The Scorps 1980 album had all the ingredients that typified the band’s successful formulae. It has the classic line up of Klaus Meine, Schenker, Matthias Jabs, Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell on drums. (One look at a band photo and you can instantly tell that Herman is the drummer). The album was even produced by Dieter Dierks, who produced a stack of their successful albums. The album even contained the classic ‘The Zoo’, one of the band’s best known tunes – but what the hell were they thinking with the cover? People do, rightly or wrongly, judge a book by its cover. The album cover belies the killer rock n roll within the sleeve. The album is called ‘Animal Magnetism’. Apparently Herman came up with the title for the album cos it was ‘an interesting title’. Didn’t anyone tell Herm that drummers aren’t meant to speak, let alone come up with suggestions? The widespread stereotype outside Germany that Germans have little understanding (or a distorted understanding) of humorous situations is clearly evident on this cover. Let’s take a closer look at the scenario. In the photo we can see the back of a guy holding a can of beer, or rather, bier. In front of him is a girl, on her knees, looking into his eyes. Hold it, right there. Is that animal magnetism right there? She’s on her knees. Is his fly undone? Enter the dog. No need for Fido fellas – we got the intended pun, but thanks for pointing out the obvious for the benefit of your countrymen. Animal magnetism – better get an animal on the cover right or people won’t get it? Having the dog in such close proximity to Fritz’ frankfurt is kinda disturbing- and had the PMRC been around in 1980, Tipper would have no doubt slapped a sticker on this cover as well. The album cover was created by Storm Thorgerson and, as with earlier Scorpions album sleeves, courted controversy. However unlike several of their previous album sleeves the controversy did not result in the cover being replaced with an alternate sleeve. Recalling the cover photo, Storm remarked “That one was funny. I don’t think we figured it out. We just knew there was something rude somewhere.” What did I just say about Germans having little understanding about humour? And this statement from the guy who took the photo for the cover? Francis Buchholz, recalls that, “We had this guy Storm who was doing album covers for Pink Floyd, I think he did the one with the guy with the flames. So Storm came up with idea for the Animal Magnetism cover, I personally didn’t like it, but the rest of the band loved it. I liked the dog though.”Who said Germans were humourless. Next!