As the whole generation is out of control
Goodbye to the past, hello to the future
As the struggle continues, there's no fate.
Scooter are an electronic music group from Hamburg, Germany. The band formed in 1994 by H.P. Baxxter and Rick J. Jordan, after the dissolution of their new wave band Celebrate the Nun. The band was formed when the two members teamed up with producer Ferris Bueller (real name Soren Buhler) to record a single called "Vallée De Larmes", which was a soundalike cover of a French house song by Rene & Gaston released the previous year. The B-side was a song called "Cosmos", an original composition. The group played some DJ shows with these two songs. At one show, Rick began playing an original instrumental piece of his, which inspired H.P. to spontaneously rap lyrics over it. This met with such a great response that the band decided to record it in studio, titling it "Hyper Hyper". This was released as a single and became a big hit, which inspired the members to take Scooter seriously, leading to their first album ...And the Beat Goes On. The band recorded many further singles and three more albums with Bueller, focusing mainly on the happy hardcore, techno, and trance styles whilst adding influences from other genres such as rock, new wave, ballads, and drum and bass.
In 1998, Bueller left to be replaced by Axel Coon, an event marked with the release of the singles and B-sides collection Rough and Tough and Dangerous, and the announcement that it was the beginning of The Second Chapter. The band moved onto a more serious trancier style. Another breakthrough would come in 2001, when their song "Ramp! The Logical Song" became a massive hit worldwide, especially in the UK where they had not had very much success. They followed this up with "Nessaja", which was almost as successful, and a reissue of "Posse (I Need You on the Floor". A compilation album called Push the Beat for This Jam (The Singles '94-'02) was released there and became very successful too (in Germany, its equivalent release was a 2-CD single and B-side collection which did not feature "Nessaja").
Coon was replaced by Jay Frog at the time of "Nessaja" - both members worked on the song, beginning The Third Chapter. The band released several more singles and the album The Stadium Techno Experience in the UK, with dwindling popularity. After the release of the single "Jigga Jigga!", which flopped, the band did not release anything in the UK for several years until 2008.
Frog was replaced with Michael Simon in 2007 (The Fourth Chapter). The band released the album The Ultimate Aural Orgasm with him. Their second album with him, Jumping All Over the World, was released in the UK thanks to their popularity on the Clubland tour, and surprised everyone by making Number 1 in the album charts, especially as it was the first time the band had released anything there since 2003. During this time, the band experienced massive Flanderization, with a constant reliance on female sung choruses with high pitched vocals, often singing cover songs without crediting the original artists, and constantly using bouncy, repetitive rhythms called jumpstyle. This had proved to be successful for them occasionally in the past ("Ramp!" being the biggest example), but on Jumping All Over the World and beyond it was used on almost every song. There is a pretty obvious Broken Base because of this. The band have released several more albums, incorporating dubstep and r&b influences and further alienating their old fans, H.P. even claiming he's in it for the money now.
Tired of H.P.'s obsession with writing to a generic formula to make money, Rick J. Jordan announced his plans to leave the band in 2014. He was replaced by Phil Speiser of Dirty Disco Youth, and The Fifth Chapter began. In 2019, Speiser was replaced by Sebastian Schilde, thus starting The Sixth Chapter.
Whilst the band have been around for years, and remain a divisive subject, they remain one of the most popular and influential German bands there is.
They have also released several Greatest Hits albums, the most successful of which is Push the Beat for This Jam (The Singles 98-02), a 1CD distillation of the 2CD European compilation Push the Beat for This Jam (The Second Chapter), in 2002.
For similar music see: Dune, Blümchen, Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo, Flamman & Abraxas, Party Animals, and DJ Paul Elstak.
