Album: The ABC/Dunhill Singles Collection
Label: Real Gone Music
Release Date: 08/14/2015
One of the many calamities of the robotically insidious classic rock format is that most of today’s listeners who aren’t deaf or dead know Steppenwolf for only two songs (both overly overplayed songs appear on Disc 1 as tracks 5 & 7.) And I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong. Sure, they weren’t the Byrds, the Beatles, the Beach Boys or the Stones, but they weren’t Slade or the Bay City Rollers either. They could be heavy handed in their message that America is/was a f**ked up place, but they were right, and had John Kay’s apocalyptic growl and the psychedelic blues/metal wildfire sound to prove it. And yes, the band had pretty well run its course by 1972, but so had Creedence Clearwater Revival, another band that blew up the charts between ’68 and the onset of the ’70’s.
So Real Gone begins to do the band justice. “Sookie Sookie,” “Rock Me,” “Jupiter Child,” “Move Over,” “Power Play,” “Snow Blind Friend.” Including the LP version of “Monster” was a genius stroke too. All great, very radio playable tracks buried by some Dick Cheney-like artificial intelligence in the sky, calculating playlists only its bits ‘n bytes consciousness can handle. Blow the whole frikkin thing up and begin again was the band’s credo. Like then and now, I fully agree.
– Mike Jurkovic