Dieter Dierks

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German producer Dieter Dierks is best-known for his work with his native country's top heavy metal exports, the Scorpions -- helping guide the group to worldwide commercial success by the mid-'80s. As…
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German producer Dieter Dierks is best-known for his work with his native country's top heavy metal exports, the Scorpions -- helping guide the group to worldwide commercial success by the mid-'80s. As with most producers, Dierks got his start as a studio engineer. Back in the early '70s, Dierks' name was linked to albums by a variety of German prog rock outfits, including such oddly named groups as Ash Ra Tempel, Nektar, and Tangerine Dream. In addition to engineering and producing albums, Dierks was known to even pick up an instrument from time to time, especially as part of the Cosmic Jokers, supplying bass for several releases by this side project of Ash Ra Tempel guitarist Manuel Göttsching.

In Trance
But Dierks' focus soon shifted from prog rock to heavy metal, when he came in contact with the Scorpions. The group (led by singer Klaus Meine and guitarist Rudolf Schenker) had already issued a pair of releases before Dierks came on board, but the producer soon became a "sixth member" of the band, as the Scorpions issued a succession of metal classics throughout the '70s -- 1975's In Trance, 1976's Virgin Killer, 1978's Taken By Force and Tokyo Tapes, plus 1979's Lovedrive. With the arrival of guitarist Matthias Jabs, the Scorpions' sound shifted toward a more commercial yet still hard rock-based sound, which proved in step with such then-current chart-toppers as Van Halen, Judas Priest, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Animal Magnetism
With each successive release during the early '80s (1980's Animal Magnetism and 1982's Blackout), the group inched its way toward worldwide stardom, which it finally obtained with the massive 1984 release Love at First Sting -- spawning the hit single "Rock You Like a Hurricane." It didn't take long for Dierks to become a much in-demand producer for other metal bands looking to replicate the Scorpions' tough but tuneful sound. And while Dierks did subsequently work with other notable acts -- including the Plasmatics (1982's Coup d'Etat), Black n' Blue (1984's Black n' Blue), another German metal outfit, Accept (1985's Metal Heart), and Twisted Sister (1985's Come Out & Play) -- he never obtained the same success that he did working with the Scorpions.

World Wide Live
Dierks returned back to the Scorpions for a live release, 1985's World Wide Live, but after the release of the 1988 studio set Savage Amusement, it was becoming clear to both parties that the chemistry between band and producer was running out of gas. The end result was a parting of ways, after over a decade of working together. Instead of continuing on as a producer for others, it appeared as though Dierks retired completely from the recording business after severing ties with the Scorpions, as his name did not appear on an all-new studio release since then. But in 2002, while the group was assembling its umpteenth "best-of" collection, Dierks manned the boards once more for his old friends, resulting in two brand new Dierks-produced tracks on Bad for Good: The Very Best of the Scorpions.