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Scooter are a German techno hard dance group founded in Hamburg, who have sold over 30 million records and earned over 80 gold and platinum awards. Scooter are considered the most successful German single-record act with 23 top ten hits. The group is currently composed of members H.P. Baxxter, Rick J. Jordan and Michael Simon. Although most of the group's early recordings are in the styles of happy hardcore or hard trance, Scooter have experimented with other dance genres such as hardstyle and jumpstyle, and occasionally hip hop, hard rock, house and dubstep.
Scooter's trademark sound features fast tempos and happy melodies, accompanied by frontman H.P. Baxxter rapping lyrics, sampling, and occasionally choruses involving artificially pitched voices. Among their more well-known hits are "Hyper Hyper", "Move Your Ass!", "How Much Is The Fish?", "Ramp! (The Logical Song)", "Nessaja", "Weekend", "Maria (I Like It Loud)" and "The Question Is What Is the Question?".
Celebrate the Nun (1987–1992)
At the end of 1986, H. P. Baxxter and Rick J. Jordan met in Hannover, Germany through a small ad and founded the synthpop/new wave band Celebrate the Nun. While the lead vocals were performed by Baxxter and female vocals were delivered by Baxxter's sister Britt Maxime, Rick J. Jordan took care of the keyboards and sound engineering. The band released their first album Meanwhile in 1989. Allmusic wrote that "During the mid-'80s, numerous synth pop acts dreamed of becoming the next Depeche Mode. Celebrate the Nun could have been buried in the glut of Depeche Mode doppelgangers; however, top-drawer songwriting and consistently catchy hooks lifted Celebrate the Nun above the mass of wannabes". The single "Will You Be There" off Meanwhile peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Dance/Club play chart on June 23, 1990, whereas the single "She's a Secretary/Strange" peaked at No. 12 on Dance/Club play chart on December 8 of the same year. Slin Tompson, who was the fourth person in the band's original line-up, left the band in 1990 to start a project on his own. In 1991, the band released their second album Continuous, but this was less successful due to synthpop's declining popularity. Two singles were released off the second material, "Patience" and "You Make Me Wonder" both of which went without charting. Not finding the expected success in the New Wave arena, Baxxter kept working at the former Hamburg based Indie label (currently Edel Records) in the Distribution and Sales department where he met Scooter's future manager Jens Thele.
The Loop (1993–1998)
Soon afterwards, in late 1993, the former Celebrate the Nun members joined up with Baxxter's cousin Ferris Bueller under the management of Jens Thele to form a remix team known as The Loop. The Loop became one of the top remix teams in Germany, releasing remixes for artists like Adeva, Holly Johnson, The Tag Team and RuPaul.
The First Chapter (December 1993–1998)
Scooter started as a project in December 1993. Their debut single was a cover of René & Gaston's "Vallée De Larmes" (French for Valley of Tears) and reached No.8 on the German official dance chart. In April 1994, Scooter played their first live show at "The Palladium" in Hamburg. At that point, Scooter officially switched from being a project into a band, and Baxxter's "rapping" became one of the band's trademarks.
At first, "Hyper Hyper" was expected to be a small hit within the club scene, but it managed to reach the No.2 position on the German single chart, Media Control, eventually going triple gold for selling 750,000 units. "Hyper Hyper" also entered the top-5 in Switzerland, Austria and in Italy, meanwhile, entering the top-10 in the Netherlands and Norway. Scooter's third single "Move Your Ass" reached No.3 on Media Control's single chart after a few weeks of its release and managed to achieve a gold status for sales of over 250,000 in Germany. The single also gained similar success as its predecessor outside of Germany, it entered the top-5 in Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands, meanwhile, entering the top-10 in Norway and Italy. The follow-up singles, "Friends" and "Endless Summer" managed to enter the top-20 in number of countries including Switzerland, Austria and Finland.
The band maintained the initial technique of their sound throughout their second album, Our Happy Hardcore, until the style became noticeably different with their 1996 single "I'm Raving" (from the 3rd album Wicked) as the tempos were down to 138 BPM from their previous tempos which were between the range of 160 and 190 BPM. The single reached No.4 in Germany and earned a gold certification for selling well over 250,000 units.
Scooter's fourth album, Age of Love, which reached the No.19 slot on Germany's Media Control album chart was the last album that featured Baxxter's cousin Ferris Bueller.
The Second Chapter (1998–2002)
In 1998, Ferris Bueller (Soren Buehler) left the group to pursue a solo career (he later admitted that he had been suffering from depression for several years due to his then new time-demanding life as a pop star), and was replaced by DJ Axel Coon, who had been working with the band at the recording studio for some time already. Coon had also played live with Scooter in some occasions, covering for Rick J. Jordan. In June 1998, Scooter released one of their most popular singles to date "How Much is the Fish?" which peaked at No.3 in Germany, the single also went gold selling over 250,000 units in Germany alone. Their fifth studio album, No Time to Chill reached the No.4 position on Germany's Media Control album chart, whereas it topped the album chart in Finland and earned a gold-award for sales of over 36,000 units. In the same vein, the album reached a gold status in Poland for sales of over 50,000 units.