- ...and the Beat Goes On! (1995)
- Our Happy Hardcore (1996)
- Wicked! (1996)
- Age of Love (1997)
- No Time to Chill (1998)
- Back to the Heavyweight Jam (1999)
- Sheffield (2000)
- We Bring the Noise! (2001)
- The Stadium Techno Experience (2003)
- Mind the Gap (2004)
- Who's Got the Last Laugh Now? (2005)
- The Ultimate Aural Orgasm (2007)
- Jumping All Over the World (2007)
- Under the Radar Over the Top (2009)
- The Big Mash Up (2011)
- Music for a Big Night Out (2012)
- The Fifth Chapter (2014)
- Ace (2016)
- Scooter Forever (2017)
- God Save the Rave (2021)
Scooter contains examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: The band's members typically use stage names, so when Michael Simon joined the group under his real name, it was an example of this trope - particularly as the two names are common in English-speaking countries.
- Album Filler: Scooter has a habit of a joke intro track on every album aside from the first two, and also two or three generic trance tracks towards the end of each album (the four Axel Coon albums and The Stadium Techno Experience follow this formula to a tee). On their first LP ...And the Beat Goes On, they filled out the album with a Hyper Hyper reprise called "Faster Harder Scooter" (a totally different song from the later "fasterharderscooter")
- Blatant Lies: Played for Laughs whenever H.P. declares himself to be "Dave from Sheffield", even though he's instantly identifiable as a German. Also, the fact that he named an album Sheffield and the group's label Sheffield Tunes is of great amusement to people from the city.
- B-Side: The band has included a previously unreleased track as a B-Side on the majority of their German singles. The majority of them are instrumentals. Scooter's B-Sides are a special case because for many fans, they show the creativity of Rick J. Jordan that is often overlooked with their singles. Some of them, in particular "Back in Time", "Bramfeld", "Giant's Causeway", and "Path", are more popular than some album tracks amongst fans.
- Bilingual Bonus:
- H.P. Baxxter will sometimes yell stuff in his native German.
- At the end of "Posse (I Need You on the Floor)", he yells "I'm horny, you pigs!".
- At the end of "Faster Harder Scooter" he declares "You're all insane!".
- "Lass Uns Tanzen" is the band's only original song to be entirely in German, and it doesn't have too many lines in its lyrics, which makes the German language profanity included appear more aggressive.
- H.P. sings "Am Fenster" completely in German.
- Spanish is occassionally featured in the samples
- The Spanish version of "Hyper Hyper", which is called "On a Spanish Fly Tip".
- The Spanish version of "Endless Summer"
- The Spanish version of "Back in the UK", called "Back in Villebago"
- "Call Me Mañana" starts with a Spanish line that translates to something like "The rocks where we were always".
- The album version of "The Sound Above My Hair" starts with a Spanish radio station's tagline "Sólo éxitos y mas música" (Only hits and more music).
- "Suavemente" samples some Paul Cless' Spanish language singing.
- The whole chorus of "Ti Sento" is sung in Italian by Antonella Ruggiero.
- "C'est Bleu" has, well, a chorus sung in French by visiting artist Vicky Leandros.
- H.P. Baxxter will sometimes yell stuff in his native German.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The song "Fuck the Millennium" (NOT a cover of the 2K (better known as The KLF) song of the same name).
- Cover Version: Unique in that they don't usually do "straight-up" covers, but rather take a song and turn it into a "happy hardcore" song, with random shouting inserted. Some of their covers include "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol and "The Logical Song" by Supertramp, though the latter only covers the chorus.
- "Nessaja" is a double one. The original song it's based on is a German song by Peter Maffay, which was translated by ex-Scooter member Ferris Bueller who built a dance track around it, using a number of synth hooks not part of the original song. Somehow, the band got hold of this and covered it before Ferris could release his own version. After years in court, he was afforded a co-writing credit on later releases of the song.
- However, they do have a few straight covers like Depeche Mode's "Stripped" and Billy Idol's "Eyes Without a Face", largely because H.P. grew up with those songs and they were basically sacred to him. Occasionally they meet this halfway and do a cover like The Chameleon's "Second Skin", which keeps the structure of the original song but uses more techno production.
- They also did a surprisingly good cover medley of Tuxedomoon's "No Tears" combined with Marc Almond's "Tears Run Rings" which they called "My Eyes Are Dry". It worked because they added a lot of new instrumental parts to it that fit with the mood of the song, and thankfully, HP used serious vocals and they didn't use any high pitched female vocals in it.
