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Rock - Uscito il 29 gennaio 1968 | Geffen

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Steppenwolf entered the studio for their recording debut with a lot of confidence -- based on a heavy rehearsal schedule before they ever got signed -- and it shows on this album, a surprisingly strong debut album from a tight hard rock outfit who was obviously searching for a hook to hang their sound on. The playing is about as loud and powerful as anything being put out by a major record label in 1968, though John Kay's songwriting needed some development before their in-house repertory would catch up with their sound and musicianship. On this album, the best material came from outside the ranks of the active bandmembers: "Born to Be Wild" by ex-member Mars Bonfire, which became not only a chart-topping high-energy anthem for the counterculture (a status solidified by its use in Dennis Hopper's movie Easy Rider the following year), but coined the phrase heavy metal, thus giving a genre-specific name to the brand of music that the band played (and which was already manifesting itself in the work of bands like Vanilla Fudge and the just-emerging Led Zeppelin); the Don Covay soul cover "Sookie, Sookie," which, as a single by the new group, actually got played on some soul stations until they found out that Steppenwolf was white; two superb homages to Chess Records, in the guise of "Berry Rides Again," written (though "adapted" might be a better word) by Kay based on the work of Chuck Berry, and the Willie Dixon cover "Hoochie Coochie Man"; and Hoyt Axton's "The Pusher," an anti-drug song turned into a pounding six-minute tour de force by the band. The rest, apart from the surprisingly lyrical rock ballad "A Girl I Knew," is by-the-numbers hard rock that lacked much except a framework for their playing; only "The Ostrich" ever comes fully to life among the other originals, but the songs would catch up with the musicianship the next time out. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Rock - Uscito il 01 novembre 1968 | Geffen

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The group's second album was virtually a re-creation of its predecessor, only slightly more sophisticated in its range of songs and the manner of playing them, and the in-house writing had improved, though the latter also became highly derivative. Steppenwolf the Second embraces everything from hard rock to psychedelia to blues, and the band is in excellent form, playing very hard and edgy, except on the deliberately lyrical, reflective "Spiritual Fantasy," a rare acoustic number for the group. Much more to the point of the group was the single "Magic Carpet Ride," the ultimate psychedelic pop dance number of the decade, and the marijuana anthem "Don't Step on the Grass, Sam," the pounding "28," and the album-opener "Faster Than the Speed of Life." Side two of the original LP was a great achievement in its own right, opening with "Magic Carpet Ride," which leads into a nonstop extended array of hard-rocking numbers, mostly in a blues idiom: "Disappointment Number (Unknown)," "Lost and Found by Trial and Error," "Hodge Podge, Strained Through a Leslie," and "Resurrection." The playing was as good as the first album, and though there's nothing quite comparable to "Born to Be Wild" here in terms of cultural impact, the level of the surrounding numbers is higher. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Rock - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1970 | Geffen

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Steppenwolf only recorded seven discs for Dunhill Records in the short span between 1968 and 1971, six of them studio albums, and one allegedly "live" -- though there was early Sparrow material recorded in May of 1967 not released by the label until 1972. Throw in a greatest-hits package along with Columbia's reissue of yet more Sparrow recordings, and how they came up with Steppenwolf 7 for the title of this, their fifth studio recording for Dunhill, is a question for hardcore fans of the band to debate (don't even bring the movie soundtracks into this equation). Richard Podolor has taken the production reins from Gabriel Mekler, as he did with Three Dog Night, but where the producer was able to take Hoyt Axton's "Joy to the World" to number one in a notable six weeks in 1971 with the vocal trio and labelmates of this group, the author of "The Pusher," Axton, is represented here by his "Snowblind Friend," a topic not likely to get Steppenwolf chart action. And that's the dilemma with Steppenwolf 7. This is a very worthwhile Steppenwolf recording, chock-full of their trademark sound, but nothing that was going to penetrate the Top 40. John Kay and guitarist Larry Byron (listed on the song credits as Larry Byrom and on the live album as Byron -- take your pick, he's a notable session player) co-write five of these nine tunes, "Ball Crusher" being what you expect, as is "Fat Jack," Byrom's only co-write here with new bassist George Biondo (and perhaps one of them on the vocals, as it certainly isn't John Kay). A nice, thick Goldy McJohn keyboard and solid beat still don't give this tune enough of an identity to be considered hit material. Kay and Byrom do a better job of heading in that direction with their "Foggy Mental Breakdown" and "Hippo Stomp," while Byrom's instrumental, "Earschplittenloudenboomer," had the attitude to be the next "Born to Be Wild," just not enough of the magic -- not explosive enough and no sneering Kay vocal to bring it home. What is happening here is that John Kay is heading in the direction of his 1972 solo disc, Forgotten Songs & Unsung Heroes, especially on the cover of Roth's "Forty Days and Forty Nights" and the country-ish "Snowblind Friend," which is the other side of Hoyt Axton's "The Pusher," the effect of cocaine on the victim/user. Kay and Byrom come back with more driving rock in "Who Needs Ya?," played well and listenable, but just missing the edge that gave "Rock Me" and "Magic Carpet Ride" their specialness. The blueish images of the bandmembers in a desolate area with two skulls above them on the album cover make an interesting statement. Steppenwolf 7 is an intriguing collection of album tracks showing the two sides of John Kay -- the hard rock singer and the artist setting his sights on interpreting other musical styles. It came at a moment when the band needed to redefine itself on the AM band, but opted instead to just put out a decent product and take few risks. © Joe Viglione /TiVo
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Rock - Uscito il 22 febbraio 1999 | Geffen

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Rock - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1971 | Geffen*

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Rock - Uscito il 01 marzo 1969 | Geffen

