German rockers The Scorpions to call it quits

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The Independent Culture

The German rock band The Scorpions is breaking up after more than 40 years together courting controversy and selling more than 100 million recordings, its founder said in an interview published Sunday.

Rudolf Schenker told the weekly Bild am Sonntag that the group, best known for its power ballad "Wind of Change" which became closely associated with the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago, was ready to call it a day.

"Yes, we're quitting," the 61-year-old guitarist said. "We are working on our last album right now and are getting ready for the final tour."

The final release, "Sting In The Tail", on March 19 will be followed by a two- or three-year world tour, said singer Klaus Meine, also 61.

"We're not getting any younger," he said. "We'd rather go out with a killer album and follow our hearts."

Schenker and drummer Wolfgang Dziony started the band in 1965, and Meine joined four years later.

In 1976, the band ran into trouble when it released the album "Virgin Killer" featuring a picture of a naked prepubescent girl on its cover.

The photograph was replaced after a storm of controversy in countries such as the United States and Britain.

"The Scorpions" scored their first top-10 hit in 1984 with "Still Loving You" and made the charts with anthems like "Rock You Like a Hurricane", "No One Like You" and "Send Me an Angel".

Over the years, they replaced four bassists, six drummers and two guitarists.

"Wind of Change" came out in 1990, a few months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and became 1991's biggest-selling single worldwide. It led to an invitation that year to play for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the Kremlin.

"We totally lived our dream," Meine told Bild am Sonntag. "We achieved everything you can achieve with a rock band."