Steppenwolf were a mid to late sixties US hard rock outfit formed by vocalist/guitarist John Kay and, although they were based in California, the rest of the band were culled from a Canadian band called Sparrow. They had numerous hits, many of which were covered by many other bands over the years. "Born to be Wild", probably their best known track, was also the theme to the movie "Easy Rider". The band released their self-titled debut album on Stateside Records in 1968 and they never looked back for the next four years, attaining eight US gold albums. Kay split the band in 1972, after the "For Ladies Only" album, and rekindled Steppenwolf in 1974. Album releases were a bit sporadic at that stage, although when an album did surface, it was worth the wait. They split again in the early 80's and reformed once again in 1990. Since then, Kay has held on to the name and toured, using various backing musicians. This live album captures them at their very best, in front of a very appreciative and vocal crowd. They're apparently still around in some form or another, and are still playing live gigs. A new album would be most welcome at this stage, Mr.Kay! Sony Music, by the way, have re-released some of the band's later albums, such as ''Skull Duggery", "Hour of the Wolf" and "Slow Flux".  
  
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Biography by Bill Dahl & Cub Koda
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, named after the Herman Hesse novel. "Born to Be Wild," their third single on ABC-Dunhill, was immortalized on the soundtrack of Dennis Hopper's underground film classic Easy Rider. The song's reference to "heavy metal thunder" finally gave an assignable name to an emerging genre. Steppenwolf's second monster hit that year, the psychedelic "Magic Carpet Ride," and the follow-ups "Rock Me," "Move Over," and "Hey Lawdy Mama" further established the band's credibility on the hard-rock circuit. By the early '70s, Steppenwolf ran out of steam and disbanded. Kay continued to record solo, as other members put together ersatz versions of the band for touring purposes. During the mid 80s Kay re-formed his own version of Steppenwolf, grinding out his hits (and some new songs) at oldies shows. Nevertheless, they'll be remembered for generations to come for creating one of the ultimate gas'n'go rock anthems of all time. 

 

John Kay
Mars Bonfire
George Biondo
Bobby Cochran
Jerry Edmonton
Goldy McJohn
Michael Monarch
Nick St. Nicholas

The James Gang
Ten Years After
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pooky Tooth
Deep Purple
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Blues Magoos
Free
Cream
Blind Faith
Jimi Hendrix
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Grand Funk Railroad
Foghat
Blue Cheer
Beck, Bogert & Appice
SRC

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Steppenwolf - 1968 - Steppenwolf - 4/5

Steppenwolf - 1968 - Steppenwolf the Second - 4.5/5

Steppenwolf - 1969 - At Your Birthday Party - 3/5

Steppenwolf - 1969 - Monster - 2/5

Steppenwolf - 1970 - Steppenwolf 7 - 2/5

Steppenwolf - 1971 - For Ladies Only - 2/5

Steppenwolf - 1974 - Slow Flux - 4/5

Steppenwolf - 1975 - Hour of the Wolf - 2.5/5

Steppenwolf - 1976 - Skullduggery - 3/5

Steppenwolf - 1982 - Wolftracks - 2.5/5

Steppenwolf - 1984 - Paradox - 2.5/5

Steppenwolf - 1985 - Magic Carpet Ride - 2.5/5

Steppenwolf - 1987 - Rock & Roll Rebels - 3/5

Steppenwolf - 1990 - Rise & Shine - 2.5/5

Rating

 

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