- "Weekend!" is a cover of Dutch band Earth&Fire's "Weekend" from '79. It does use the high-pitched helium voice effect.
- Dub Induced Plothole: A variation that applied to people in the UK. The line "Scooter! Are you Ratty?" in "The Logical Song" is a reference to the band's pseudonym Ratty, under which they put out two singles "Sunrise (Here I Am)" and "Living On Video" in 2000, prior to Sheffield coming out. "Sunrise" was a big club hit - made more so by the fact DJs who wouldn't normally play Scooter were playing it. Whilst the band didn't officially indicate their involvement in the Ratty songs at the time, they were subject to a lot of speculation about it. Their connection was confirmed when they issued an alternate mix of Sunrise entitled Sunrise (Ratty's Inferno) on the B-Side of the Scooter single She's The Sun. Now this is relevant because none of the Ratty singles, nor many other Scooter releases were released in the UK, and as a result, everyone in the UK thought the line was "Scooter! Are you ready?".
- Dub Name Change: Sort of. In the UK, their cover of Supertramp's "The Logical Song" is called "The Logical Song", since the name "The Logical Song" is still copyrighted to Supertramp in the UK. In the US and everywhere else, it's called "Ramp! (The Logical Song".
- Titles aren't copyright. More likely, they intended "Ramp" but Executive Meddling caused that to be dropped elsewhere.
- Ramp! was dropped from the title in the UK so the song would be more commercial. However, it was already widely known on import and in clubs by that title.
- They also released an Irish exclusive single called "Back in Ireland", which is "Back in the UK" with the name of the country changed.
- "Jump That Rock!" had the subtitle "(Whatever You Want)" and the 'vs Status Quo' credit added when Status Quo showed their interest in it (also, it was a way around getting sued).
- Titles aren't copyright. More likely, they intended "Ramp" but Executive Meddling caused that to be dropped elsewhere.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Their first single, "Vallée De Larmes", was recorded as a project. It is a soundalike instrumental cover of a song by Rene & Gaston from 1993. The style of music is basically French house and not techno at all. Its B-side "Cosmos" was later used but with a spoken voiceover from H.P. It was shortly after this single was released that the band were improvising a tune onstage, and H.P. began rapping spontaneously. This led to their song "Hyper Hyper" and the sound they would be known for. Apart from a couple of remixes included on compilations, they have entirely omitted "Vallée" from their discography.
- A stereotype of Scooter is that their singles have high pitched female vocals on the choruses. They did this on two songs in 1995, "Friends" and "Endless Summer", but stopped for several years. They tried it again on 2001's "Posse (I Need You On The Floor)" onwards and it became an unexpected hit, and very nearly every single afterwards has used them. So anybody checking out the band's albums from 1996-2000 will be surprised to hear the lack of high pitched vocals on them, instead H.P. using far more singing (and when female vocals are used, they are at normal pitch). It is no secret that this is regarded as the band's golden period amongst fans.
- The pre-Scooter group Celebrate the Nun, in addition to being in an 80s new wave style, features all singing and all original songs. Furthermore, H.P.'s lyrics in such tracks as "Ordinary Town" and "She's a Secretary" actually tell coherent stories (albeit in amusingly broken English). Occasionally, Rick's sister Britt would provide lead vocals (at normal pitch). The group wanted her back for Scooter, but she declined so they got Rick's wife Nikk instead (who performs most of their infamous high pitched vocals).
- Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: Bagpipes are featured in the main melodies of "The Sound Above My Hair" (single version) and "I'm Your Pusher". In the latter, Scooter acknowledge the bagpipes by giving a shoutout to their Scotland Posse. The Bagpipes in themselves are probably a reference to the KLF, whose Scottish frontman Bill Drummond was fond of that sort of thing.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Countdown" is a recording of H.P. performing a countdown to the new year, complete with fireworks. This seems to have been done purely as the single it appears on ("Apache Rocks the Bottom")was released on New Year's Eve 2005.
- Foreign Sounding Gibberish: What exactly does "lakierski materialski" (from "Posse (I Need You on the Floor)") mean anyway?
