Ain’t it great that the band that talked the talk, walked the walk? Look at these Badass Rockers –
Born To Be Wild? Hell yeah!
Steppenwolf were one of the first Rock bands to address and explore the Counter-Culture’s darker side with gritty Hard Rock Psychedelic Blues infused with a biker style and the impressive commanding vocals of John Kay.
Their massive hit, Born To Be Wild spoke of the freedom that Rockers, Hippies, and the Counter-Culture felt, and it still has the power to invigorate, anytime. The Pusher anguishes over of the dangers of excess, addiction and heartless street dealers, through a dramatic, yet ineffective solution: the War on Drugs. Magic Carpet Ride was pure Psychedelic Rock that conveyed a High Ride perfectly – with the classic spacey instrumental interlude.
But it was their sadly overlooked concept album “Monster” where Steppenwolf really hit on a rockin’ perfect storm of music, profound lyrics and righteous protest against the War and social injustice in general. This Monster is responsible for nearly half on this list – a real Era-Gem.
Top 13 Album Track Gems
From STEPPENWOLF – January 29, 1968
This album has a very special place in Rock History as it was one of those albums that everyone had, and played – a lot. It became emblematic of the times.
“Sookie Sookie” (D Covay, S Cropper) –3:12
“Everybody’s Next One” (J Kay, G Mekler) –2:53
“Hoochie Coochie Man” (W Dixon) –5:07
“Born to Be Wild” (M Bonfire) –3:28
There’s a reason that this song is so well liked; it is empowering, and hits all of the right Rock spots, and no matter how many times it’s heard, it never fails to:
“Get your motor runnin’, Head out on the highway,
Lookin’ for adventure, And whatever comes our way,
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen, Take the world in a
love embrace, Fire all of your guns at once, And explode into space.
I like smok’n’ lightning, Heavy metal thunder,
Racin’ with the wind, And the feelin’ that I’m under,
Like a true nature’s child, We were born, born to be wild, We can climb so high, I never wanna die.
Born to be wild, Born to be wild.”
“Your Wall’s Too High” (J Kay) –5:40
“The Pusher” (H Axton) –5:43
Classic psychedelic drugged-out intro with downright real rockin’ anger from Kay that is echoed in the music.
From THE SECOND – October 1968
“Magic Carpet Ride” (J Kay, R Moreve) – 4:30
By far Steppenwolf’s most psychedelic Rocker – with this track Steppenwolf held on to their status of the originators of the Heavy Metal Thunder Big Bad Sound. 1968 was an adventurous year of drug exploration and psychedelic “magic carpet rides” – Steppenwolf was there.
“I like to dream yes, yes, right between my sound machine,
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night, Any place it goes is right,
Goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here.
Well, you don’t know what we can find,
Why don’t you come with me little girl, On a magic carpet ride.”
From MONSTER – November 1969
“Monster” (J Kay, J Edmonton
“Suicide” (Kay, St. Nicholas, Byrom, Edmonton
“America” (Kay, Edmonton) – 9:15
“America where are you now, dontcha care about your sons and daughters,
Donthcha know we need you now, we can’t fight alone against the monster.”
“Draft Resister” (Kay, G McJohn, Byrom) – 3:20
“Here’s to all the draft resisters who will fight for sanity, When they march them off to prison in this land of liberty.”
“Power Play” (Kay) – 5:26
“Move Over” (Kay, Mekler) – 2:53
Yesterday’s glory won’t help us today.
You wanna retire? Get out of the way!
I ain’t got much time, The young ones close behind,
I can’t wait in line.
“What Would You Do (If I Did That to You)”
(Francen, Porter) – 3:19
“From Here To There Eventually”
(Kay, McJohn, Edmonton) – 5:27
YES, that good Ol’ Time Religion! ! !
Steppenwolf’s righteous solid Rock, Gospel choruses and Kay preaching the good word:
“But I remember when I still embraced you,
A little prayer would ease my mind,
‘Til I saw that you hide from the misery outside so I left you behind,
But all the other teachings That I’ve tried were ’bout the same,
One grain of truth mixed with confusion caused by man,
But since you’re around anyway, May as well get you back on your feet again,
(Get right back up on your feet),
Don’t ya know we need somebody to (Do some work down in the street),
You might just touch somebody (Start to think about today),
Throw your robe and staff away (And break away from yesterday),
Ah, tell me can we reach you? ( I don’t know, still we got to go)
From Here, To There, Eventually!” Halleliuah!
Among all of this Rock ‘n’ Roll cosmic goodness is Goldy McJohn’s jammin’ underwater organ during the spacey, rockin’, Carpet Ride II instrumental segment complete with ethereal howls and a hard-chargin’ locomotive beat that goes From Here To There Eventually.
“From Here To There Eventually”: a Classic Rock ‘n’ Roll Album-Ender and Album Track Gem.
STEPPENWOLF were named after the Hermann Hesse novel of, among other things, casual sex and drugs.
John Kay: guitars, harmonica, lead vocals
Goldy McJohn: organ, piano, electric piano.
Rushton Moreve: bass guitar, backing vocals.
Michael Monarch: guitars, backing vocals.
Jerry Edmonton: drums, percussion, backing vocals
You know, society as a whole did go from here, (back then) to there, eventually –
only 00individual thinks they overshot the mark.
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