Wind of Change
"Wind of Change" is a 1990 power ballad written by Klaus Meine
Klaus Meine
Klaus Meine is a German singer, best known as the lead vocalist and occasional rhythm guitarist of the heavy metal band Scorpions...

, vocalist of the German heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 band Scorpions
Scorpions (band)
Scorpions are a heavy metal/hard rock band from Hannover, Germany, formed in 1965 by guitarist Rudolf Schenker, who is the band's only constant member. They are known for their 1980s rock anthem "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and many singles, such as "No One Like You", "Send Me an Angel", "Still...

. It appeared on their 1990 album Crazy World
Crazy World
Crazy World is the eleventh studio album by the German heavy metal band Scorpions released in November 1990. Crazy World peaked at number 21 on Billboard 200 Chart for albums in 1991...

, but did not become a worldwide hit single until 1991, when it topped the charts in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and across Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, and hit #4 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and #2 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It later appeared on the 1995 live album Live Bites
Live Bites
Live Bites is a live album by German heavy metal band Scorpions released in 1995.It was recorded between 1988 and 1994 in Leningrad , San Francisco , Mexico City , Berlin and Munich .-International version:...

, on their 2000 album Moment of Glory
Moment of Glory
Moment of Glory is the fifteenth studio album by German heavy metal band Scorpions with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. At first the English composer Andrew Powell was asked to provide arrangements. As they would have reduced the orchestra too much, being only a symphonic accompaniment, both the...

, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
The Berlin Philharmonic, German: , formerly Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester , is an orchestra based in Berlin, Germany. In 2006, a group of ten European media outlets voted the Berlin Philharmonic number three on a list of "top ten European Orchestras", after the Vienna Philharmonic and the...

, and on their 2001 unplugged
Acoustic music
Acoustic music comprises music that solely or primarily uses instruments which produce sound through entirely acoustic means, as opposed to electric or electronic means...

 album Acoustica
Acoustica (Scorpions album)
Acoustica is a 2001 unplugged album by German heavy metal band Scorpions.Acoustica was recorded during three concerts, at Convento do Beato, Lisbon, Portugal, in February 2001. It was a most unusual set for the band, as Klaus Meine comments on the DVD...


The band also recorded a Russian-language version of the song, under the title and a Spanish version called .

The song is currently the 10th best-selling single of all time in Germany.

Worldwide, this single sold over 14 million copies, making it one of the top fifty best selling singles of all time. The Scorpions hold the record for the best-selling single by a German artist and band.

Background and writing

The lyrics
Lyrics are a set of words that make up a song. The writer of lyrics is a lyricist or lyrist. The meaning of lyrics can either be explicit or implicit. Some lyrics are abstract, almost unintelligible, and, in such cases, their explication emphasizes form, articulation, meter, and symmetry of...

 celebrate the Perestroyka in the USSR and the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...


The Scorpions were inspired to write the song on a visit to Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 in 1989, and the opening lines refer to the city's landmarks:
I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change

The Moskva
Moskva River
The Moskva River is a river that flows through the Moscow and Smolensk Oblasts in Russia, and is a tributary of the Oka River.-Etymology:...

 is the name of the river that runs through Moscow (both the city and the river are named identically in Russian), and Gorky Park
Gorky Park (Moscow)
Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is an amusement park in Moscow, named after Maxim Gorky.-History:...

 is the name of an amusement park in Moscow.


In 2005 the viewers of the German television network ZDF
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen , ZDF, is a public-service German television broadcaster based in Mainz . It is run as an independent non-profit institution, which was founded by the German federal states . The ZDF is financed by television licence fees called GEZ and advertising revenues...

 chose this song as the song of the century. It is the highest ever selling song in Germany, reputedly selling over 6 million copies in that country alone, and is frequently played on television shows presenting video footage of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Germany it is remembered as the song of German reunification (and fall of communism in Eastern Europe generally), even though it only rose to popularity two years later.

