From the Vault...


"Steppenwolf 7"

© MCA Records

Year of Release: 1970

track listing
  • Ball Crusher
  • Forty Days And
    Forty Nights
  • Fat Jack
  • Renegade
  • Foggy Mental Breakdown
  • Snowblind Friend
  • Who Needs Ya
  • EarSchplitten-
  • Hippo Stomp

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    "Steppenwolf 7"

    Steppenwolf's seventh album was released in 1970, entitled Steppenwolf 7. Most rock bands would keep the chronological numbering system in their album titles; Led Zeppelin did it with their first four albums, Steppenwolf also did this with their first two albums. After a while, the California band went back to this numbering system only for their seventh album.

    Surprisingly, there are no real big radio hits from this album, but I'm sure some small underground FM radio station back in 1970 was playing some of the tunes from this album rather quite heavily, being the big fan of Steppenwolf as the station may be. Like their previous albums, the band mixes hard rock with blues, and this album, being that there were no big hits, is quite an earful; a well-done release.

    Lead by lead singer John Kay, by the time of this release, the band had gone through many personnel changes. But the hard rockin' blues is still there in Steppenwolf's music. Ball Crusher starts out the album with great energy, featuring a bluesy feel with the wah-wah guitar, mixed with the hard rock style. Forty Days And Forty Nights is a great bouncy tune, that sounds like a slowed down version of an Allman Brothers' tune that I can't remember the name of. But I can't help but sing out the lines from that Allman tune that goes: 'Cause there's a man down there; might be your man, I don't know, at the end of the main verses.

    Fat Jack was not sung by John Kay, (at least it sounds to me), but even so, it's another enjoyable rock/blues song. Renegade returns Kay on vocals, as this one slows down the pace a bit, based on the earlier hard rock tunes already heard. Who Needs Ya starts out as a hard rockin' Lynyrd Skynyrd tune, yet as it goes further, it's typical hard rock/blues Steppenwolf.

    Two other songs that were impressive were Snowblind Friend and the instrumental EarSchhplittenLoudEnBoomer.

    Snowblind Friend is another slow paced tune, as the song starts out sounding exactly like The Beatles' I've Got A Feeling. But the entire song doesn't sound like The Beatles tune, just the first few riffs of the intro. (Hmmm, Let It Be and Steppenwolf 7 were released in 1970; I wonder which one was released first in the year.) Also, Snowblind Friend could pass for as a country song.

    EarSchhplittenLoudEnBoomer is a different sounding Steppenwolf tune. It's bluesy, and (surprisingly) jazzy. Horns and keyboards are the main focus, with the guitars supplying the rhythms.

    Steppenwolf 7 brings out the 'biker' in all of us, as any Steppenwolf album does. This album will be enjoyed for the classic rock fan. John Kay is still performing today with a new lineup of Steppenwolf members, as they have released albums throughout the last 30(!) years. So, get your leathers out, rock and enjoy the heavy metal thunder of Steppenwolf -- Classic rock at its finest.

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    Previous Review: #559
    U2--Rattle And Hum
    Next Review: #561
    Triumph--Allied Forces