Veteran German hard rockers SCORPIONS will release their final studio album, "Sting In The Tail", in North America on March 23 via Universal Music Enterprises. The CD was recorded at a studio in Hannover, Germany with Swedish producers Mikael "Nord" Andersson and Martin Hansen (the team behind THE RASMUS' "Dead Letters" CD).
Check out the cover artwork below.
After the release of the album and a three-year mammoth tour, which will take the SCORPIONS across five continents, the band will end its career. The group broke the news on its web site on Sunday.
"It was always our pleasure, our purpose in life, our passion and we were fortunate enough to make music for you — whether it was live on stage or in the studio, creating new songs," the band wrote.
"While we were working on our album these past few months, we could literally feel how powerful and creative our work was — and how much fun we were still having in the process. But there was also something else: we want to end the SCORPIONS' extraordinary career on a high note.
"We are extremely grateful for the fact that we still have the same passion for music we've always had since the beginning. This is why, especially now, we agree we have reached the end of the road. We finish our career with an album we consider to be one of the best we have ever recorded and with a tour that will start in our home country Germany and take us to five different continents over the next few years.
"We want you, our fans, to be the first to know about this.
"Thank you for your never-ending support throughout the years!
"We uploaded the very first snippets from our new album for you here. And now… let's get the party started and get ready for a 'Sting in the Tail'!"
In a December 2009 interview with the Polish web site Plejada, SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker stated about the band's forthcoming CD, "After 'Humanity - Hour 1', which was more in the concept-album [vein], talking about the problems in the world, we said, 'OK, we talked about all these things which [were] happening and now we don't wanna talk again about problems, now we wanna party. We're going back to the roots of the band.
"We have great rock songs — fantastic rock songs — we have great ballads... The mixture if 10 percent ballads and the rest is up-tempo and mid-tempo [material]. And I think we have a great team of people working for us, producer team from Sweden — they're great people — and we're doing this recording in Stockholm and in Hannover, where my studio is.
"It looks great. We have a fantastic sound, because my studio is very good for guitars, and this time we're looking very much also to bring the guitars up, and, of course, with the great voice of Klaus, with the right melodies, giving the right vibe — the typical SCORPIONS sound."
Added singer Klaus Meine: "We recorded the last album in the U.S. This has a more European kind of feel, I think, working in Germany and in Sweden. And we're looking very much forward to releasing this in the spring and we can't wait to play the songs live on stage.
"We tried to find this spontaneous moment — not to overproduce things and to keep things really fresh.
"There are a lot of great songs on this record. And we always had our fans in mind [when putting the material together], especially the tour next year, because we hope many [of the new] songs we can [perform live] on the road."
2009 was the year of the SCORPIONS: they received the German lifetime achievement ECHO, collected many other awards, and undertook a grand tour through Russia, the U.S. and Europe. However, it is 2010 that will set a milestone for the career of the most successful international rock band from Germany. The SCORPIONS will be touring the world for the next two years and performing in the largest venues and stadiums that cross their path. The mammoth tour will be launched for the first time in many years in Germany. "It was important for us to give our fans a chance to celebrate a never-to-forget party with us," said Schenker. Meine added, "2010 is going to be a very special year for the SCORPIONS, so it is an especially good feeling to be able to start this tour at home."
The performances in Germany will be followed by concerts in the U.S., South America, Asia, Russia and various countries in Europe.
SCORPIONS' brand new DVD, "Amazonia - Live In The Jungle" — a live recording of the SCORPIONS concerts in Manaus and Recife, Brazil — is in stores now.
The band's last CD, "Humanity - Hour 1", was produced by James Michael and co-produced by songwriter/producer Desmond Child, who has worked with such high-profile pop/rock artists as AEROSMITH, BON JOVI, ALICE COOPER, KISS, RICKY MARTIN, CHER, MICHAEL BOLTON and BONNIE TYLER.