Uses of the song

Popular uses
  • Popular UK football show Soccer AM
    Soccer AM
    Soccer AM is a British Saturday-morning football-based comedy/talk show, predominantly based around the Premier League...

     uses "Wind of Change" as its tribute to UK troops overseas.
  • It also features in the video game SingStar Rocks! and has been added as a downloadable content from the SingStore.
  • At the end of the German movie "Manta Manta" it is played as the movie's final song.
  • The song was used in an episode of Insomniac with Dave Attell
    Insomniac with Dave Attell
    Insomniac with Dave Attell was a television show on Comedy Central hosted by comedian Dave Attell which ran from August 5, 2001 until November 11, 2004. In the typical Insomniac, Attell goes through a particular city at night, starting out with a minute or so of his performance at a comedy club and...

     when he sees them live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Coca Cola used "Wind of Change" in the 1990s for commercials in Australia. The commercial used children playing in snow as the theme.
  • In the spoof news show Brass Eye
    Brass Eye
    Brass Eye is a UK television series of satirical spoof documentaries. A series of six aired on Channel 4 in 1997, and a further episode in 2001....

    , Ted Maul is seen talking about the "winds of change", and walks offscreen slowly while whistling along to the song.
  • In a Top Gear
    Top Gear (current format)
    Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style...

     episode where James May is driving the Mercedes-Benz 300SL
    Mercedes-Benz 300SL
    The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was introduced in 1954 as a two-seat, closed sports car with distinctive gull-wing doors. Later it was offered as an open roadster...

     Gullwing introduction to Wind of Change is played.
  • In the independent film In Search of a Midnight Kiss
    In Search of a Midnight Kiss
    In Search of a Midnight Kiss is an American independent romantic comedy written and directed by Alex Holdridge. It is listed on the National Board of Review's Top 10 Independent Films of 2008, won the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award in 2009 as well as having earned awards at festivals...

     (distributed by IFC in summer 2008), writer/director Alex Holdridge has characters in the film sing an impromptu version of "Wind of Change" as the movie concludes in celebration of the main character's changing fortune, and as the credits start to roll, Austin, Texas-based rock band Sybil performs a cover of the song.
  • On the October 28, 2009 edition of music panel quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks
    Never Mind the Buzzcocks
    Never Mind the Buzzcocks is a comedy panel game television show with a pop music theme, currently without a permanent presenter. It stars Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding as team captains. The show is produced by Talkback Thames for the BBC, and is usually aired on BBC Two...

    comedian panellist Jon Richardson
    Jon Richardson (entertainer)
    Jon Joel Richardson is a British comedian.Jon co-hosted a Sunday morning radio show on BBC 6 Music with fellow comedian and friend Russell Howard, and continued to present the show himself after Howard left, until 7 March 2010...

     named the song as the incorrect answer to two questions during 'The Intro round', and then subsequently failed to identify the song correctly during the concluding 'Next Lines round' to humorous effect. The showing led to an increased number of viewings and comments of the official video from UK viewers on YouTube
    YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

  • On the second episode of Top Gear
    Top Gear (current format)
    Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style...

    Series 15, the song was used during the introduction of The Stig
    The Stig
    The Stig is a character in the British motoring television show Top Gear. The character plays on the anonymity of racing drivers' full-face helmets, with the running joke that nobody knows who, or indeed what, is inside the character's racing suit. The character was the creation of presenter Jeremy...

    's German cousin.
  • The song is used during a montage scene in the movie Gentlemen Broncos
    Gentlemen Broncos
    Gentlemen Broncos is a 2009 comedy film written by Jared and Jerusha Hess, and directed by Jared Hess. The film stars Michael Angarano, Jemaine Clement, Sam Rockwell and Jennifer Coolidge.-Plot:...

