CD Review: John Kay & Steppenwolf – Steppenwolf at 50

The Grammy for best album cover goes to….John Kay and Steppenwolf. Without question the artwork of the year.  The market has not been super-saturated with reissues and repacking of Steppenwolf.  Having said that it, it becomes easy to overlook a band that has been alive and kicking (hard) for 50 years.  Steppenwolf at 50 is a 3 CD collect that goes way beyond US radio staples “Born To Be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride”.  In fact the two songs are not presented in their original form.  What you do get is some overlooked John Kay & Co songs from their 80’s album, some deeper tracks from the 60’s and 70’s and an entire disk of the band live in the 90’s.  There are collaborations (Grandmaster Flash and the band), cover songs (“Drift Away”) and probably best of all….nothing obvious.  If you a listener that thinks you know Steppenwolf from your terrestrial radio, you don’t know this band…at all.

DISK # 1:
Screaming Night Hog
From Here To There Eventually (alternate version)
Angel Drawers (previously unreleased)
For Ladies Only
You Win Again
My Sportin’ Life
Drift Away
Straight Shootin’ Woman
Caroline (Are You Ready For The Outlaw World)
Hold Your Head Up
Hot Night In A Cold Town
Give Me News I Can Use
Ain’t Nothin’ Like It Used To Be
Magic Carpet Ride (Performed With Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five)

DISK # 2:

Hold On (Never Give Up Never Give In)
Rock & Roll Rebels
Give Me Life
Rise & Shine
The Wall
Rock & Roll War
Feed The Fire
Rock Steady
Down In New Orleans
Business Is Business
Compared To What (Previously Unreleased)
Labor Of Love (Previously Unreleased)
For The Women In My Life

Disk # 3:
(All Tracks Recorded Live: 1992-1995)

Move Over
Rock Me
I’m Movin’ On
Sookie Sookie
I’m Your Hootchie Cootchie Man
Hey Lawdy Mama
Hey Lawdy Mama
Ride With Me
Snowblind Friend
Magic Carpet Ride
Born To Be Wild
The Pusher