“The record company said, ‘You are completely out of your mind!’ Which I was!”: Scorpions’ hit song Rock You Like A Hurricane originally had a different title, and it was definitely NSFW

Scorpions standing in front of a red wall in 1994
(Image credit: Ross Marino/Getty Images)

Scorpions are one of rock’s most enduring bands. Classic late 70s/early 80s albums such as Lovedrive, Animal Magnetism and Blackout turned them into one of Germany’s most successful musical exports, but their elevation to music’s big league came with 1984’s Love At First Sting, thanks in a large part to hit single Rock You Like A Hurricane.

Except it could have been very different. In a brand new interview in the latest issue of Classic Rock about the making of Love At First Sting, former Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell, who co-wrote Rock You Like A Hurricane’s lyrics with singer Klaus Meine, reveals that he had a very different title in mind – one that would have guaranteed zero airplay on radio or MTV.

Rarebell recalls how the slicker, more melodic approach of the Love At First Sting album was a result of the band’s growing success in the US. “It was touring with bands like Foreigner and Aerosmith and Journey that taught us,” Rarebell tells Classic Rock. “We saw how they wrote, and we learned fast.”

In the same interview, Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker recalls writing the propulsive riff for Rock You Like A Hurricane during the tour for previous album Blackout, while it was down to Rarebell and Meine to come up with a set of lyrics to match.

“Klaus and Herman wrote the lyrics together,” says Schenker. “It was Klaus’s very romantic, harmonic mind and Herman’s very dirty mind.”

It was Rarebell who came up with such less-than-wholesome lines as “It’s early morning, the sun comes out/Last night was shaking and pretty loud” and “The bitch is hungry, she needs to tell/So give her inches and feed her well.” He tells Classic Rock that the lyrics were nothing if not autobiographical.

“I would open the curtains in the morning after partying all night to let the sun come in,” he says. “The question was always, [to imaginary sexual partner] ‘And what is your name?’ For me it was a wild time, it really was sex and drugs and rock’n’roll.”

However, he admits that he overstepped the mark with the title he originally wanted to use for the song.

I thought we needed a rock song with lyrics that should be forbidden,” says Rarebell. “The original title, for me at least, was Fuck You Like A Hurricane. The record company looked at me and said, ‘You’re completely out of your mind!’ Which I was.”

Rarebell adds that while the title Fuck You Like A Hurricance would have been controversial in 1984, today it would barely raise an eyebrow.

“Looking back at in now, it makes you laugh,” he tells Classic Rock. “There are all these songs that go, ‘Motherfucker, asshole…’ They would never have been played in America back then. Now you could release it as Fuck You Like A Hurricane and nobody would give a shit.”

You can read the full interview about the making of the Scorpions’ Love At First Sting in the brand new issue of Classic Rock.

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Classic Rock 326 - cover image featuring Deep Purple

(Image credit: Future)

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Classic Rock

Classic Rock is the online home of the world's best rock'n'roll magazine. We bring you breaking news, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features, as well as unrivalled access to the biggest names in rock music; from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, AC/DC to the Sex Pistols, and everything in between. Our expert writers bring you the very best on established and emerging bands plus everything you need to know about the mightiest new music releases.