If you have seen the Scorpios Recently, during their Las Vegas residency, you heard an updated version of the band’s biggest international hit, “Wind of Change.”
During Scorpions’ first residency show at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater in late March, the band dedicated the song to the people of Ukraine.
“This song is a call for peace”, proclaimed the leader Klaus Meine. “And tonight, I think, we’ll sing it even louder.”
“Wind of Change” was written during the band’s trip to Russia in 1989. Its original lyrics celebrate the growing movement for democracy in Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, however, Meine has cleared the song of its Russian references. He explained in a recent chat with Loudwire Nights.
“I thought, now is not the time with this terrible war raging in Ukraine, now is not the time to romanticize Russia with lyrics like, “Follow the Moskva / Descend to Gorky Park”, you know? I wanted to make a statement to support Ukraine, and so the song now starts with, ‘Now listen to my heart / It says Ukrainia, waiting for the wind to change.‘“
Scorpions’ Vegas residency continues through April 16. The group will perform on May 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York before crossing the Atlantic for a tour of Europe until June.
“Wind of Change” was such a ubiquitous song in Eastern Europe in the 90s that it is credited with accelerating the region’s movement towards democracy during that decade. The song is so closely tied to the Cold War that the band included fragments of the Berlin Wall in the single’s 30th anniversary box set.
“Wind of Change” was so influential that a 2020 podcast series by New Yorker journalist Patrick Radden Keefe explored whether this could have been part of a larger CIA propaganda operation.