- Hardcore Techno: "Crank It Up", "Bramfeld", "Path" and "Everlasting Love" take inspiration from the heavier side of Hardcore Techno, being distinct from their usual Happy Hardcore style.
- Hidden Depths: Owing to his previous role as a singer in Celebrate the Nun, H.P. knows how to sing very well, as heard on "Break It Up", "Leave in Silence", "Eyes Without a Face", "Summer Wine" and "Second Skin" to name a few. The surprising fact is that despite primarily performing shouts or raps on most of Scooter's songs, his singing has actually improved compared to when he did it regularly. HP also can play guitar (and as seen in the "Always Hardcore" book, did so in his teenage band), but the only time he's actually heard doing so with Scooter is on TV performances of "Break It Up". His interest in rock music shows, as tracks such as "Fire", "Faster Harder Scooter", "The Revolution" and "Panties Wanted" all feature prominent electric guitar riffs. However, HP is not known to have played any of these himself, with the latter featuring (of all people) Kronos of Venom. In live performances of "Fire", he rather infamously mimes to the song on a Flying V guitar that is not plugged in, playing chords that are obviously not those in the song. Though knowing HP's sense of humour, this may well be deliberate Stylistic Suck.
- I Am the Band: After the group's longtime music composer Rick J. Jordan left, H.P. (the only original member left) continues to trade on the group's name despite almost exclusively writing lyrics. Many casual fans of Scooter think that the group name is actually H.P.'s stage name, although it may as well be at this point. Early on, he actually did try to avert this - listing the group's members in "Back in the UK" and the single version of "We Are the Greatest" for example.
- Ferris stated in an interview that HP had moments of this early on. The first, and most recognisable, is that HP insisted that their music videos always began and ended with a shot of him on his own. The second is that HP would stay in better hotel suites than Rick and Ferris did because execs thought he was the star and the others were his backing band. The third was that when Nosie Katzmann pitched "Break It Up" to the band, he suggested that Ferris could sing it - HP shot the idea down because he didn't want anyone to get confused as to who was the frontman.
- Ice-Cream Koan: Since most of their lyrics are written by H.P. Baxxter using a rhyming dictionary, they tend towards this. For example "Life without knowledge is death in disguise".
- I Have Many Names: H.P. Baxxter is also known as MC H.P., Dave (from Sheffield), Ice and Candyman, among others. His real name is actually Hans-Peter Geerdes.
- Inherently Funny Words: "Chillybow" not that it really matters.
- Insistent Terminology: Each incarnation of the band is referred to as a 'chapter', not 'the period when [band member] was in the band'. So for instance, Ferris Bueller's tenure is 'The First Chapter', Axel Coon's is 'The Second Chapter', Jay Frog's 'The Third Chapter' and Michael Simon's 'The Fourth Chapter'.
- Intercourse with You: In "Aiii Shot the DJ":Where is the punnani?
Under my skin, can’t you see I’m horny?
- Large Ham: H.P. Baxter, the main singer, his trademark is his yelling of everything he says like an announcer.
- No Indoor Voice: H.P. Baxxter yells everything he says.
- Oddball in the Series: Sheffield, which comes in between the stylistically similar Back to the Heavyweight Jam and We Bring the Noise, has a noticeably poppier tone to either of them, and in fact, doesn't feel like any of the group's later albums either. It has a discernably Out-of-Character Moment in the chillout track "She's the Sun" (though well received), as well as the covers of Soft Cell's "Sex Dwarf" and Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra's "Summer Wine" (which are more or less played straight). The group has expressed dislike of the album and its lead single "I'm Your Pusher" (although the track is quite popular amongst fans especially those in Scotland, who receive a shoutout in it.). The primary reason for Sheffield's oddness is that the group was enjoying exploring different styles under the pseudonym "Ratty" at the time, and were at doubts as to what Scooter's next direction should be. They ultimately found it when they wrote their next single "Posse (I Need You On The Floor)", which became the formula they followed for the rest of their career.
- Ode to Youth: Their song "The Logical Song":When I was young
It seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, oh, it was beautiful, magical.