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Though only Steppewolf's third release in two years, 1969's AT YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY isn't as flawless and inspired as the band's two previous recordings. But the album still packed quite a wallop and spawned yet another rock-radio standard, "Rock Me." One of the band's more underrated albums, even among longtime fans, AT YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY contains typical Steppenwolf rockers like the aforementioned "Rock Me," "Jupiter Child," and "It's Never too Late." The experimental space rocker "Mango Juice" is comparable to Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. Soon after AT YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY, Steppenwolf's lineup began to resemble a game of musical chairs. Band members came and went, with founder/leader John Kay remaining the only constant member. © TiVo
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Rock - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1969 | Geffen

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The group's most political album, tackling then-current issues such as the Vietnam War, draft resisters, and the decay of justice in America. These were (and are) important topics, but these lumbering hard rock tunes were not an effective means to address them, politically or musically. It's hard to make agitprop and pop mix, but even judged simply within the context of Steppenwolf's records, it lacks memorable compositions, the unexceptional tunes burdened by lyrics that are too heavy-handed. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Uscito il 20 aprile 1999 | Geffen

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Rock - Uscito il 10 luglio 1971 | Geffen

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Rock - Uscito il 14 agosto 2015 | Geffen

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Rock - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1969 | Geffen

The group's most political album, tackling then-current issues such as the Vietnam War, draft resisters, and the decay of justice in America. These were (and are) important topics, but these lumbering hard rock tunes were not an effective means to address them, politically or musically. It's hard to make agitprop and pop mix, but even judged simply within the context of Steppenwolf's records, it lacks memorable compositions, the unexceptional tunes burdened by lyrics that are too heavy-handed. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Uscito il 01 settembre 1975 | Epic - Legacy

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Pop - Uscito il 29 gennaio 1968 | Geffen*

Steppenwolf entered the studio for their recording debut with a lot of confidence -- based on a heavy rehearsal schedule before they ever got signed -- and it shows on this album, a surprisingly strong debut album from a tight hard rock outfit who was obviously searching for a hook to hang their sound on. The playing is about as loud and powerful as anything being put out by a major record label in 1968, though John Kay's songwriting needed some development before their in-house repertory would catch up with their sound and musicianship. On this album, the best material came from outside the ranks of the active bandmembers: "Born to Be Wild" by ex-member Mars Bonfire, which became not only a chart-topping high-energy anthem for the counterculture (a status solidified by its use in Dennis Hopper's movie Easy Rider the following year), but coined the phrase heavy metal, thus giving a genre-specific name to the brand of music that the band played (and which was already manifesting itself in the work of bands like Vanilla Fudge and the just-emerging Led Zeppelin); the Don Covay soul cover "Sookie, Sookie," which, as a single by the new group, actually got played on some soul stations until they found out that Steppenwolf was white; two superb homages to Chess Records, in the guise of "Berry Rides Again," written (though "adapted" might be a better word) by Kay based on the work of Chuck Berry, and the Willie Dixon cover "Hoochie Coochie Man"; and Hoyt Axton's "The Pusher," an anti-drug song turned into a pounding six-minute tour de force by the band. The rest, apart from the surprisingly lyrical rock ballad "A Girl I Knew," is by-the-numbers hard rock that lacked much except a framework for their playing; only "The Ostrich" ever comes fully to life among the other originals, but the songs would catch up with the musicianship the next time out. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Pop - Uscito il 01 maggio 1976 | Epic - Legacy

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Rock - Uscito il 01 novembre 1968 | Geffen*

The group's second album was virtually a re-creation of its predecessor, only slightly more sophisticated in its range of songs and the manner of playing them, and the in-house writing had improved, though the latter also became highly derivative. Steppenwolf the Second embraces everything from hard rock to psychedelia to blues, and the band is in excellent form, playing very hard and edgy, except on the deliberately lyrical, reflective "Spiritual Fantasy," a rare acoustic number for the group. Much more to the point of the group was the single "Magic Carpet Ride," the ultimate psychedelic pop dance number of the decade, and the marijuana anthem "Don't Step on the Grass, Sam," the pounding "28," and the album-opener "Faster Than the Speed of Life." Side two of the original LP was a great achievement in its own right, opening with "Magic Carpet Ride," which leads into a nonstop extended array of hard-rocking numbers, mostly in a blues idiom: "Disappointment Number (Unknown)," "Lost and Found by Trial and Error," "Hodge Podge, Strained Through a Leslie," and "Resurrection." The playing was as good as the first album, and though there's nothing quite comparable to "Born to Be Wild" here in terms of cultural impact, the level of the surrounding numbers is higher. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Rock - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1969 | Geffen

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The group's most political album, tackling then-current issues such as the Vietnam War, draft resisters, and the decay of justice in America. These were (and are) important topics, but these lumbering hard rock tunes were not an effective means to address them, politically or musically. It's hard to make agitprop and pop mix, but even judged simply within the context of Steppenwolf's records, it lacks memorable compositions, the unexceptional tunes burdened by lyrics that are too heavy-handed. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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CD11,49 €

Rock - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1974 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Uscito il 05 dicembre 2019 | G Records

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Pop - Uscito il 01 marzo 1969 | Geffen*

Though only Steppewolf's third release in two years, 1969's AT YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY isn't as flawless and inspired as the band's two previous recordings. But the album still packed quite a wallop and spawned yet another rock-radio standard, "Rock Me." One of the band's more underrated albums, even among longtime fans, AT YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY contains typical Steppenwolf rockers like the aforementioned "Rock Me," "Jupiter Child," and "It's Never too Late." The experimental space rocker "Mango Juice" is comparable to Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. Soon after AT YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY, Steppenwolf's lineup began to resemble a game of musical chairs. Band members came and went, with founder/leader John Kay remaining the only constant member. © TiVo
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Rock - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1969 | Geffen*