  • In the fourteenth episode of the fourth season
    Chuck (season 4)
    The fourth season of Chuck was announced on May 13, 2010. Having initially ordered 13 episodes, NBC ordered an additional 11 on October 19, 2010 for a total of 24 episodes....

     of Chuck
    Chuck (TV series)
    Chuck is an action-comedy/spy-drama television program from the United States created by Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak. The series is about an "average computer-whiz-next-door" named Chuck, played by Zachary Levi, who receives an encoded e-mail from an old college friend now working for the Central...

    , Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible, the song is used to depict a scene taking place in Berlin in 1989 during the fall of the Berlin wall.
  • The song appears in a trailer for the First Strike map pack for the PlayStation 3
    PlayStation 3
    The is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment and the successor to the PlayStation 2 as part of the PlayStation series. The PlayStation 3 competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles...

     version of Call of Duty: Black Ops
    Call of Duty: Black Ops
    Call of Duty: Black Ops is a first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch, published by Activision and released worldwide on November 9, for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii consoles, with a separate version for Nintendo DS developed by n-Space. Announced on April 30, 2010,...

    . The trailer was launched on March 3rd 2011 and is based on a map named "Berlin Wall", which is included in the map pack.
  • The Mexican cumbia sonidera
    Cumbia sonidera
    Cumbia sonidera is a musical style originated in the marginalized neighborhoods of Mexico City. It is a deformed and altered variant of Cumbia. Cumbia Sonidera was re-invented and created in Mexico City by DJs.-Musical:...

     band Grupo Soñador recorded a Spanish cover version of the song (titled "Vientos De Cambio") on their 2008 album "Porque Te Amo".

Track listings

CD maxi
  1. "Wind of Change" – 5
  • "Tease Me Please Me" – 4:44

    1. "Wind of Change" – 5
  • "Restless Nights" – 5:44
  • "Big City Nights" (live) – 5:10

    7" single
    1. "Wind of Change" – 5:10
    2. "Restless Nights" – 5:44

    Peak positions

    Chart (1991) Peak
    Australian ARIA
    ARIA Charts
    The ARIA charts are the main Australian music sales charts, issued weekly by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The charts are a record of the highest selling singles and albums in various genres in Australia. ARIA commenced compiling its own charts in-house from the week ending 26 June...

     Singles Chart
    Austrian Singles Chart 1
    Dutch Top 40
    Dutch Top 40
    The Dutch Top 40 is a weekly music chart, which started as the "Veronica Top 40", because the offshore radio station Radio Veronica was the first to introduce it. It remained "The Veronica Top 40" until 1974, when the station was forced to stop broadcasting...

    French SNEP Singles Chart 1
    German Singles Chart 1
    Irish Singles Chart
    Irish Singles Chart
    The Irish Singles Chart is Ireland's music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by the Irish Recorded Music Association and compiled on behalf of the IRMA by Chart-Track. Chart rankings are based on sales, which are compiled through over-the-counter retail data captured...

    New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 17
    Norwegian Singles Chart 1
    Swedish Singles Chart 1
    Swiss Singles Chart 1
    UK Singles Chart
    UK Singles Chart
    The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

    U.S. Billboard Hot 100 4
    U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 2

    End of year charts

    End of year chart (1991) Position
    Australian Singles Chart 43
    Austrian Singles Chart 1
    French Singles Chart 3
    Dutch Top 40
    Dutch Top 40
    The Dutch Top 40 is a weekly music chart, which started as the "Veronica Top 40", because the offshore radio station Radio Veronica was the first to introduce it. It remained "The Veronica Top 40" until 1974, when the station was forced to stop broadcasting...

    Swiss Singles Chart 1
    U.S. Billboard Hot 100 39


    Country Certification Date Sales certified
    Austria Platinum November 7, 1991 30,000
    France Gold 1991 250,000
    Germany Platinum 1991 +500,000
    UK Silver October 1, 1991 200,000
    U.S. Gold April 9, 1991 500,000

    Chart successions

    External links

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