"Epic Years: 1974-1976" (Esoteric; 2022)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This is less of a review than an introduction to a couple of box sets worth your attention.

This set, "Epic Years: 1974-1979," includes three discs, which make up all of the band's recordings during their time on the Epic label. Included are:
"Slow Flux" (1974), their first album for Epic.
"Hour of the Wolf (1975), including two bonus tracks from 1975: "Angeldrawers," a B-side, and a mono promotional mix of "Caroline (Are You Ready for the World)."
Skullduggery (1976), their third and final album for Epic.

The set also includes a 40-page, illustrated booklet 73 photos, lyrics to all the songs and a new essay by Steppenwolf aficionado Jim Christopulos. 

I'm not sure whether this set was re-mastered, but it still sounds great. There may be no soon-to-be-legendary tracks like "Born to Be Wild" or "Magic Carpet Ride" to be found here, but the music still holds up well. Plus, the price is right if you're looking to complete your Steppenwolf collection.

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"Magic Carpet Ride: The Dunhill / ABC Years 1967-1971" (Esoteric; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This set, "Magic Carpet Ride: The Dunhill/ABC Years," contains a whopping eight, count 'em, eight CDs from the legendary band Steppenwolf. All are remastered from the original master tapes. Albums include the following:
"Steppenwolf" (1968), featuring "Born to Be Wild," a tune that went onto to become a classic and one that I consider one of the greatest songs of all time.
"The Second" (1968), featuring "Magic Carpet Ride," another song that would go on to become a classic and is featured in many films and TV shows, including "Star Trek: First Contact."
"At Your Birthday Party" (1969), the first record featuring Nick St. Nicholas on bass and the last to feature Michael Monarch.
"Early Steppenwolf" (1969), recorded live at The Matrix in San Francisco, featuring a twenty-minute version of "The Pusher."
"Monster" (1969), with themes regarding America's involvement in the Vietnam War.
"Steppenwolf Live" (1970), a double disc live album.
"Steppenwolf 7" (1970), another studio album.
"For Ladies Only" (1971), their last for Dunhill/ABC.

The remastered sound quality of these discs is amazing and it's also truly remarkable how the music still stands strong today. Plus, the price is right if you're looking to complete your Steppenwolf collection.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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