Ulrich Roth (born 18 December 1954), more commonly known as Uli Jon Roth, is a German guitarist and one of the earliest contributors to the neo-classical metal genre. He is also the founder of Sky academy and inventor of the Sky Guitar. He is the older brother of fellow guitarist and artist Zeno Roth.
In the early 1970s, Roth formed a band called Dawn Road. In 1973 he temporarily joined Scorpions, replacing guitarist Michael Schenker (brother of Scorpions guitarist Rudolf) who had left to join UFO. Michael had a reputation as a highly skilled technical player; Scorpions disbanded after he left the group.
The "new" Scorpions were, in effect, a merger between the four members of Dawn Road, (Uli Jon Roth, Achim Kirschning, Francis Buchholz, Jürgen Rosenthal) and the two remaining Scorpions members, Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine. During his tenure as lead guitarist and a main songwriter for the Scorpions, the band released five very influential records, including the live album Tokyo Tapes, which sold nearly one million copies and went gold in several countries.
Some later Scorpions releases with Roth began to exhibit a stylistic split in songwriting. Roth-composed songs were influenced by classical music and Jimi Hendrix, but songs involving Rudolph Schenker as composer leaned towards straight hard rock and pop hard rock.
This split reflected Roth's growing dissatisfaction with his role in the band. He began investigating spiritually oriented subjects in his private life, much as his influence Jimi Hendrix had done towards the latter half of his career. Roth left the Scorpions in 1978.
Roth formed his own band named Electric Sun which released three albums.
In 1985, Roth released his third and final Electric Sun album, Beyond the Astral Skies, dedicated to Martin Luther King and to Roth's fans. At that time, Roth entered a new phase of creative work, composing a.o. four symphonies and two concertos, and sometimes performing with symphony orchestras throughout Europe.