The Zoo is a song by German Heavy Metal band Scorpions. Originally released as a single in 1980, it has been featured on many best of Scorpions albums/collections; including (but not limited to) Deadly Sting, and Comeblack. The song was written during the band’s first tour of the USA by Rudolf Schenker, with Klaus Meine coming up with the lyrics upon first hearing the riff, stating that it reminded him of visiting the streets of New York.
I first heard this song a couple of years ago whilst listening to the Comeblack album, and at first didn’t think much of it, but after another listen, I was hooked by it. It features a low droll riff, simulating the idea of a low boring life. This repetitive riff, sounds dull, but it’s meant to be dull, to express how boring life can be. This continues for most of the song, with only the chorus and intro being anywhere close to uplifting. The opening intro grabs your attention, only for it to then bring you into the riff. When the chorus eventually hits, it carries a simple but powerful set of lyrics which make you realize where you are. It then brings it all back down to a low mood with this cool, but degrading talk box sound.
It’s a really cool song. Live versions that are as cool as the recorded versions are hard to find; but I have found one which is pretty cool. Altogether, it’s a cool, but degradingly powerful song which highlights a low life, stuck in the whirring cogs of the corporate machines; which is ironic given that the Scorpions are usually light and powerful, packed to the brim with energy!