I was thinking of what Halloween-themed song I could come up with, but I ended up in a totally different direction, though that back album cover is sufficiently appropriate for All Hallows Eve.
Monster is the title song of Steppenwolf’s 1969 LP that eventually reached #17 on the Billboard charts. The album got mixed reviews for being so overtly political, preachy, and pedantic. And it is, though I enjoyed it for that reason.
Actually, that track is listed as three songs: Monster/Suicide/America. Looking at the lyrics, it appears that not much has changed. From the bluesy Suicide section:
‘Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told
Yeah, there’s a monster on the loose
It’s got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin’
Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin’ the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can’t understand
We don’t know how to mind our own business
‘Cause the whole world’s got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who’s the winner
We can’t pay the cost
Couldn’t those words have been written last year, rather than nearly a half-century ago? I understand John Kay, lead singer of Steppenwolf, and co-writer with Jerry Edmonton, is out there with a new iteration of the group, STILL performing it occasionally.
There was a single version of Monster, which got to #39 in 1970. I always hated the edit. I prefer playing the album, which I still have, and hear the whole 9-minute iteration.
Move Over, the other single from the Monster album, got to #31 in 1969.
Monster/Suicide/America HERE or HERE
Monster/Suicide/America, version from Steppenwolf Live HERE or HERE
2 thoughts on “Music Throwback Saturday: Monster”
I have occasionally asked a local “classic rock” station to play “Monster,” but they never do and I’m sure it’s because of the political nature rather than the length; the station just played the unedited “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” during a recent marathon.
“America, where are you now
Don’t you care about your sons and daughters
Don’t you know we need you now
We can’t fight alone against the monster.”
I am not fond of the “Monster” edit either. That said, my favorite track on the LP is “Move Over.”