STEPPENWOLF – ” The ABC/Dunhill Singles Collection ” (2-CD Set)

Posted: April 15, 2021 in MUSIC
Steppenwolf The ABC/Dunhill Singles Collection (2-CD Set)

What was the hardest-rocking band ever to notch three Top Ten hits? For our money, it’s Steppenwolf. Formed from the Canadian band The Sparrow (including Dennis Edmonton a.k.a. Mars Bonfire), and led by vocalist John Kay, Steppenwolf scored with “Born to Be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Rock Me” in the space of nine months back in 1968-1969, and hit the charts eleven more times up though the mid-‘70s.

Often tagged as a biker band—mostly due to their prominent presence on the soundtrack to Easy Rider—Steppenwolf was actually a socially-conscious, highly political outfit, never more so than on their controversial LP Monster, one of 14 charting albums released by the band over a 20-year period. This ability to enjoy commercial success on both the single and album fronts puts them in a very rare category in the annals of rock and roll; and, unsurprisingly, their albums have been well represented in the CD reissue era.

Their singles, however, have largely been unavailable on CD in their original 45 mixes, as the tapes for the singles have long been missing (legend has it Dunhill label chief Jay Lasker discarded all the label’s multi-track tapes and mono masters after having deemed them too expensive to store). But, just like on our critically-acclaimed Grass Roots singles set, engineer Aaron Kannowski has, after a worldwide search, rounded up the best sources available and put together a two-CD set that doesn’t just include the A and B-side of every Steppenwolf single on the ABC/Dunhill label (including, for the first time ever, a decent-sounding “Magic Carpet Ride”), but of every John Kay solo single as well! And, speaking of John Kay, he sat down with co-producer Ed Osborne for a thorough, track-by-track review for the liner notes (John also requested that we use the album version of “Monster” rather than the single version, because the single is such a pieced-together “Frankenstein” job…pun intended). At 38 tracks, and featuring photos by long-time band photographers Henry Diltz and Tom O’Neal nee Gundelfinger, this is the ultimate Steppenwolf collection—one long dreamed of by the band’s fans—and it’s finally yours after years of preparation from Real Gone Music!

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