- Of Corpse He's Alive: The music video for "Aiii Shot the DJ" features the band doing this to the killed DJ, parading him around parties and such, in a homage to Weekend at Bernie's.
- Once per Episode: A more or less pure instrumental trance track once per album, especially in the later discography
- "Soultrain" in The Stadium Techno Experience
- "Trance-Atlantic" in Mind the Gap
- "Mesmerized" in Who's Got the Last Laugh Now
- "Love Is an Ocean" in The Ultimate Aural Orgasm
- "Lighten Up the Sky" in Jumping All Over the World
- "Metropolis" in Under the Radar Over the Top
- "Mashuaia" in The Big Mash Up
- Out-of-Genre Experience: A common thing once per album. Scooter are not afraid to try pretty much any genre they can combine with electronica.
- Rock influenced songs like "Fire", "Faster Harder Scooter" or "The Revolution"
- Evocative ballads like "Break It Up", "Leave In Silence" or "Eyes Without A Face"
- New wave covers like "Stripped" and "Second Skin", often played straight.
- The act of HP singing is in itself an out of genre experience, as he is known for rapping.
- Parody: "I'm Raving" is essentially a parody of "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn.
- Lyrics about raving sung to the same tune as a well known song were a staple of happy hardcore DJs in the mid 90s, and Scooter turned it into something commercial.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Move! Your! Ass!" note
- "Gothic. Doesn't. Exist. Thank you." note
- Precision F-Strike: “FCK 2020””Fuck 2020!”
- Rearrange the Song: Scooter frequently did single versions of songs that differed from the album versions, of note:
- "Friends" has two single versions. One has an intro from HP saying "Scooter! Yeah! followed by the synth melody before going into the main track, and the other begins with piano and the chorus vocals moved to the start. There's also editing in the main body of the song.
- "Back in Ireland" is a version of "Back in the UK" with the references to the UK replaced by Ireland.
- "Rebel Yell" has additional synths throughout much of the song.
- "We Are the Greatest" has HP speaking over the intro.
- "Call Me Mañana" has an intro in Spanish and samples from a song called "James Brown Is Dead".
- "Fuck the Millenium" has largely different vocals and a happy hardcore section.
- "Aiii Shot the DJ" is largely different to the album version "I Shot the DJ", with new verse lyrics and quite different music. The chorus is the only thing that really stayed the same.
- "Maria (I Like It Loud)" has additional vocals from Marc Acadipane.
- "Suavemente" has vocals, the album version does not.
- "Apache Rocks the Bottom" is a fusion of two Who's Got the Last Laugh Now? tracks. It combines the verses of "Rock Bottom" and the chorus of "Apache" with some new elements. The single mix of "Rock Bottom" (which was released in the Netherlands and UK instead), features the original "Rock Bottom" chorus instead of the "Apache" one. Furthermore, the version of the track played on their Excess All Areas live album is essentially "Apache Rocks the Bottom" with the original "Rock Bottom" coda added at the end.
- "The Sound Above My Hair" features bagpipes, the album version does not.
- Recycled Lyrics: The version of the normally instrumental "R U Happy" on the live record "Encore" features H.P. reciting lines from various old songs such as "Hit the Drum", "Hyper Hyper", "Move Your Ass", "We Take You Higher" and "I'm Raving".
- Recycled Soundtrack: A large part of "Habanera (Big Room Mix)" was the basis for the Original Club mix of "Ramp! The Logical Song", which later got edited down, with lyrics added, into the familiar single mix of "The Logical Song". In fact, "Habanera" was intended as a single and released as a promo 12", though "Ramp" won out, so it ended up as a bonus track on the German version of Push the Beat for This Jam instead.
- Rick reused the four chord bassline from Celebrate the Nun's track "Maybe Tomorrow" in a lot of Scooter songs, such as "Move Your Ass", "Let Me Be Your Valentine", "Weekend!", "Hello (Good to Be Back) and "Imaginary Battle". It's a simple enough arpeggiated synth sound, yet works in establishing tension in any song it's used in, and as such is a recognisable Creator Thumbprint.
