Steppenwolf proved in 1970 that they weren’t just born to be wild, they were born to be live. Two years after the Los Angeles band made their huge breakthrough with a self-titled first album, they made the US chart with the Steppenwolf Live set, on their way to what became their final American top ten appearance.
Listen to Steppenwolf Live right now.
The live disc was mainly recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Centre on the Steppenwolf tour to support their hit studio LP Monster. The set included the band’s best-loved material, such as ‘Magic Carpet Ride,’ ‘The Pusher’ and indeed ‘Born To Be Wild.’ Some studio elements were added to the track listing to expand it to double album length and, controversially, certain non-live songs were given a concert feel.
The band were out live again in the weeks and months after the live album appeared, including at various festival dates in the summer of 1970. Not only did they play at the New York Pop Festival, and the Summer Festival For Peace at Shea Stadium in New York, but they crossed the Atlantic for the Bath Festival, in the English west country. Steppenwolf were on the opening day of the event, 27 June, where they shared the bill with Pink Floyd, John Mayall, Canned Heat, Johnny Winter, Fairport Convention, Keef Hartley and many others.
Steppenwolf Live entered Billboard’s Top LPs chart on 18 April 1970, rising to No. 6 in May. It was a long runner, with a 53-week tally on the survey that the band only bettered with the 87 weeks of their debut release. But in the non-stop rock world of those days, within just seven months of the live album’s chart entry, they were back with their new studio album, 7.
Steppenwolf Live can be bought here.
Follow the official Steppenwolf Best Of playlist.