In July 1999, Scooter released their first single "Faster Harder Scooter", from their sixth album, Back to the Heavyweight Jam. While the single peaked at No.7 at home, it did quite well in Scandinavia peaking at No.3 in Sweden and No.2 in Finland, and the trio eventually picked up a platinum-award in Sweden for selling over 40,000 copies of the single. The second single, "Fuck the Millennium" was released in November 1999 which reached No.11 on Media Control singles charts and as its predecessor spent 11 weeks on the chart. The single as its predecessor did similarly well over in Scandinavia charting at No.3 in Sweden and No.4 in Finland, it eventually earned the trio a gold-award in Sweden for sales of over 20,000 units. The album, Back to the Heavyweight Jam just like the singles turned out to be a hit in Scandinavia, it entered the top-5 both in Finland and Sweden where it eventually reached a gold status for sales of over 40,000 units.
Scooter released their seventh studio album, Sheffield, in May 2000. Sheffield took another new direction containing 6/8 rhythms on tracks "Don't Gimme the Funk" and "Sex Dwarf". In late 2000, after their second single "She's the Sun," Scooter were awarded a Comet at the 2000 VIVA Comet Awards in the category of "Most Successful Dance Act" .
The band's 21st single, "Posse (I Need You on the Floor)" was released in Germany on May 21, 2001 and it was the first Scooter single since "Endless Summer" to include a high-pitched-voice in the chorus. The single peaked at No.7 at Scooter's home market spending 13 weeks on the official single chart. Their eighth album, We Bring the Noise, released in June 2001, included another single, "Aiii Shot the DJ." A limited edition version of the album included a cover of the 1978 City song "Am Fenster" as a bonus track.
In December 2001, Scooter released their 23rd single "Ramp! (The Logical Song)" from their Best of compilation album Push the Beat for This Jam. While the single went platinum in Australia and Norway, it managed to reach the No.2 position in the United Kingdom, where it went gold for sales of over 400,000 units. The album itself, which was released on January 7, 2002 managed to reach a gold status in the UK, Sweden and Norway.
The Third Chapter (2002–2006)
At the beginning of 2002, immediately after the release of trio's compilation album Push the Beat for this Jam, Alex Coon left the band to pursue a solo career in DJing and remixing, and Jay Frog became the new third person. Jay Frog was already familiar with the band as he had occasionally covered for Axel Coon.
As a quick way of introducing the new member Frog to their fans, the trio released a second compilation album in November 2002, 24 Carat Gold. Scooter's 24th single, "Nessaja" was a cover version of the title track from Peter Maffay's musical Tabaluga, and debuted at No.1 on the German official single charts. The single managed to reach a gold status in Germany for selling over 250,000 units. The single also did well in numerous markets including Austria, Norway and Denmark in all of which it entered the top-5, it also managed to enter the top-10 in Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands.
Scooter enjoyed a comeback within the UK charts, with six top-20 UK singles "The Logical Song" (UK No.2), "Nessaja" (UK No.4), "Posse (I Need You On The Floor)" (UK No.15), "Weekend!" (UK No.12), "The Night" (UK No.16) and "Maria (I Like It Loud)" (UK No.16) all charting within an 18 month period.
In 2003, the video for "Weekend!" caused a scandal with its scenes of topless dancers. The song reached No.2 on the German Media Control single chart.
In March 2003, Scooter released their next studio album, The Stadium Techno Experience. The album climbed to No.7 on the Media Control album chart and was certified gold in Sweden, Norway and Hungary. The single "The Night" became the last to feature the high pitched voice effect and reached the top-10 in Germany. The next single from the album, "Maria (I Like It Loud)", was released in collaboration with hardcore producers Marc Acardipane and Dick Rules, reaching No.4 on the single charts.
Mind The Gap was Scooter's 10th studio album, which was released on November 8, 2004 in three different versions, basic, regular and deluxe. While the album peaked at No.16 at home and spent 21 weeks on the album chart, the trio's 28th single, "Shake That!" flavored with 1970s disco sound was released on October 4, 2004 in most European countries, the single entered the German Media Control single chart peaking at No.8.
Their 11th studio album, Who's Got the Last Laugh Now?, featured a cover version of "Everlasting Love." The Who's Got The Last Laugh Now? 2006 tour was followed by the release of both the CD and the 2-disc DVD entitled Excess All Areas, one of the DVDs containing the final Hamburg concert of the tour and the second containing every music video released so far.
