Throwback Thread: Steppenwolf

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

On Monster, a 1969 masterpiece, Steppenwolf ditched much of the carefree, Summer of Love vibe that characterized their biggest hits, namely "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Born to Be Wild," and turned to a scathing critique of American greed, ignorance and cultural hegemony.

Flower power hadn't completely died to John Kay and co., but they'd seen through much of its false, uneasy sheen. Tracks like "Power Play" found the group exploring topics far headier than how fun it is to ride a motorcycle -- and the group's music wisely foreshadowed the hippie collapse that was already underway just before the turn of the decade.

Even with their trademark aquatic organs and bluesy riffs, the group sounds throughout this album like Wyatt and Bill at the end of a long, unsettling ride.