[51]
sales since 2009
Gold 15,000*
Russia (NFPF)[52]
Ringtone sales 2006-2011
Gold 100,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[53]
physical sales in 1991
Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[54]
physical sales in 1991
Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 100 Classic Rock Artists". Ultimate Classic Rock. June 8, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  2. ^ The wind of change_Russian version
  3. ^ The wind of change_Russian version
  4. ^ فيديو ويند أوف شينج لسكوربيون (النسخة الروسية)
  5. ^ "SCORPIONS: WIND OF CHANGE Der Wende-Hit". Hamburger Abendblatt. Retrieved August 23, 2016. Von Jana-Sophie Brasseler 02.10.09
  6. ^ Bregestovski, Anton (December 15, 1991). "Rock group meet Gorbachev". upi.com. UPI. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Bienstalk, Richard Scorpions' 'Wind of Change': The Oral History of 1990's Epic Power Ballad Rolling Stone. September 4, 2015
  8. ^ "BBC News | Europe | Berlin anniversary ends with a bang". news.bbc.co.uk. November 10, 1999. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  9. ^ William Drozdiak (November 10, 1999). "Ten Years After the Fall". Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  10. ^ "IMDB - Scorpions". imdb.com. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  11. ^ "Wind of Change". crooked.com. May 11, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  12. ^ "Klaus Meine from The Scorpions on if CIA wrote Wind of Change". @OfficialEddieTrunk | Youtube. May 13, 2020. Eddie Trunk interviews Klaus Meine from The Scorpions, Klaus talks about if the CIA wrote Winds of Change
  13. ^ "SCORPIONS SINGER KLAUS MEINE ENDED UP THE RUMORS THAT 'WIND OF CHANGE' WAS WRITTEN BY CIA". metalcastle.net. May 14, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  14. ^ "Was a '90s Scorpions Song the Work of the C.I.A.? This Podcast Is on It". nytimes.com. May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  15. ^ Wind Of Change (US 7-inch single liner notes). Scorpions. Mercury Records. 1990. 868 180-7.CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ Wind Of Change (Canadian 7-inch Single liner notes). Scorpions. Mercury Records. 1990. 868 180-7.CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Scorpions – Wind of Change". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  18. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Scorpions – Wind of Change" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Scorpions – Wind of Change" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  20. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1570." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Top 10 Denmark" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8 no. 30. July 27, 1991. p. 20. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  22. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8 no. 23. June 8, 1991. p. 21. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  23. ^ "Lescharts.com – Scorpions – Wind of Change" (in French). Les classement single.
  24. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Scorpions – Wind of Change". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Wind of Change". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Scorpions" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Scorpions – Wind of Change" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – Scorpions – Wind of Change". Top 40 Singles.
  29. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Scorpions – Wind of Change". VG-lista.
  30. ^ Archiwum Listy Przebojów Programu Trzeciego [1] (Retrieved November 16, 2014)
  31. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Scorpions – Wind of Change". Singles Top 100.
  32. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Scorpions – Wind of Change". Swiss Singles Chart.
  33. ^ "Scorpions: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  34. ^ "Scorpions Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  35. ^ "Scorpions Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  36. ^ "Scorpions Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  37. ^ 1991 Australian Singles Chart aria.com (Retrieved 20 April 2008)
  38. ^ 1991 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved 20 April 2008)
  39. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  40. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 1991" (PDF). Music & Media. 8 (51–52): 21. December 21, 1991. Retrieved January 17, 2020 – via American Radio History.
  41. ^ http://www.officialcharts.de/year.asp?cat=s&country=de&year=1991&x=39&y=10
  42. ^ "Single top 100 over 1991" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  43. ^ 1991 Swiss Singles Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved 20 April 2008)
  44. ^ "1991 Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. January 11, 1992. p. 20.
  45. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1991". Archived from the original on July 7, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  46. ^ "1991 - Aria Singles Chart". Aria Cahrts. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  47. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Scorpions – Wind of Change" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  48. ^ "Danish single certifications – Scorpions – Wind of Change". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  49. ^ "Les Certifications depuis 1973: Singles". Infodisc.fr. Retrieved June 29, 2020. (select "Scorpions" from drop-down list)
  50. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Scorpions; 'Wind of Change')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  51. ^ "Italian single certifications – Scorpions – Wind of Change" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved June 29, 2020. Select "2014" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Wind of Change" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  52. ^ "РОССИЙСКАЯ ИНДУСТРИЯ ЗВУКОЗАПИСИ - Год 2011 I полугодие" [Top 50 RBT 2011] (PDF) (in Russian). Lenta.ru. 2011. p. 4. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  53. ^ "British single certifications – Scorpions – Wind of Change". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  54. ^ "American single certifications – Scorpions – Wind of Change". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 29, 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]