1960's

Steppenwolf (Self Titled)

"Steppenwolf" was first recorded at United/Western Studio's in Los Angeles. We didn't care for the results at all. Through my friend Morgan Cavett, we discovered The American Recording Studio, with engineers Richard Podolor and Bill Cooper. Everything fit together. They, along with Gabriel Mekler our producer made for some very exciting recording sessions. We were knocked out by what we heard. It was everything we hoped for. We recorded onto an eight track machine through a tube board using a live echo chamber that Richie and Bill had built, which was one of the best live chambers in Los Angeles at that time. We recorded seven songs the first day and four more the next. The majority of the vocals were recorded on the third day and the album was mixed on day four. The entire album cost around $9,000.00 to make. We thought it sounded pretty damn good and in my opinion it still holds up to this day. Someone once said, "You have your entire life to get ready for the first album, and no time for the next one". That was certainly true in our case. - John Kay

Track List
1. SOOKIE SOOKIE (D. Covay / S. Cropper)
2. EVERYBODY'S NEXT ONE (J.Kay / G. Mekler)
3. BERRY RIDES AGAIN (J.Kay)
4. HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN (W. Dixon)
5. BORN TO BE WILD (M. Bonfire)
6. YOUR WALL'S TOO HIGH (J.Kay)
7. DESPERATION (J.Kay) 8. THE PUSHER (H. Axton)
9. A GIRL I KNEW (J. Kay /M. Cavett)
10. TAKE WHAT YOU NEED (J. Kay / G. Mekler)
11. THE OSTRICH (J. Kay)

Steppenwolf (Self Titled)
Steppenwolf (Self Titled)
Steppenwolf (Self Titled)
Steppenwolf (Self Titled)

Steppenwolf (Self Titled)

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COMPACT DISC.

1968—Landmark album that unleashed The Wolf upon the world! Songs: Sookie Sookie, Everybody's Next One, Berry Rides Again, Hootchie Cootchie Man, Born To Be Wild, Your Wall's Too High, Desperation, The Pusher, A Girl I Knew, Take What You Need and The Ostrich.

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The Second

"The Second" was a record full of experimentation. It was started a few short months after the first album was released. At that time we were contractually obligated to record two albums a year. That pressure, along with our greatly increased touring schedule, TV show appearances, etc, quickly had us behind schedule. We had a number of songs that had not made their way on the first album, plus some new tunes I had written or co-written with Gabriel Mekler. Mars Bonfire, who had contributed “Born To Be Wild” to the first album brought us “Faster Than The Speed of Life”, which Jerry Edmonton (our drummer) sang. Since Mars was at the studio to show us his new song, he wound up playing rhythm guitar on “Magic Carpet Ride”. Among the things that stand out the most about these sessions were that “Don’t Step On The Grass Sam”, was a whole lot of fun to record and of course “Magic Carpet Ride” with all it’s experimentation in the instrumental section of the tune. Other favorites of mine are “None of Your Doing” and the blues suite on side two, “Disappointment Number Unknown” which comprised most of side two of the original vinyl release. Recording of this project took longer than the first album. One reason was American Recordings improved it's recording capabilities by upgrading from an 8 to a 16 track system, which meant we could add additional instruments, sound effects, etc. All in all, it took about 6 weeks to record, which by today’s standards, is still pretty good time. - John Kay

Track List
1. FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIFE (M. Bonfire)
2. TIGHTEN UP YOUR WIG (J. Kay)
3. NONE OF YOUR DOING (G. Mekler / J. Kay)
4. SPIRITUAL FANTASY (J.Kay)
5. DON'T STEP ON THE GRASS SAM (J.Kay)
6. 28 (G. Mekler)
7. MAGIC CARPET RIDE (J. Kay / R. Moreve)
8. DISAPPOINTMENT NUMBER (Unknown) (J.Kay)
9. LOST AND FOUND BY TRIAL AND ERROR (J.Kay)
10. HODGE PODGE STRAINED THROUGH A LESLIE (J.Kay)
11. RESURRECTION (J.Kay)
12. REFLECTIONS (G. Mekler / J. Kay)

The Second
The Second

The Second

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COMPACT DISC

1968—The follow-up to their enormously successful first release. This classic contains, among other highlights, the full-length version of “Magic Carpet Ride,” everybody's favorite, “Don't Step On The Grass Sam,” and John Kay's original blues suite. Other songs: Faster Than The Speed Of Life, Tighten Up Your Wig, None Of Your Doing, Spiritual Fantasy, 28, Disappointment Number (Unknown), Lost and Found By Trial And Error, Hodge Podge Strained Through A Leslie, Resurrection, Reflections.


