|At Your Birthday Party|
|Produced by Gabriel Mekler|
|Released on March 1969|
|US CHART POSITION #7|
|Find it at GEMM|
|DSX-50053 diecut cover
[high resolution scan]
K ronomyth 3.0: PEACE OF KAY. One of the forgotten steppenchildren of the psychedelic blues-rock era (along with Spirit), Steppenwolf is overdue for a little respect. Released in the middle of an amazing three-year, seven-album span, At Your Birthday Party was their ambitious third effort, a nasty and knowing record that attacked its generation at both ends: the free-love culture (“Sleeping Dreaming,” “Jupiter Child”) and pro-war patriots (“Chicken Wolf, “It’s Never Too Late”). The songs follow the psychedelic blues-rock sound of Traffic (“Round And Down”), Rolling Stones (“Lovely Meter”) and other late 60s pioneers, with instrumentals and ambitious bits from Gabriel Mekler filling in the rest. These days, Birthday Party is remembered mostly for “Rock Me” (the album’s most succinct rock song) and the dated appeal for peace, “It’s Never Too Late.” However, the album holds up well today as an ambitious bit of historical rock that captures the angst and energy of the Vietnam Era. Certainly songs like “Chicken Wolf,” “It’s Never Too Late” and “Don’t Cry” would have resonated with kids in 1969 whether they were high or not (and if they were, so much the better for “Sleeping Dreaming” and “Jupiter Child”). Like the early albums of Spirit, Uriah Heep or BOC, Birthday Party has grown a little stale over the years, but there are still some tasty bits to be found. Many felt their next record, the politically charged Monster, was a major misstep for the band, and this party paves the way for part of that politicking. Steppenwolf were too smart to suffer a biker-band image for long; like many of their long-haired compatriots they had more on their mind than sex and drugs and rock & roll. It may feel like Born To Be Weird in a few spots, but Birthday Party rewards repeated playings and shows the ‘Wolf had more under its cylinder head than heavy metal and heat.
JERRY EDMONTON --
JOHN KAY --
GOLDY McJOHN --
MICHAEL MONARCH --
NICK ST. NICHOLAS --
Bill Cooper -- engineer
Richard Podolor -- engineer
return to STEPPENWOLF discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US||March 1969||ABC Dunhill||LP||DSX-50053||diecut gatefold cover|
|UK||2002||Beat Goes On||CDZ||BGOCD-336||repackaged w. STEPPENWOLF 7|
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