The Fourth Chapter (2006–2013)
On August 14, 2006, it was announced that Jay Frog had decided to leave the band to pursue a solo career. Frog was replaced by Michael Simon, who had remixed some of Scooter's tracks while in search of success with his "Shahin & Simon" project. On August 19, Scooter played at the Tufertschwil Open Air in Switzerland, where Simon debuted.
The single "Behind the Cow" was premiered at The Dome 40 in Düsseldorf on December 1, 2006, and was released on January 19, 2007. The song and its lyrics are based on "What Time Is Love?" by The KLF. Their 12th album The Ultimate Aural Orgasm, which includes the songs "The United Vibe" (cover version of Den Harrow's "Catch the Fox"), "Scarborough Affair" or "The Shit That Killed Elvis" (collaboration with Jimmy Pop, the frontman of American fun-rock-band The Bloodhound Gang), was released on February 9, 2007. The album peaked at No.6 in Germany and spent 16 weeks on the album chart. The second single released off The Ultimate Aural Orgasm was "Lass Uns Tanzen" which appeared in stores on March 23. Despite the fact that the single peaked only at No.19 at home, it managed to stay on the singles chart for 18 weeks.
On August 10, Scooter released a new single called "The Question is What is the Question", the release of which surprised many of their fans as they were expecting a third single from the current album rather than an entirely new material. The single peaked at No.5 on the singles charts with overall of 26 weeks on the charts. That was a record as none of Scooter's previously released singles had so far remained that long within the singles charts. The band released a jumpstyle cover version of classic 1970s track "How Do You Do" by Mouth & MacNeal. Scooter released their 13th studio album, Jumping All Over the World, on 30 November 2007, containing all three singles ("The Question is What is the Question", "And No Matches" and "Jumping All Over the World"). A limited edition of the album contains a bonus CD including all Scooter's German top-10 hits, from "Hyper, Hyper" to "How Much is the Fish?" as well as a previously unreleased version of "The Question Is What Is The Question?"
In November 2007, the band made its debut tour of Australia, never having visited the country before despite their single "The Logical Song" peaking at No.1 there some 6 years earlier. Scooter performed at the famous Scattered rave party in Sydney as well as in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
In March 2008, the group embarked on its first arena tour of the UK as part of Clubland Live, appearing alongside other All Around The World acts such as Cascada and Ultrabeat. During this tour, Scooter performed a retooled version of "I'm Lonely" from Jumping All Over The World; the single was released in Germany on 18 April 2008. "The Question Is What Is The Question" was released in the UK the same week, charting at No.49. The band made international news in May 2008 when Jumping All Over The World unexpectedly entered at No.1 on the UK Albums Chart, replacing Madonna's album Hard Candy after just one week. It was Scooter's first No.1 in the UK and first album release there in five years. The album eventually ended up earning the trio a platinum-award in the UK for sales of over 300,000 units.
February 2009 saw the release of a Scooter tribute album entitled Hands On Scooter, featuring artists such as The Bloodhound Gang, Status Quo, and Sido covering or sampling Scooter songs.
During the summer of 2009, Scooter announced the release of their next studio album, Under The Radar Over The Top. On August 14, 2009, Scooter released "J'adore Hardcore", the first single from Under The Radar Over The Top. "J'adore Hardcore" was based on Planet Funk's "Chase the Sun" and The Pitcher's "I Just Can't Stop." On July 30, 2009, during the video shoot for "J'adore Hardcore," Baxxter was almost a victim of a car bomb attack in Majorca, Spain. Michael Simon reported that Baxxter was alright and it was a very near miss. For their next single, "Ti Sento", Scooter collaborated with Italian singer Antonella Ruggiero. "Ti Sento" which peaked at No.10 in Germany, was released the day Under The Radar Over The Top was released. During the first week of sales, Under The Radar Over The Top peaked at No.2 on the German album chart. It was confirmed on November 3, 2009 that "The Sound Above My Hair" would be the third single from the album. The video premiered on YouTube on the 12th of November. The single was released on November 27.
On February 9, 2010 it was announced that Scooter would perform the official song of the 2010 IIHF World Championship. This song would be "Stuck on Replay", and it would, in addition, be released as the 4th single from Under The Radar Over The Top.
The Under The Radar Over The Top Tour was announced before the album was released. The tour was a week long through several German cities such as Hamburg, Berlin, and Leipzig and one Swiss city, Zurich, throughout March 2010. This was the largest tour to date, and again featured the Sheffield Jumpers. During this tour, Scooter performed in front of a total of 40,000 people, and the Hamburg concert was the largest on the tour, with a sold out venue of 14,000. This was followed by Leipzig, with 10,000 people attending the final concert of the tour.