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At Your Birthday Party

The recording sessions for "At Your Birthday Party" started to show the wear and tear of the road on all of us. In addition, some band members for the first time, tried their hand at songwriting and I had run out of tunes to contribute. This album nevertheless includes some of my favorite Steppenwolf tracks such as "Happy Birthday", "Jupiter's Child" and "Rock Me". Nick St. Nicholas (who had replaced our original bassist Rushton Moreve) had an idea for a song titled "It's Never Too Late", which triggered me to work out the rest of the song. That one is an all time favorite of mine. Gabriel Mekler (our Producer) had his hands full trying to be fair to all band members and stay neutral to allow us to work out the difficulties on our own. The fact that the song "Rock Me" (which had been written for the soundtrack of the motion picture "Candy") had already been a hit single before it was included in the "Birthday album" may have reduced the impact of the album because the initial sales of the LP were not what we had hoped for, although over the years, it became quite popular with many of our fans. - John Kay

Track List
1. DON'T CRY (G. Mekler)
2. CHICKEN WOLF (M. Monarch/J. Kay)
3. LOVELY METER (G. Mekler)
4. ROUND AND DOWN (M. Monarch)
5. IT'S NEVER TOO LATE (J. Kay/N. St. Nicholas)
6. SLEEPING DREAMING (N. St. Nicholas)
7. JUPITER CHILD (M. Monarch/J. Kay/J. Edmonton)
8. SHE'LL BE BETTER (G. Mekler/J. Edmonton)
9. CAT KILLER (J. Goadsby)
10. ROCK ME (J. Kay)
11. GOD FEARING MAN (M. Monarch)
12. MANGO JUICE (J. Edmonton/M. Monarch/J. Goadsby/N. St. Nicholas)
13. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (G. Mekler) 

At Your Birthday Party
At Your Birthday Party
At Your Birthday Party

At Your Birthday Party

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COMPACT DISC

1969—The Wolf's third album includes the hit “Rock Me” from the motion picture soundtrack Candy. Other highlights include: “It's Never Too Late,” “Jupiter's Child,” “Chicken Wolf,” and “Happy Birthday.” Songs: Don't Cry, Lovely Meter, Round and Round, Sleeping Dreaming, She'll Be Better, Cat Killer, God Fearing Man, Mango Juice. 

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Early Steppenwolf

Before Steppenwolf was formed in 1967 several of it's members had been in the Canadian rock band known as the "Sparrow". The Sparrow had migrated from Toronto, to New York City to Los Angeles, and finally to the San Francisco bay area. Amongst various venues there, which included the Avalon and Fillmore ballrooms, the Sparrow played a club called the Matrix. In 1966, unbeknownst to the group, the club manager recorded a couple of the Sparrow shows. These recordings were released by ABC Dunhill in 1969 because we were busy touring and were not ready for the next studio album. While the recording quality of the "Early Steppenwolf" is not state of the art, it nevertheless contained some good blues covers and what is truly a collectors item, a 20 minute experimental version of "The Pusher." - John Kay

Track List
1. POWER PLAY (John Kay )
2. HOWLIN' FOR MY DARLIN' (Chester Burnett/Willie Dixon )
3. I'M GOIN' UPSTAIRS (John Lee Hooker )
4. CORINA CORINA (Arranged and Adapted by John Kay)
5. TIGHTEN UP YOUR WIG (John Kay)
6. THE PUSHER (H. Axton)

Early Steppenwolf
Early Steppenwolf

Early Steppenwolf

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