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Watch Scorpions play stunning "Sails of Charon" on German TV in 1978

Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Uli Jon Roth and Company deliver a wild, grooving, riff-filled performance.

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Scorpions are one of the most popular rock and roll bands in the world, thanks in part to their string of massive '80s and '90s hits like “Still Loving You,” “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Send Me an Angel” and “Wind of Change.” But for those who are only familiar with the German band’s stadium-sized, lighter-flicking, whistle-filled ballads … you need to dig into their ‘70s output.

Back then, the band trafficked in supremely groovy, riff-heavy jams. One of the most exciting examples of this style is “Sails of Charon,” from their fifth studio album, 1977’s Taken By Force.

The song is built around lead guitarist Uli Jon Roth’s evocative flamenco–meets–Middle Eastern-influenced riffs and its infectious groove is held down by rhythm guitarist Rudolph Schenker, bassist Francis Buchholz and drummer Herman Rarebell. "The Sails of Charon"'s extended instrumental intro perfectly sets the stage for singer Klaus Meine, who arrives to launch the moody vibes over the top with his massive pipes.

Above, watch the band throw down with a delightfully energized performance of “Sails of Charon” on German television show Musikladen TV in 1978.


Look for Scorpions exclusives in the Goldmine shop, like this limited-edition, collector bundle for the June/July 2022 print edition