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Steppenwolf the Second

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(17 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • This second outing for one of the Sixties most original and raucously independent group (of all those emerging in the tumult and upheaval of the times); Steppenwolf stood alone, showing their unique flair for defining and extending what was the beginning of heavy metal rock, all accomplished with their iconoclastic, staccato style. There never indeed was another band like Steppenwolf; so original and unique were both their songs and their instrumental accompaniments, not to mention John Kay’s unusual vocal style, as well. All in all, a most creative and original force in the late sixties rock music scene. Here they show why they became so famous so fast, with a song cycle disguised as several separate songs. Starting with “Faster Than The Speed Of Life” and continuing with “(You’d Better) Tighten Up Your Wig”, they show the blend of self-deprecating humor and social commentary crystallized like so much methadrine in their songs, trudging on through excellent songs like “None Of Your Doing” and a flight of fantasy in “Spiritual Fantasy”, ending the cycle with a wonderfully raucous “Don’t Step On The Grass, Sam”, a wry and satirical look at the silly and incompetent police efforts to stop widespread casual pot use. The second cycle begins with a tender albeit humorous look at what it really means to approach age thirty in a subculture that distrusts anyone over that age. Followed by their monster hit, “Magic Carpet Ride”, and a nice amalgam of several stories with a story with four interrelated melodies from Disappointment Number (Unknown all the way through the resurrection and reflection at the end of the album. This is a terrific album, and one any real rock fan would want to have in his or her anthology of rock’s best. Enjoy!

    Posted on December 5, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If I could have only one original Steppenwolf album to remember them by, it would be this second effort by them. Far from being a sophomore slump, this was a peerless demonstration of just how talented a group they really were. There is a reason that the sixties rock group Steppenwolf still sells so strongly some thirty years after their arrival on the sixties rock scenes with a quick succession of powerful heavy rock hits like “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Born To Be Wild”. I’ve always admired lead vocalist John Kay’s singing style, songwriting and lyrical talents, and his outspoken personal warnings against the dangers of drug excess with songs like “The Pusher” and “Snowblind Friend”. He was anti-drug when it was anything but fashionable to so cautious and careful. And Kay also knew his way around a melody, and whether he was making insightful social commentary in a number of songs like “Monster” and “Draft Resister” or just plain old wailing in terrific, edgy songs like “Never Too Late (To Start All Over Again)” or “Twenty Eight”, he used the combination of his lovely lyrics, driving melodies, and wild rock improvisation to create a whole rafter of memorable, insightful and very appealing rock songs. Most of them are here, and those that aren’t you can find in their other albums. Steppenwolf quickly earned the undying support and admiration of their original fans, and are finding new listeners through terrific compilation albums like this must-own collection of their hits. Enjoy

    Posted on December 5, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Steppenwolf the Second may be Steppenwolf’s best overall album. It entirely features original material, without any ineffective tracks. This album is known for the excellent but overplayed Magic Carpet Ride, yet there were plenty of other highlights. The opening track rocks hard, and could have been another biker anthem along the lines of Born to Be Wild. There were plenty of other highlights including the rocking Don’t Step On the Grass Sam, creative ballad Spiritual Fantasy, and well structured pop songs such as None of Your Doing and 28. 28 may have been partially hindered by Edmonton’s sub-par vocals, but the song itself was a quality composition in lyrics, melody, and chord selection. A successful lengthy blues suite dominated the majority of the second side, before segueing into the hangover like final track, Reflections. This album is uniformly strong, and recommended for those who buy albums, rather than best-of compilations.

    Posted on December 5, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’m a 13 year old floridian who’s in to rock. I never thought I’d like my parent s generation of music. I was wrong. Steppenwolf has everything. A hard sound to a punk sound to a pop sound everything! guitar solos! BuyBuyBuyBuyBuyBuyBuy!

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Besides the well known Magic Carpet Ride the first seven songs are more or less as appealing, although more simple. One exception is Don’t Step On The Grass Sam, a fine example of protest in their time. But wait! The best is yet to come! Starting from the eighth track, Disappointment Number (unknown), to the end is a medley that will slowly lift you off the ground and take you on a real carpet ride of rustic slide guitar and rippin’ blues. A ten minute trip I highly recommend.

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now