The Second album cover
The Second



Steppenwolf’s second and most commercially successful album was released mere months after “Born To Be Wild,” from their self-titled debut, brought them nationwide fame and a permanent spot in the biker-rock pantheon. It contains a second, almost as memorable hit in “Magic Carpet Ride,” but it’s their jammier side, reflected on “Tighten Up Your Wig,” which featured frontman John Kay’s lyrics set to the music of “Messin’ With The Kid” by blues harmonica wizard Junior Wells (acknowledged in the lyrics: “But just before we go/I’d like to mention Junior Wells/We stole this thing from him/And he from someone else/Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, he plays the blues like few before/May he play forevermore”), and the five-track medley on Side Two, that hinted at the grimy blues-psych direction they’d travel on subsequent releases.

Phil Freeman

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