Ladies and gentlemen, Klaus Meine

The above mentioned German is in my opinion the most under-rated rock frontman. Right, you do know who he is. At least, you heard him, in Wind of Change, Rock you like a hurricane and then maybe Still Loving You. Ya, he sings well, he’s the guy with the thick German accent, right? Unfortunately, Meine has come to be defined by his accent. But while his accented vocal delivery did help distinguish his band Scorpions’ style, that’s not all there is to Klaus Meine.

First, let’s take his voice. Very few rock frontmen, with the exception of Freddie Mercury, David Gilmour and Ronnie James Dio, have such a pure voice. No fooling around with the nose for Mr.Meine. His voice comes through crystal clear. For all his much-vaunted German accent, I can sometimes make out the lyrics merely by listening to him, without reading them on the web.  Plus, there’s a unique combination of tenderness and masculinity in his voice. He can tear your heart apart with the soft passages of We’ll burn the sky. At the same time, he is your machoman when he belts out the chorus,”Rocked you like a hurricane”. Sure you did, Meine, and how! He has phenomenal range which gives him depth in the low register and power in the high register. Even in the hard rock numbers in their most recent album Unbreakable, he never seemed to run out of steam. And he was 56 when he sung those songs. Can ya beat that!!!!

But a God-given voice alone can’t take you far unless you have a great vocal technique to back it. Here too, it’s mighty difficult to fault der German. Even in the band’s tepid showing post Love At First Sting, this guy’s vocal delivery saved the cliched assembly-line hard rockers. You really have to hand it to a guy who could inject so much life into as dull a rocker as Tease me, Please me. I actually thought for a minute, “Is this Sir Paul Mc Caurtney on the microphone?” Yeah, you heard me, Beatles fans. Meine is that good. He finds power where he needs it, catcalls he can do even if his mouth were to be plastered and finally, he can just deliver the vocals cleanly and normally with passion and finesse.

But even with all that, he could have under-achieved enormously but for his versatility. But not Klaus Meine. You name it, he’s done it. Ain’t nobody to beat him when it comes to love ballads, we all know THAT. But, he can also scream his heart out Robert Plant-esque, go operatic aka Bruce Dickinson (say Sails of Charon, which, by the way, was recorded four years before Number of the beast), get as muscular as James Hetfield (say Bad boys running wild), and so on. Yeah, he can’t hiss like a vampire the way Alexi of Children of Bodom does. Big deal, huh! Even that’s only for want of trying, I reckon.

But the final testimony to his greatness is his ability on stage. Today noon, I was watching a telecast of Guns N Roses’ live performances in Tokyo. And I couldn’t believe AXL Rose could sound so awful on stage. The only reason I bore with him was I didn’t want to miss Slash’s wonderful solos. Man, was I happy when he stopped running wildly when he took the piano for November Rain. After all, he would then concentrate more on his singing!!!! But when it comes to Meine, no cover-up acts in the recording studio for him. He’s as good in his live performances as he’s in the studio, no better, no worse.  If it were not for the audience cheering before the songs, I would never know Scorpions were playing live.

It is often said Scorpions would be nowhere without Klaus Meine. This statement is made without considering the abilities of the other band members who were/are all excellent, even legendary, in their craft. The point is that Klaus Meine could make or break any band. He would become such an indispensable part of any band he joined that without him, the band would have to shut shop in no time. He just happened to be Scorpions’ frontman. He was meant for rock in any case.

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4 Responses to “Ladies and gentlemen, Klaus Meine”

  1. Farid Says:

    Absolutely right,

    I have just discovered him, after 20 years listening to him!
    His voice and its echo is not human. It should be checked by Osiloscope to see the exact ranges he can deliver. Was it becasue of surgery!? Or is he using a trick such as implanted microchip of somekind, becasue this is just impossible.. In its entirtey it is just beautiful and powerful.. God bless him and sorry for us not to have recognized him yet on our airways.

    FT

  2. Madan Says:

    Itz quite possible that the surgery he underwent in ’81 enhanced his voice phenomenally. But he used to sing beautifully even before the surgery, though his range increased like anything after it. Whatever it is, I just can’t get enuf to use his own lyrics from Lust or love. As for recognition, as long as the USA continues to be the ultimate rock mecca, itz unlikely Klaus will ever get his due. US rock fans r way 2 chauvinist and obsessed with their own Amerrikayn accent, which, mark, is incorrect.

    Well, good to know atleast one person on the blogosphere appreciates der German.

    Thks pal

  3. Ajith Mathew Says:

    The wise man said just walk this way
    To the dawn of the light
    The wind will blow into your face
    As the years pass you by
    Hear this voice from deep inside
    Its the call of your heart
    Close your eyes and your will find
    The passage out of the dark

  4. rothrocks Says:

    \m/

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