‘For Ladies Only’: Steppenwolf’s Proto-Feminist Statement

The song was the title track single from the band’s last new album before they split in 1972, ahead of a successful reunion.

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Steppenwolf ‘For Ladies Only’ artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Steppenwolf ‘For Ladies Only’ artwork - Courtesy: UMG

In the early months of 1971, Steppenwolf celebrated what, by then, was three years of unbroken success by releasing the Gold: Their Great Hits compilation. Within a few weeks, it lived up to its name by becoming their latest gold album.

By September of that year, the Los Angeles rockers were returning to studio work with the release of their sixth LP For Ladies Only. The concept of the record was as bold, for the times, as its title, conceived as a concept album on the subject of feminism.

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As it turned out, Steppenwolf’s initial heyday was drawing to a close, and For Ladies Only became their last album of new material before they split in 1972, ahead of a successful reunion two years later. But the album (produced, like its predecessor Steppenwolf 7, by Richie Podolor) still gave the band some new chart activity, reaching No.54 and two singles from it appearing on the Hot 100.

Hot 100 activity

“Born To Be Wild” writer Mars Bonfire’s song “Ride With Me” previewed the album in the summer and reached No.52, backed with another track from the new set, “Black Pit.” Then on November 6, 1971, an edit of the title song from For Ladies Only took its bow. A band composition credited to Kent Henry, John Kay, Goldy McJohn, and Bonfire’s brother Jerry Edmonton, it opened on the Billboard chart at No.88, right next to Diana Ross’ “I’m Still Waiting” and five places higher than The Who’s Who’s Next excerpt “Behind Blue Eyes.”

Listen to uDiscover Music’s Steppenwolf Best Of playlist.

The single would only reach No.64, but happily it didn’t prove to be Steppenwolf’s chart swansong: that later reunion would give them a new Top 30 hit in 1974 with “Straight Shootin’ Woman.”

Buy or stream the full-length version of “For Ladies Only” on the album of the same name.



  1. Trudy

    May 17, 2017 at 12:50 am

    Thanks Fri,eydGrem,Not very many Beach Haven rentals available in our budget for the dates we want. How are Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Wildwood? Ive never been to the shore- just moved here last year.Thanks in advance again

  2. Rik_K

    October 7, 2021 at 4:42 am

    Not quite Steppenwolf’s finest album, but maybe number 4. The album version of the title track has one of the finest piano solos to be heard in all of rock. And the production qualities of the album are really breathtaking, meaning that this old album never sounds stale or dated.

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