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