Steppenwolf – Magic Carpet Ride

The dynamic of the intro really works in this song. The wall of distortion and feedback starts and then it snaps into the song. It is incredibly catchy and bouncy for being a harder song. This song was on Steppenwolf’s “Second” album and the song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 in 1968. I’ve always liked John Kays voice and he also has a great stage presence.

Steppenwolf had 13 songs in the Billboard 100 and 3 top ten hits. This was the second big hit for Steppenwolf. “Born To Be Wild” was released a few months earlier. They were on different albums, with “Born To Be Wild” on their first and this on their second, although this was released well before their second album came out.

From Songfacts

The group wrote this based on the bass line their bass player, Rushton Moreve, came up with. The only words he had written for it were, “I like my job, I like my baby.” Lead singer John Kay wrote the rest of the lyrics. He got inspired when he put the demo tape in a home stereo system he bought with the royalties from their first album. That’s where he came up with the line, “I like to dream, right between my sound machine.”

John Kay of Steppenwolf teamed up with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five to do a 1988 rap-rock remake of this song. It was similar to the Run-D.M.C./Aerosmith mash-up of “Walk This Way,” which was released in 1986.

This song first appeared in a 1968 movie called Candy by the French director Christian Marquand. It starred Ewa Aulin, Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Ringo Starr and Charles Aznavour. It’s an extremely strange movie, definitely of it’s time and kind of gives context to the song, intended or not. The movie was based on a popular counterculture novel.

In 2004, this was used in the “America Revolution” series of Chevy car commercials.

Magic Carpet Ride

I like to dream, yes, yes
Right between the sound machine
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far, flies near
To the stars away from here

Well, you don’t know what
We can find
Why don’t you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride

Well, you don’t know what
We can see
Why don’t you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free

Close your eyes now
Look inside now
Let the sound
Take you away

Last night I hold Aladdin’s lamp
So I wished that I could stay
Before the thing could answer me
Well, someone came and took the lamp away

I looked
Around
A lousy candle’s all I found

Well, you don’t know what
We can find
Why don’t you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride

Well, you don’t know what
We can see
Why don’t you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free

Close your eyes now
Look inside now
Let the sound
Take you away

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

14 thoughts on “Steppenwolf – Magic Carpet Ride”

  1. I was in this quaint club in Southern Brazil and this local band played the greatest Born To Be Wild, as it got all those young girls wearing their skin tight leather pants up on the dance floor and I had a front row seat for all the action.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That sounds like a good time.

      We played at a bar and some of the guys there would roll their bikes in and want to hear this song. Your experience was more fun.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol… For me, if they sing it like they mean it I’m fine…The quality of their voice doesn’t matter as much to me…now singers like Michael Bolton…he needs to go out and buy a soul…cause he doesn’t put any in his voice.
      Very few have great voices and puts everything in…Freddie Mercury I liked…he had an awesome voice and used it well…though he could overuse it sometimes.
      Paul Rodgers has a great voice also…great blues voice.

      Like

      1. I think I have expressed this before but, Bolton’s singing sounds like someone is standing on his foot and he is trying to scream out the pain. Brian Johnson, on the other hand, is screaming but, it worked for AC/DC. Heh.

        Well, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind scratchy or squeaky voices. Kim Carnes, Bonnie Tyler, Elle King… Kaye can sing. He can carry a tune. I just want him to cough (John! Your sinuses are dripping, again. Clear your throat.). LMAO! Sorry… Making a bad joke. The lead singer of Cinderella is, by far, the worst.

        I don’t need a great voice. Distinctive works for me, too. Minnie Ripperton had one hell of a voice & range but, she made me cringe (music in the key of helium). Pat Benatar is the same in power & range but, she resonates with me.

        A distinctive voice that I enjoy is Shakira.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love your description of Bolton…

        The lead singer of Cinderella sounds like Edith Bunker in some songs like Shelter.

        Yea Brian Johnson works for what they do… Bonnie Tyler on It’s a Heartache is great…but as a kid I thought she was Rod Stewart.

        Ripperton did have a great range…a shatter a glass range. But great.

        Benatar has power and a good voice. Madonna I don’t like at all. Lauper I like and didn’t know how good of a voice she had until I heard her sing songs that were not her hits.

        Like

      3. Bunker does Shelter…LMAO!

        Tyler DOES sound like Stewart. Good catch. Like his voice, too.

        At one time, Mariah Carey had the ‘glass range’. She has LOST it. In fact, I think Benatar’s upper range is gone, now. I’ve noticed that many female singers with high ranges lose them as they age. Stevie Nicks, Olivia Newton-John, Carey, Maria McKee…

        I’m just the reverse. Between the two, I prefer Madonna’s voice but, I can’t stand Madonna. Lauper’s is unique. That squeak/beep thing she does on “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” has never been duplicated.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. See I thought Lauper sang like that all of the time…but as she got older I heard her do other songs.

        Something about Madonna I don’t like…I admire her for the success but I was never a fan of her music.

        I hear all of those hard rock guys age as they get older…Deep Purple’s lead singer probably regrets hitting those high notes when he was young…not even close now.
        McCartney aged well but now I’m starting to hear age in his voice.

        Like

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