Written by Hermann Rarebel, ("Herman Ze German," drummer for the Scorpions from 1977 until 1995), and vocalist Klaus Meine, the reggae-influenced track "Is There Anybody There?" is one of three penned by Rarebel and Meine on the band's breakthrough album, Lovedrive. Fun fact! Rarebel was one of the Scorpions' secret weapons. While a part of the band, Rarebel was one of the band's primary lyricists, and in addition to German, spoke fluent English. This allowed Rarebel to write lyrics to help them break through to U.S. fans.
Lovedrive was made with both Matthias Jabs and Michael Schenker, who had just been booted from UFO for his non-stop boozing. After joining the Scorps, Schenker would keep up his drinking, causing him to bail on gigs, and by the time the Lovedrive tour hit France in April, Matthias Jabs was back on the job. The album was a pretty even split of face-melters ("Another Piece of Meat), and one of the Scorpions' specialties, metal ballads, like "Always Somewhere," and the melancholy "Holiday." The album would be the first by the band to not only crack the Billboard 200 but would shoot to #55. The first two singles from Lovedrive were released on a 7" were "Piece of Meat" and somewhat surprisingly, "Is There Anybody There" in double-A format.
The double-A format was used to distinguish both songs on a 7" as equally important. And the tactic had been used by everyone from Queen to Led Zeppelin, allowing them to have both singles from an album chart instead of just the mythical A-side. In the case of Lovedrive's double-A 7", both "Piece of Meat" and the kinda quirky/impossibly catchy, "Is There Anybody There?" would both peak at #39 on the UK charts and stay there for four weeks.
At some point during the tour, the Scorpions would appear on German television and lipsynch "Is There Anybody There" on a bizarre disco-themed set, complete with female dancers in leotards and heels. There's also a guy suspended from the ceiling chilling on a hang glider. Why? We may never know. What I do know is all that goes down in the 4:15 minutes you are about to witness is a fucking fantastic piece of heavy metal WTF history.
The Scorpions performing "Is There Anybody There" on German TV in 1979.