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

‘For Ladies Only’ 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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For Ladies Only Steppenwolf

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.

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.

‘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 6 November 1971, an edit of the title song from For Ladies Only took its bow. A band composition credited to Bonfire’s brother Jerry Edmonton, Kent Henry, John Kay and Goldy McJohn, 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.’

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.’

The full-length version of ‘For Ladies Only’ is on the album of the same name, which can be bought here.

Follow the official Steppenwolf Best Of playlist.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  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

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