Steppenwolf (Steppenwolf album)

Last updated
Steppenwolf
SteppenwolfAlbum.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 29, 1968 (1968-01-29)
RecordedFall 1967
Studio
(The studio was first in Hollywood, then Studio City, then Calabasas, it is now a home studio.)
Genre
Length46:10
Label ABC Dunhill
Producer Gabriel Mekler
Steppenwolf chronology
Steppenwolf
(1968)
The Second
(1968)
Singles from Steppenwolf
  1. "A Girl I Knew"
    Released: October, 1967
  2. "Sookie Sookie"
    Released: February, 1968
  3. "Born to Be Wild"
    Released: May, 1968
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Rolling Stone Positive [2]
Sputnikmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [3]
The Daily VaultB+ [4]

Steppenwolf is the debut album by Canadian rock band Steppenwolf, released in January 1968 on ABC Dunhill Records.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Steppenwolf (band) Canadian-American rock group

Steppenwolf is a Canadian-American rock band, prominent from 1968 to 1972. The group was formed in late 1967 in Los Angeles by lead singer John Kay, keyboardist Goldy McJohn, and drummer Jerry Edmonton. Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited by notices placed in Los Angeles-area record and musical instrument stores.

Contents

The album was a successful debut for the band, featuring the songs "Born to Be Wild", as well as "The Pusher", both of which were used in the 1969 film Easy Rider . "Berry Rides Again" is a tribute to guitarist Chuck Berry. The spelling of track #4 on the vinyl is "Hootchie Kootchie Man". The album credits say it was recorded at American Recording Company in Studio City, California; however, the actual name of the studio was American Recorders.

Born to Be Wild 1968 song written by Mars Bonfire

"Born to Be Wild" is a song written by Mars Bonfire and first performed by the band Steppenwolf, The song is often invoked in both popular and counter culture to denote a biker appearance or attitude. It is sometimes described as the first heavy metal song, and the second verse lyric "heavy metal thunder" marks the first use of this term in rock music.

The Pusher 1968 song performed by Steppenwolf

"The Pusher" is a rock song written by Hoyt Axton, made popular by the 1969 movie Easy Rider which used Steppenwolf's version to accompany the opening scenes showing drug trafficking.

<i>Easy Rider</i> 1969 film by Dennis Hopper

Easy Rider is a 1969 American independent road drama film written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern, produced by Fonda, and directed by Hopper. Fonda and Hopper played two bikers who travel through the American Southwest and South carrying the proceeds from a cocaine deal. The success of Easy Rider helped spark the New Hollywood era of filmmaking during the early 1970s.

The background color of the original ABC LP cover was a silver "foil", in contrast to later (MCA Records) LP issues and the modern CD sleeve in which it is replaced by off white. It is the only album by the band to have been released in both stereo and mono configurations. Although the latter is simply a 'fold down' of the stereo mix it is sought after as a collector's item.

MCA Records US record label, imprint of MCA Records, Inc.

MCA Records was an American record label owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger MCA Music Entertainment Group, which the label was part of until its dissolution in 2003. The label's country division MCA Nashville is a still active imprint of Universal Music Group Nashville.

Early editions of the "silver foil background" version credit "Mars Bondfire" with writing "Born to be Wild" on both the LP label and the back of the LP cover.

Following the success of "Born to Be Wild", later releases had a black box on the cover with the wording: "Contains The Hit "Born to Be Wild". The earliest 1968 versions of the album did not have this.

Track listing

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Sookie Sookie" Don Covay, Steve Cropper 3:12
2."Everybody's Next One" John Kay, Gabriel Mekler 2:53
3."Berry Rides Again"Kay2:45
4."Hootchie Kootchie Man" Willie Dixon 5:07
5."Born to Be Wild" Mars Bonfire 3:28
6."Your Wall's Too High"Kay5:40
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."Desperation"Kay5:45
8."The Pusher" Hoyt Axton 5:43
9."A Girl I Knew"Kay, Morgan Cavett2:39
10."Take What You Need"Kay, Mekler3:28
11."The Ostrich"Kay5:43
Total length:46:10

Personnel

Steppenwolf

John Kay (musician) musician

John Kay is a German-born Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist known as the frontman of Steppenwolf.

Michael Monarch American guitarist

Michael Monarch is an American guitarist. He is best known for his work with the band Steppenwolf.

Goldy McJohn Canadian musician, founding member of Steppenwolf

John Raymond Goadsby, known as Goldy McJohn, was a Canadian keyboard player best known as the original keyboardist for rock group Steppenwolf. Originally a classically trained pianist, he was a pioneer in the early use of the electronic organ in heavy metal.

Technical

Gabriel Mekler was an American songwriter, musician, and record producer who attained fame in the 1960s, helming albums for Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, and Janis Joplin. He also collaborated with R&B singer Etta James for two critically acclaimed albums in the early 1970s, mixing blues, soul, land then topped it off with Genya Ravan production jazz and rock.

Record producer Individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Audio engineer engineer who operates recording, mixing, sound reproduction equipment

An audio engineer helps to produce a recording or a live performance, balancing and adjusting sound sources using equalization and audio effects, mixing, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound. Audio engineers work on the "...technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels. The physical recording of any project is done by an engineer ... the nuts and bolts." It's a creative hobby and profession where musical instruments and technology are used to produce sound for film, radio, television, music, and video games. Audio engineers also set up, sound check and do live sound mixing using a mixing console and a sound reinforcement system for music concerts, theatre, sports games and corporate events.

Charts

Album - Billboard (United States)

YearChartPosition
1968 Billboard 200 6 [5]

Singles - Billboard (United States)

YearSingleChartPosition
1968"Born to Be Wild" Billboard Hot 100 2 [6]

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References

  1. Eder, Bruce. "Allmusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  2. "Steppenwolf: Steppenwolf : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". 27 April 1968. Retrieved 13 September 2012.[ permanent dead link ]
  3. g, manos (April 2, 2014). "Review: CD Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf Album". Sputnikmusic . Retrieved 2014-04-07.
  4. Thelen, Christopher (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Steppenwolf". dailyvault.com. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  5. "Billboard 200 - Steppenwolf" . Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  6. "Billboard Hot 100 - Steppenwolf" . Retrieved August 28, 2017.