The CIA and the most controversial album cover of all time
If you knew the German rock band Scorpions, you would probably know their hit song “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, a track that appeared on one of the previous releases of Guitar Hero. Scorpions was formed in 1965 and their sound output mainly includes hard rock and heavy metal.
However, there are several controversies surrounding the band, and the first comes from their track ‘Wind of Change’, which was released from their 11th studio album. Crazy world. The song became a protest song towards the end of the 20th century as the Cold War finally began to die down. It served as a rallying cry for Eastern Europeans as the Soviet Union’s grip began to diminish in intensity.
However, within the song lies an alarming conspiracy theory. Some have suggested that the CIA actually wrote the song to help destabilize the Soviet Union. Journalist Patrick Radden Keefe explored the idea in his podcast named after the song. Keefe “imagined it would be like a great international spy thriller if it had been directed by the Coen brothers.”
He searched for the clues and tried to convince the secret intelligence agency to know if someone within the CIA had actually written the song. Keefe noted that the Soviet Union had a wary eye on rock music, as they knew it had the power to incite social dissent. He said: “Soviet officials had long been concerned about the freedom of expression rock represented and how it might affect Soviet youth. The CIA viewed rock music as a cultural weapon during the Cold War. Wind of Change came out a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall and became that anthem for the end of communism and the reunification of Germany.
While the mystery of whether or not someone in the CIA wrote ‘Wind of Change’ remains just that, mixed up with a hall of mirrors, Keefe finds it hard to believe they wouldn’t have used the music. rock to aid the global political tug of war. He said, “I don’t think the CIA invented the feelings in Wind of Change; there was a sense of exhaustion within the Soviet bloc, which helped bring about change. The song reflected that and also heightened that emotion, which the CIA would have wanted.
Still, the “wind of change” conspiracy isn’t the only controversy surrounding Scorpions. Their fourth studio album virgin killer presents one of the most (if not the most) controversial album covers of all time. It depicts a nude prepubescent girl with her genitals only covered in a broken glass effect. This caused a lot of outcry in many parts of the world, including the UK and the US.
Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker claimed that the cover was not the band’s idea but rather their label. Commenting on the situation, he said: “The guys at the record company were saying, ‘Even if we have to go to jail, there’s no doubt that we’ll release him. In the song “Virgin Killer”, time is the virgin killer. But then when we had to do the interviews about it, we said, ‘Listen, listen to the lyrics and you’ll know what we’re talking about. We only use this to attract attention. This is what we do.’ Even the girl, when we met her fifteen years later, had no problem with the blanket.
However, since then Schenker has also admitted to being embarrassed and regretting using the image on the album cover. “Looking at this picture today makes me cringe,” he said. “It was done in the worst possible taste. At the time, I was too immature to see that. Shame on me, I should have done everything in my power to stop him.
Obviously, the album’s lyrics weren’t as powerful as its image, leading to Scorpions being considered one of the most controversial rock bands of all time. Even the follow-up album Taken by Force continued controversy, as his original work depicted children playing with military assault rifles in a cemetery. Fortunately, these ideas would not work by today’s standards.
Follow Far Out Magazine on our social networks, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The most popular