“Take me to the magic of this moment,
on this night of glory,
when future children
are carried by changes with the wind. “
The single has sold 14 million copies, reached the music charts of 78 countries and was viewed more than 760 million times on YouTube decades later.
The song was written by Scorpions frontman Klaus Maine, who was inspired by the band’s participation in the legendary Moscow Peace Peace Festival in the summer of 1989.
“One evening everyone was together – German, Russian, American musicians, journalists, even Red Army fighters – in a boat on the Moscow River on the way to Gorky Park.
That was the vision: the whole world in one boat, everyone speaks one language – the language of music, “Maine recalled to Hamburger Abendblatt at the time, who inspired him to write the song.
Composed by the CIA?
The song contributed to the fall of the Wall and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. When music has such power, then there is a secret service behind it, says journalist Patrick Raden Keefe, who has created a podcast on the subject.
For the rumor that the song was written by the American secret services, Keefe heard from an acquaintance, who accordingly heard it from an acquaintance, etc. And since no one will give an official interview on the subject, he began his own investigation.
Keefe’s podcast is divided into several parts and lasts six hours. In it, the author seeks evidence, but does not find convincing evidence.
However, Keefe introduced the audience to the cultural and political work of the CIA – for example, how African-American musicians, including Nina Simone and Louis Armstrong, were sent to African countries for foreign policy purposes without suspecting it.
Truth or conspiracy?
Moscow, 1989: Scorpions after its concert at Luzhniki Stadium
“I’m tired of conspiracy theories,” says music journalist Carsten Schumacher.
“One has to ask oneself critically: does this make sense? I don’t mind the myths in rock, but there is no point in this rumor.”
Schumacher finds discrepancies. Yes, The Wind of Change was written in 1989, but was first released in November 1990 as part of the album Crazy World. The single was released only in February 1991. “It simply came to our notice then. If the CIA wanted to bring about change, they would give the band the song for the 1989 Moscow Peace Music Festival. ”
Schumacher does not consider it doubtful that the song is the first original composition by Klaus Maine.
“The Moscow Peace Music Festival must have been something special for everyone who attended – especially for a German band. I don’t find it strange that a musician is sitting and writing a song, on the contrary: this is the job of a pop musician! ”
Klaus Maine later wrote a number of other songs. The last of them is “Symbol of Hope” – a ballad about the crisis with the coronavirus.
Dedicated to the Battle of COVID-19: “Symbol of Hope” is Klaus Maine’s latest song
The way the text is written and its simplicity are a textbook example of a Scorpions song, Schumacher said.
A quick check on Wikipedia shows that “Wind of Change” was then translated not only into Russian, which Keefe cites as an argument, but also into Spanish, which is not said.
The power of music
Patrick Raden Keefe is the main character in his podcast. He allows the listeners to be close, allows them to take part – both in his questions and doubts, and in the interesting interviews he conducts with key figures of the time, such as music manager Doc McGee.
When the podcast raises too many suggestions and questions, Keefe meets Klaus Maine. The two talk about the time then, about the creation of the “Wind of Change”. Finally, the journalist confronted Maine with the results of his research. Without going into details, we will end with a quote from Maine:
“Doesn’t all this show the power of music?”