"Monster," Steppenwolf's 1969 album, transcends musical boundaries, echoing the socio-political turbulence of the era. With new guitarist Larry Byrom, the band delves into Vietnam War dissent, crafting a sonic tapestry reflecting the countercultural revolution. Produced by Gabriel Mekler and engineered by Richard Podolor and Bill Cooper at the American Recording Company, the album's diverse tracks, from blues to psychedelia, encapsulate the zeitgeist. The 12" LP's gatefold cover visually mirrors the chaos, cementing "Monster" as a timeless musical journey through 1969's cultural upheaval.


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"Monster" Album Description:

In the vibrant musical landscape of 1969, Steppenwolf, a rock band known for their rebellious spirit and anthemic sound, released an album that not only marked a transition in their lineup but also delved deep into the socio-political fabric of the time. "Monster," the band's ninth studio album, not only showcased the prowess of the new lead guitarist, Larry Byrom, but also served as a poignant commentary on the tumultuous events of the late 1960s, particularly the Vietnam War. This article explores the context of the time period, the production of the album, and the resonating echoes of its political narrative.

The Zeitgeist of 1969:

To understand the impact of Steppenwolf's "Monster," one must delve into the socio-political milieu of 1969. The late 1960s were a time of profound change and upheaval, characterized by the civil rights movement, anti-war protests, and a countercultural revolution. The Vietnam War, a divisive conflict, fueled the fire of dissent across the globe. Against this backdrop, artists found their voice in expressing societal discontent and challenging the status quo.

Steppenwolf's foray into the political realm with "Monster" aligns with this spirit of rebellion. The album encapsulates the frustration and disillusionment prevalent in the era, providing a sonic tapestry for those seeking an anthem for change.

Production Team:

The creative forces behind "Monster" played a crucial role in shaping the album's distinctive sound. Gabriel Mekler, the producer, guided the band through a musical journey that would solidify their reputation as counterculture icons. Mekler's touch is evident in the album's raw energy and experimental elements.

The sound and recording engineering, executed by Richard Podolor and Bill Cooper, contributed to the album's sonic richness. Recorded at the American Recording Company, the choice of studio added a layer of authenticity to the album, capturing the essence of a band deeply immersed in the cultural and political zeitgeist.

Musical Exploration and Innovation:

"Monster" is not just a political manifesto; it is a testament to Steppenwolf's musical exploration. The album traverses a spectrum of genres, from the blues-infused "Draft Resister" to the psychedelic "Power Play." Each track contributes to the album's overall narrative, creating a cohesive yet diverse listening experience.

The Album Cover:

The 12" LP vinyl gatefold album cover of "Monster" is a visual representation of the band's ethos. The cover art, like the music within, reflects the rebellion and chaos of the era. It becomes a time capsule, encapsulating the spirit of 1969 within its folds.

Album Description & Collectors information:

Steppenwolf's seventh studio album, Monster, was released in 1969. It was their first album with new lead guitarist Larry Byrom, who replaced Michael Monarch. The album was a commercial success, reaching number 12 on the Billboard 200 chart. It was also certified Gold by the RIAA.

The album was produced by Gabriel Mekler and Steppenwolf. The cover art was designed by John Berg. The album's title track, "Monster," was a Top 40 hit single. Other notable tracks include "Suicide," "America," and "Draft Resister."

Monster is a hard rock album with a political edge. The album's lyrics address issues such as the Vietnam War, the draft, and social injustice. The album was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to solidify Steppenwolf's reputation as one of the leading hard rock bands of the era.


Music Genre:

 Psych / Acid Rock, Hard Rock 

Album Production Information:

The album: "STEPPENWOLF - Monster" was produced by: Gabriel Mekler

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Richard Podolor, Bill Cooper

This album was recorded at: American Recording Company

Record Label Information:

 Light Blue EMI Columbia 1C 062-90 764 / Released by Dunhill ABC Records in USA


Gatefold (FOC) cover design with artwork / photos on the inside cover pages

Media Format:

 12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 280 gram  

Year & Country:

 November 1969 Made in Germany
Complete Track-listing of the album "STEPPENWOLF - Monster"

The detailed tracklist of this record "STEPPENWOLF - Monster" is:

  1. "Monster" (Kay, Edmonton) / "Suicide" (Kay, St.Nicholas, Byrom, Edmonton) / "America" (Kay, Edmonton) – 9:15
  2. "Draft Resister" (Kay, McJohn, Byrom) – 3:20
  3. "Power Play" (Kay) – 5:26
  4. "Move Over" (Kay, Mekler) – 2:53
  5. "Fag" (Byrom, Edmonton, St.Nicholas) – 3:13
  6. "What Would You Do (If I Did That To You)" (Francen, Porter) – 3:19
  7. "From Here To There Eventually" (Kay, McJohn, Edmonton) – 5:27
High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover  "STEPPENWOLF - Monster"
High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover  "STEPPENWOLF - Monster"
Album Back Cover  Photo of "STEPPENWOLF - Monster"
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Inside of Gatefold Cover of "STEPPENWOLF - Monster" Album
Inside of Gatefold Cover of "STEPPENWOLF - Monster" Album
Photo of "STEPPENWOLF - Monster" Album's Inside Gatefold Sleeve 
Photo of "STEPPENWOLF - Monster" Album's Inside Gatefold Sleeve 
Close-up Photo of "STEPPENWOLF - Monster" Record Label 
Close-up Photo of "STEPPENWOLF - Monster" Record Label   

Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash.

Born to Be Wild: The Definitive Steppenwolf Discography (1960s-1970s)

STEPPENWOLF Band Description:

Steppenwolf is a rock band formed in 1967 in Los Angeles, California. The band gained widespread popularity during the late 1960s and early 1970s with their unique blend of hard rock and psychedelic music, which was characterized by heavy guitar riffs, prominent basslines, and driving drumbeats.

The band's core members were vocalist John Kay, guitarist Michael Monarch, keyboardist Goldy McJohn, bassist Rushton Moreve, and drummer Jerry Edmonton. They released their debut album, "Steppenwolf," in 1968, which included the hit single "Born to Be Wild." The song became an anthem for the counterculture movement and was famously featured in the film "Easy Rider."

Steppenwolf's music was influenced by a variety of genres, including blues, folk, and rock and roll. Their lyrics often addressed themes of rebellion, social commentary, and spirituality. The band's name, "Steppenwolf," was inspired by the novel of the same name by Hermann Hesse, which explores the themes of individualism and the search for meaning in a conformist society.

Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Steppenwolf released a series of critically acclaimed albums, including "The Second," "At Your Birthday Party," and "Monster." These albums featured some of the band's most famous songs, such as "Magic Carpet Ride," "Rock Me," and "The Pusher."

Despite their success, Steppenwolf faced several challenges during their career. The band underwent several lineup changes, with Kay being the only consistent member throughout their history. Additionally, they struggled with substance abuse and legal issues, which led to several periods of inactivity. Despite these challenges, Steppenwolf's influence on rock music cannot be understated. Their music has been covered by countless artists and has been featured in numerous films and television shows. The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996, and Kay was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 2018.

Steppenwolf's legacy lives on, and their music continues to resonate with fans around the world. Their hard-driving rock and roll sound and socially conscious lyrics continue to inspire new generations of musicians, and their influence on the genre remains undeniable.