Regardless of the tour, "Stuck on Replay" peaked at only position No.34 on the German singles chart, but remained on the charts for 12 weeks.
A week after the tour, Scooter announced in an interview with a Russian radio station that a live DVD, CD, and Blu-ray of the Hamburg concert would be released. It was eventually announced that Scooter's fourth live DVD would be released on May 7, called Live in Hamburg.
On May 10, 2010, Scooter announced another European tour to follow up the previous Under The Radar Over The Top tour, which would take place in December 2010, and be known as the "Stuff the Turkey X-mas" tour. It would tour through several German cities, such as Rostock, Stuttgart, and Dresden. At the same time, a very large concert was announced to take place in June of the next year, in Hamburg once again, at the HSH Nordbank Arena.
On June 29, 2010, it was announced that Scooter would be headlining the Clubland Live 4 Tour, appearing alongside acts such as Ultrabeat, ItaloBrothers, and Alex K. This would be Scooter's second tour of the United Kingdom. Interspersed among these dates were small concerts held at festivals such as Tomorrowland in Belgium, and in other places such as Iceland. However, on 6 October 2010, Clubland Live 4 was cancelled, thus cancelling the band's second UK tour.
On April 15, 2011, a re-worked version of Scooter's 1995 single "Friends" was released, entitled "Friends Turbo". It was the official theme for the German version of the Dutch film called New Kids Turbo.
Scooter's fifteenth studio album, entitled The Big Mash Up was released on October 14, 2011. The first single from the album, "The Only One", was released on May 20, 2011, which peaked at No.45. In comparison with all of Scooter's previous first singles representing a new material, "The Only One" is the first to have charted poorly. The second single, "David Doesn't Eat" was released on October 14, 2011, the same day as the album. The third single from The Big Mash Up, entitled "C'est Bleu", which features Vicky Leandros, was released on December 2, 2011. Both the second and the third singles charted worse than the first single, No.67 and No.77 respectively. Scooter's fourth single "It's a Biz (Ain't Nobody)" from the Big Mash Up was released on March 23, 2012. While the trio changed the sound of the song for a single release, it still didn't help it to chart higher than No.79 on the German Media Control singles chart. The album, however, did manage to enter the top-20 album chart peaking at No.15.
On September 7, 2012, Scooter released a new single called "4 AM", which, so far, is available on a digital format only. Scooter released their 16th studio album, Music for a Big Night Out on November 2, 2012. The same day, the trio released their second single entitled "Army of Hardcore" from their latest material.
The Fifth Chapter (20 years of Scooter and departure of Rick J. Jordan) (2014-Present)
On October 15, 2013, Scooter officially announced that their founding member Rick J. Jordan will be leaving the band at the end of the trio's 20 Years Of Hardcore Tour 2014.
Scooter have also announced that their new studio album can be expected sometime in early 2014, which will be the beginning of The Fifth Chapter.
Scooter's musical style has been defined as a fusion of Happy Hardcore and Hard Trance. Scooter has taken inspiration from such artists like The KLF, Marc Acardipane, Charly Lownoise and Mental Theo, and has more recently sampled melodies from hardstyle producers, such as Technoboy and Headhunterz. Frontman H.P. Baxxter performs his own vocals, which usually rhyme and occasionally involve puns, sayings, and idioms. Scooter vocals are usually shouted, and are usually meant to arouse a crowd. Crowd samples prevail in Scooter's style, with songs like "Maria (I Like It Loud)", "J'adore Hardcore", and "Seven Bridges" featuring full crowd refrains. Most of the music produced by Scooter is above 135 BPM, though there are also occasional slow tracks. Many of the slower tracks, such as "Second Skin", draw inspiration from New Wave music. This leans toward H.P. Baxxter and Rick J. Jordan's roots as new wave musicians before Scooter began.
H.P. Baxxter – vocals, guitar (1993–present)
Michael Simon – producer, composer and keyboards (2006–present)
Phil Speiser - producer, composer and keyboards (2014-present)
Ferris Bueller – keyboards, composer and producer (1993–1998)
Axel Coon - keyboards, composer and producer (1998–2002)
Jay Frog - keyboards, composer and producer (2002–2006)
Rick J. Jordan – sound design, audio engineering, composer, producer, keyboards, guitar (1993–2014)
Jens Thele (Manager)
Kai Busse (Bookings)
Klaus Perreth (Tour-Management)
Marc Acardipane and Dick Rules on "Maria (I Like It Loud)"
Jimmy Pop from the Bloodhound Gang on "The Shit That Killed Elvis"
Fatman Scoop on "Behind the Cow"
Status Quo on "Jump That Rock (Whatever You Want)"
Antonella Ruggiero on "Ti Sento"
Vicky Leandros on "C'est Bleu"