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(18 Reviews)

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  • Due to the possibility that some of the other reviews may have been a bit long-winded, I will state the essential. Along with Blue Cheer, Iron Butterfly, and at times Vanilla Fudge, Steppenwolf was an innovative hard rock group unfortunately not known today. On many songs, the organ, and fuzz create a unique massive sound that was before Zeppelin, and a full two years before Black Sabbath. My fiend of a friend likes calling this release “loud and dumb,” but I certainly will not go that far. Although the lyrics would improve for Steppenwolf, this album is one of their best, and is essential for someone interested in the roots of heavy metal. It is a good listen, with none of what I would refer to as “obviously inefficient tracks.” Particularly good are the covers – the Muddy Waters standard is one of the heaviest versions of slow blues ever recorded. John Kay’s “Desperation” is a strong heavy rhythm and blues styled track. Hoyt Axton’s “The Pusher” is also superb, with freaked out guitars, and a fierce vocal from Kay. This album also contains one of the most overplayed, though great songs, “Born to Be Wild.” If you are the kind of person that buys albums, as opposed to best of compilations, this is one to get for sure.

    Posted on January 27, 2010