- "Unity Without Words Part 1" and "Rhapsody In E" are variations of the same song, and appear together on the original "Hyper Hyper" single. Scooter have done musical variations since - "Unity Without Words Part 2" is this to "Back In The UK", "Eternity" to "Let Me Be Your Valentine", "Turn Up That Blaster" to "The Age Of Love", "New Year's Day" to "Fuck The Millenium" and "Sunrise (Ratty's Inferno)" to "Sunrise (Here I Am)". All have common sections but go off in different directions.
- Sampling: Common given their style. "Wicked Introduction" is to the tune of "Scotland the Brave", and "I'm Raving" has the same song playing in the background. "The Age of Love" samples the theme from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
- "Weekend!" quotes from The Little Prince.
- "Hyper Hyper" gives a literal Shout-Out to several popular German DJs. Also, the line just before that section, "We want to say a big shout to US!", isn't referring to America. US stands for Ultra-Sonic, the band whose song "Annihilating Rhythm (Do You Love Your Hardcore?)" was the inspiration for "Hyper Hyper".
- The band has so many shout-outs to The KLF, they're practically a tribute act. Just off the top of my head: "Weekend" begins with the horns from "America: What Time Is Love?", and the line "Respect to the man in the ice cream van!" refers to the KLF's "...and they drive an ice cream van" from "Justified and Ancient". "Imaginary Battle" samples the line "Take me, uh-huh" from "Church of the KLF". The shout of "3 AM!" at the beginning of "Nessaja" is taken from the KLF's "3 AM Eternal". The last line of "Aiii Shot The DJ" is "Kick out the jams!", a phrase the KLF also used in their original incarnation as the JAMs ("Kick out the JAMs!"). "Fuck the Millenium" begins with machine gun fire from "3 AM Eternal", has H.P. introduce himself as "The Candyman", a song from the second KLF album (when they were the JAMs). H.P. also uses the phrase "Furthermore known as..." in a way similar to the KLF's "Furthermore known as the JAMs" from "Last Train to Trancentral". And, of course, the song's title is taken from the KLF song "Fuck the Millenium".
- The lyrics of "Aiii Shot the DJ" are based on the speaking style of Ali G in Da Ali G Show, who was popular at the time.
- HP has been known to make shoutouts to the band's "posse" (fans) in various countries, even when said albums aren't even released in those countries. An example is how at the start of "I'm Your Pusher" he shouts out to the "Scotland Posse".
- Stop Being Stereotypical: A common complaint of fans is that the band rely far too much on songs where the verse is a rap about how great H.P. is filled with Word Salad, the chorus is a cover sung by a high pitched female, and most of the rest of the song is ripped off from something else. The band's music was generally not like this in the mid to late 90s.
- Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: “Move Your Ass”
- Stylistic Suck: Ferris stated in an interview that the band came up with the "Let Me Be Your Valentine" B-Side "The Silence Of T.1210 MK II" because the record label demanded 'any old crap' as a b-side and they were so incensed by this they felt they'd take them up on the challenge. The 'song' consists solely of a minute of turntable noise, followed by a woman laughing and then 26 seconds of a drum beat gradually speeding up as fast as possible.
- Throw It In: HP had been singing Lee Marvin's song "Wandrin' Star" as a vocal warmup in the studio for a few years, and the other band members suggested he finally record it for "God Save The Rave". The song is done in a straight country fashion rather than Scooter's usual rave style.
- Word Salad Lyrics: They will drop random lyrics in all of their music. Making it sound rather goofy and this is their trademark. HP lampshades this in the FCK 2020 documentary where he asks the other band members for 'any word that rhymes' during the writing of songs.
- Writer's Block: The band have acknowledged that they had this on the album Sheffield, due to being bored of their previous styles but not sure what to change to. They felt the Scooter name was so associated with happy hardcore that they put out club singles under pseudonyms like Ratty and Guess Who? They also had it more pronounced on We Bring the Noise, where every track is written in a different style precisely for the reason that the band didn't have many ideas in any particular style. This was also why they reintroduced the high pitched voice for "Posse (I Need You on the Floor)", which turned out to fill that creative gap for over a decade (much to the annoyance of some of their fanbase).