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All Time Greatest Hits

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Editors’ Notes

Yes, Steppenwolf had massive songs, a few of which helped truly define a generation (how would middle America have delineated an entire class of bikers had “Born to be Wild” never happened?). Beyond the hits, Steppenwolf’s brand of dirty, organ-soaked blues and dusty, guitar-rattling rock ’n’ roll were unjustly overshadowed by the hits, as were the talents of frontman John Kay. He had the kind of voice that could scare kids; it was big and dark and sometimes sounded full of menace, even in his vulnerable moments (“Tenderness”) or while taking a then-unfashionable stance against drugs (“Snowblind Friend,” “The Pusher”) and the Vietnam War (“Monster”). In other words, Kay could deliver a rock ’n’ roll tune like no other. And you can’t say enough about guitarists Michael Monarch (who was still in high school when the band recorded “Magic Carpet Ride” and “The Pusher”) and Larry Byrom, both of whom balanced wild improvisation with structure and distilled lots of grit and soul. This set handily rounds up the band’s heyday, from 1968 to 1974, ending on their final Top 40 entry: the rocking R&B gem “Straight Shootin’ Woman.”

Customer Reviews

Very Underrated Band

Steppenwolf is such an underrated band. People only associate them with their two most recognizable tunes, Born to be Wild and Magic Carpet Ride. However, there are sooo many good songs on this album people don't know about. I am obsessed with Sookie Sookie, Don't Step on The Grass Sam, Rock Me, and Hey Lawdy Mama. I also noticed Straight Shootin' Woman is not here, but it is on the actual CD, that's a disappointment becuase that is another great song.

the begining

So I stole this original tape from my dad and wore it out. As far as I am concerned, the music you hear on this is the begining of what people refer to as rock and roll. Roots, guitar, drums, and lots of lady, Steppenwolf started it all with these songs.

a wild carpet ride

to me this is one of the first heavy metal bands...not because it states it in a song..but because the sheer power and fun the songs seems to me,this band is one of the definitions of heavy metal


Formed: 1967 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Led by John Kay (born Joachim Krauledat, April 12, 1944), Steppenwolf's blazing biker anthem "Born to Be Wild" roared out of speakers everywhere in the fiery summer of 1968, John Kay's threatening rasp sounding a mesmerizing call to arms to the counterculture movement rapidly sprouting up nationwide. German immigrant Kay got his professional start in a bluesy Toronto band called Sparrow, recording for Columbia in 1966. After Sparrow disbanded, Kay relocated to the West Coast and formed Steppenwolf,...
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