Song of the Day: Wind of change by Scorpions

Open up the Sky by yuumei

Wind of Change” is a power ballad written by Klaus Meine, vocalist of German rock band Scorpions. It appeared on their 1990 album Crazy World but did not become a worldwide hit single until 1991 (just after the failed coup that collapsed the Soviet Communist party), when it topped the charts in Germany and across Europe and hit No. 4 in the United States and No. 2 in the United Kingdom. It later appeared on the band’s 1995 live album Live Bites, their 2000 album with theBerlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Moment of Glory, and on their 2001 unplugged album Acoustica.

Lyrics:

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the wind of change

The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers
The future’s in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever
I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

……

Worldwide, the single has sold millions of copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time. The Scorpions hold the record for the best-selling single by a German artist and band.
The band also recorded a Russian-language version of the song, under the title “Ветер перемен” (“Veter Peremen”) and a Spanish version called “Vientos de Cambio”. The band presented a gold record of the single to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991.

The lyrics celebrate Glasnost in the USSR, the end of the Cold War, and the widespread fall of Socialist-run governments among eastern bloc nations beginning in 1989.

The Scorpions were inspired to write the song on a visit to Moscow in 1989, 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 amusement park in Moscow.

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

For peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

“Wind of Change” opens with a clean guitar intro played by Matthias Jabs, which is played alongside Klaus Meine’s famous whistle. The song’s guitar solo is played by Rudolf Schenker.

Uses of the song

  • Plays in a scene from the 2010 movie Gentlemen Broncos , when main character Benjamin Purvis walks out of a bookshop with his date.
  • Popular UK football show Soccer AM uses “Wind of Change” as its tribute to UK troops overseas.
  • It also features in the video game SingStar Rocks! and has been added as a downloadable content from the SingStore.
  • The song was featured in the episode “Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible” of the TV show Chuck.
  • In series 15, episode 2 of Top Gear, the song can be heard during the introduction of The Stig’s “German cousin”.
  • In the independent film In Search of a Midnight Kiss (distributed by IFC in summer 2008), writer/director Alex Holdridge has characters in the film sing an impromptu version of “Wind of Change” as the movie concludes in celebration of the main character’s changing fortune, and as the credits start to roll. Austin, Texas-based rock band Sybil performs a cover of the song.
  • The song was used in the Berlin Wall trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops.
  • Hong Kong pop singer Alan Tam included a Cantonese version of the song called “再等幾天” (English: “Wait a few More Days”) in his 1992 album Lover.

Scorpions

Origin Hanover, Germany
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock
Years active 1965–present
Labels Rhino, RCA, EMI
Associated acts UFO, The Michael Schenker Group, Electric Sun
Website http://www.the-scorpions.com
Members Rudolf Schenker Klaus Meine Matthias Jabs James Kottak Paweł Mąciwoda
Past members See former members section

image by yuumei

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