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Steppenwolf the Second

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(17 Reviews)

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  • 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