From 1968 to 1972, Steppenwolf had become one of the most popular rock and roll bands in the world. John Kay left the band in 1972. In 1974, the band reformed and released a series of albums until they broke up once again in 1976. Over the years John Kay has released solo albums while also issuing new music under the name John Kay and Steppenwolf.
Our top 10 Steppenwolf Songs list takes a look at the band’s glory years during the early 1970’s. During that time period, they had become one of the most important bands in history while delivering authentic rock and roll that served as a soundtrack for the tumultuous times of the Vietnam Era.
# 10 – A Girl I Knew
We start out our Top 10 Steppenwolf Songs list with the band’s first ever single release. The song “A Girl I Knew,” was released as a single in 1967. The song would appear a few months later on the band’s debut album entitled Steppenwolf in 1968.
# 9 – Who Needs Ya
The song “Who Needs Ya,” was released on the band’s seventh album titled appropriately Steppenwolf 7. The song was written by John Kay and Larry Byrom. “Who Needs Ya,” was released as the album’s only single. The song’s killer opening guitar lick was simply to die for. Great track, and one of the most underrated Steppenwolf songs in their catalog.
# 8 – Move Over
In 1969, Steppenwolf released their fourth album called Monster. The first single released from the album entitled “Move Over,” had a bass line very reminiscent of the great Motown track “Get Ready.” It’s interesting when listening back to this great rock music how all musical genres at the time significantly influenced each other. Many rock bands like Steppenwolf and Creedence Clearwater Revival seemed to be heavily influenced by the Motown sound in their rock rhythms.
# 7 – Chicken Wolf
“Chicken Wolf, “may not be one of the most popular Steppenwolf songs. but in our book it’s one of their best. The song was released on the band’s third album entitled At Your Birthday Party. The album was released in 1969.
# 6 – Hey Lawdy Mama
“Hey Lawdy Mama,” was a single released by Steppenwolf in 1970. The song can be found on many of the greatest hits vinyl albums and cds that were released over the years by the band’s record company.
# 5 – The Pusher
As we continue our Top 10 Steppenwolf songs list, we turn to one of the band’s most popular songs. The iconic track “The Pusher,” was released on the band’s 1968 debut album entitled Steppenwolf. Along with the legendary song “Born To Be Wild,” the track “The Pusher,” was also included on the Easy Rider Soundtrack.
# 4 – Straight Shootin’ Woman
If you’re a long-time Steppenwolf fan, odds are this is one of your favorite Steppenwolf songs. If you are just a casual fan, you may have never heard of this smoking track. Now you have!
# 3 – Rock Me
There really is no doubt as to which are the most popular three Steppenwolf songs. With many bands, the most popular songs do not always translate to the band’s best songs. However, with Steppenwolf, it would be hard to argue that the next three were not their best. The great song “Rock Me,” was released on the band’s third album entitled At Your Birthday Party. It was the album’s lead-off single.
# 2 – Magic Carpet Ride
When Steppenwolf was faced with the task of having to follow up one of the biggest rock and roll songs of all time in “Born To Be Wild,” they stepped up to the plate and hit one way out of the park with “Magic Carpet Ride.” The song was released on the band’s second album brilliantly titled The Second. “Magic Carpet Ride,” reached the number three position on the Billboard music charts in 1969.
# 1 – Born To Be Wild
If we were to define the classic rock era of the late 1960’s by songs, “Born To Be Wild,” would be one of the most important tracks selected in defining an era of music. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and The Doors all defined that era of music in so many ways. Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild,” stood with the best of them.
Updated March 17, 2022
Top 10 Steppenwolf Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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