Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Turn It Up! - Steppenwolf

  1. #1
    Sydney Nova Scotia

    Default Turn It Up! - Steppenwolf

    Attachment 107189

    "Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio
    Turn it up, that's enough, so you know it's got soul
    Radio, radio turn it up..."

    - Van Morrison

    The average length of the 45 rpm single is 3 minutes and 30 seconds...

    If you can't say what needs to be said in 3 minutes and 30 seconds then it probably isn't worth saying...

    "Turn It Up!" is a series about those classic tunes played on radio stations the world over that still live on over the airwaves of our memories and the artists who created them...


    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 (all formerly in Jack London & the Sparrows from Oshawa, Ontario). Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited by notices placed in Los Angeles-area record and musical instrument stores.

    Steppenwolf sold over 25 million records worldwide, released eight gold albums and 12 Billboard Hot 100 singles, of which six were top 40 hits, including three top 10 successes: "Born to Be Wild", "Magic Carpet Ride", and "Rock Me".

    Steppenwolf enjoyed worldwide success from 1968 to 1972, but clashing personalities led to the end of the core lineup. Today, John Kay is the only original member, having served as the lead singer since 1967.

    In 1965 John Kay joined the Sparrows, a popular Canadian band, and was followed by Goldy McJohn. The group eventually broke up.

    In 1968, Gabriel Mekler urged Kay to re-form the Sparrows and suggested the name change to Steppenwolf, inspired by Hermann Hesse's novel of the same name.

    Steppenwolf's first two singles were "A Girl I Knew" and "Sookie Sookie". The band finally rocketed to worldwide fame after their third single, "Born to Be Wild", was released in 1968, as well as their version of Hoyt Axton's "The Pusher". Both of these tunes were used prominently in the 1969 counterculture cult film "Easy Rider" (both titles originally had been released on the band's debut album).

    In the movie, "The Pusher" accompanies a drug deal, and Peter Fonda stuffing dollar bills into his Stars and Stripes-clad fuel tank, after which "Born to Be Wild" is heard in the opening credits, with Fonda and Dennis Hopper riding their Harley choppers through the America of the late 1960s. The song, which has been closely associated with motorcycles ever since, introduced to rock lyrics the signature term "heavy metal" (though not about a kind of music, but about a motorcycle: "I like smoke and lightning, heavy metal thunder, racin' with the wind...").

    Written by Sparrow guitarist Dennis Edmonton, who had begun using the pen name Mars Bonfire and inspired by a billboard roadside advertisement Bonfire liked which depicted a motorcycle tearing through the billboard artwork, the song had already reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1968. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. "Monster", which questioned US Vietnam War policy, was the band's most political album.

    The group's following albums had several more hit singles, including "Magic Carpet Ride" (which reached number three) from "The Second" and "Rock Me" (with its bridge lasting 1:06, which reached number 10) from "At Your Birthday Party".

    The band broke up after a farewell concert in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day, 1972.

    Steppenwolf reformed in 1974 with its core lineup of Kay, Edmonton, and McJohn, along with longtime bassist Biondo and newcomer Bobby Cochran, Eddie Cochran's nephew, on lead guitar.

    They broke up and reformed and broke up again and reformed again on what was apparently a weekly basis which continues to this very day...


    Peak US chart position in parenthesis -

    "Born To Be Wild" - 1968 - (# 2) - - (Live video)

    "The Pusher" - 1968 - (Did not chart) -

    "Magic Carpet Ride" - 1968 - (# 3) - - (Live video)

    "Rock Me" - 1967 - (# 10) - - (Live video)

    "Move Over" - 1969 - (# 31) -

    "Monster" - 1969 - (# 39) -

    "Straight Shootin' Woman" - 1974 - (# 29) -
    Last edited by Sydney Nova Scotia; Aug-28-2018 at 14:14.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Kampen (NL)
    Post Thanks / Like


    Born to be wild is an absolute classic, a killer song for the car, and also a karaoke favourite of mine.
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

  3. Likes N/A liked this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Worcestershire, England
    Post Thanks / Like


    All of the first few Steppenwolf albums have good stuff on them but they just didn't have enough in the locker to make a real killer one. The first and second albums were the strongest, I'd say - after that they started to run out of steam as their sound became more pro-forma hard rock.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

  5. Likes N/A liked this post
  6. #4
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Post Thanks / Like


    I love Steppenwolf, special Born to be wild, volume on 10 and singing along.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts