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Articles Home » 1974 Articles » Steppenwolf - 1974 Slow Flux
Steppenwolf - 1974 Slow Flux

ARTIST: Steppenwolf
ALBUM: Slow Flux
LABEL: Mums Records
SERIAL: PZ 33093
YEAR: 1974
CD REISSUE: 1998, Epic (Germany), 489941-2


LINEUP: John Kay - lead vocals, guitars * Jerry Edmonton - drums, vocals * George Biondo - bass, vocals * Goldy McJohn - keyboards, vocals * Bobby Cochran - lead guitar, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Gang War Blues * 02 Children Of Night * 03 Justice Don't Be Slow * 04 Get Into The Wind * 05 Jeraboah * 06 Straight Shootin' Woman * 07 Smokey Factory Blues * 08 Morning Blue * 09 Fools Fantasy * 10 Fishin' In The Dark


Moderately influential hard rock born in the psychedelic era, where would classic radio be without the Vietnam-era golden oldies 'Born To Be Wild' and 'Magic Carpet Ride'? Some might say better off and I've heard both songs far too often in my lifetime but only the folks at Clear Channel know for sure. Of course, Steppenwolf were much more than a couple of crusty overplayed 45's. Selling an unbelievable amount of product at the time and racking up eight gold records, between 1968 and 1972, the Steppenwolf machine kept cranking 'em out until exhaustion set in and group leader John Kay decided to go solo. Two so-so Kay albums followed and in 1974 a resurrected Steppenwolf appeared with a new line-up, but did the music scene really need it?

The Songs
In many ways, this is the same ham fisted socio-political hard rock Steppenwolf was famous for. In the tradition of hold my hand-protest everything song writing that rose up from the 60's, Kay always felt he had something to say about the state of the world and that's fine to a point. 'Gang War Blues' works as a solid rock track and the lyrics are secondary although 'Children Of The Night' is just a little too wordy and musically comes off as a third rate Uriah Heep. 'Justice Don't Be Slow' is a real post-Watergate drag with snippets of Nixon and monkey noises in the middle of a faux blues Lee Michaels influenced train wreck. 'Get Into The Wind' and 'Jeraboah' go the Black Oak Arkansas route and are very derivative and with that said, Kay is a better vocalist than gargle throated Jim Dandy although not by much. 'Straight Shootin' Blues' was apparently a big hit for the band, why I've yet to figure out? Cheeseburger drive-in rock 'n roll at its worst. 'Smokey Factory Blues' is a typical Grand Funk/REO Speedwagon blue collar beer swilling lament although 'Morning Blue' is rather nice, like something off those very early and sadly forgotten Bob Seger albums. More of this and I would have forgiven Steppenwolf for the questionable material found on the rest of the record but 'Fool's Fantasy' and 'Fishin' In The Dark' don't do much but exist in the musical vacuum that was 1974.

In Summary
A couple good songs sums up 'Slow Flux' with its cool silver mirror cover, but that's far from a glowing recommendation. A best bet is one of the many compilations available providing all the Steppenwolf you'll ever need.

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