The German hard rock/heavy metal band, the Scorpions, has existed in one form or another since 1965. A decade in, they were still years away from achieving mainstream success. In 1975, the group covered two tracks by the popular glam act, Sweet, with the Scorpions using an alias when the recordings were released on a 45.
The single, credited to the Hunters, was put out by the German label, Colorit Records, and was distributed in that country by Electrola, a subsidiary of EMI. The covers of “Fox on the Run” and “Action” were sung by Scorpions vocalist, Klaus Meine, in the German language, with the titles changed to “Fuchs Geh’ Voran,” and “Wenn es Richtig Losgeht,” respectively. According to Wikipedia, the German lyrics for “Fuchs Geh’ Voran” concern a literal fox being pursued by fur hunters.
Though there are no personnel credits listed anywhere on the record, it’s believed the 45 was produced by Dieter Dierks, who first hooked up with the band for the Scorpions third LP, In Trance, which also came out in 1975. Dierks was at the helm for a number of subsequent Scorpions records, including their international breakthrough album, Love at First Sting (1984).
As there’s very little information online concerning the Hunters single, I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate a bit. Regarding the purpose of the release and why it wasn’t put out as a Scorpions record: the original Sweet recordings of the songs had been big hits in Germany, and the 45 was an attempt to capitalize on that success by issuing cover versions specifically for the German speaking market; the project was a way for the pre-fame Scorps to make a few bucks on the side, and was never intended to be released under their established moniker (the band was signed to RCA, so they had to use an alias, regardless).
One thing that’s certain is that the single failed to sell. The 45 is now quite rare, and when it does show up, usually sells in the $250 range. Currently, there are a few copies listed on Discogs.
An alternate picture sleeve circulates online, but it’s surely a fake. Instead of the fox, a photo of the Scorpions used for the back of In Trance (see below) is on the cover. It’s extremely doubtful a group photo would’ve been used, given the aforementioned contractual conflict, and that it would’ve defeated the purpose of doing the record incognito.
The two Sweet songs were actually a good fit for the Scorpions. The original recordings of “Fox on the Run” and “Action” fall on the harder side of glam, and the Scorpions made them even harder, with Klaus Meine’s unmistakable voice front and center.
One final note: the Scorpions have rarely recorded songs in the German language, making the Hunters single even more of an oddity.
Here are both sides of the 7-inch:
Sweet miming “Action” and “Fox on the Run” for the German TV show, Silvester-Tanzparty, which aired on New Year’s Eve, 1975: