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Scorpions‘ ’Wind of Change’ Video Enters One Billion YouTube Views Club

todayFebruary 8, 2023

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The Scorpions‘ iconic video for their 1990 power ballad “Wind of Change” has officially entered the YouTube billion views club. The black and white clip that opens with a haunting whistle over images of fans holding up sparklers is credited by some with helping to hasten the end of the decades long Cold War between the U.S. and former Soviet Union.

In between footage of singer Klaus Meine crooning and a massive crowd holding up lighters, the video sprinkles in images of tanks rolling, economic disasters, the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest in China and the fall of the Berlin Wall. “I follow the Moskva down to Gorky Park/ Listening to the winds of change/ An August summer night, soldiers passing by/ Listening to the winds of change,” Meine sings on the track from the band’s Crazy World album that is the band’s first video to pass the billion mark.

The power ballad that peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 tally and became the best-selling single by a German artist was written during a 1989 visit to Moscow; the previous year the band became the second-ever Western rock band to play in Russia when they performed in Leningrad on their Savage Amusement tour.

They returned in August 1989 for that summer’s Moscow Music Peace Festival — which also featured Ozzy Osbourne, Cinderella, Motley Crue, Skid Row and headliners Bon Jovi — where they said they were inspired by seeing thousands of young Russian fans cheering for a West German rock band. When the Berlin Wall fell in Nov. 1989, “Wind of Change” became a kind of unofficial anthem of German reunification.

The song was the subject of an eight-part 2020 podcast of the same name hosted by Patrick Radden Keefe that looked into the rumors that American intelligence officers were secretly behind the writing of the tune as part of an effort to end the Cold War. And while the band has never confirmed or refuted the rumors on the record, in the series an unnamed former spy told journalist and author Keefe that it was not out of the question that the CIA dabbled in subversive songwriting.

“In fact, I’d be somewhat surprised if they weren’t still doing that sort of thing today,” the source said in the podcast. “I’ll leave it to you to wonder which acts that might be.”

Check out “Winds of Change” below.

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todayFebruary 8, 2023

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