Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dunhill Records: Magic Carpet Ride

Day four of our look at Dunhill Records brings us a release from September 1968 with the newly reconstituted ABC/Dunhill records imprint. “Magic Carpet Ride” was Steppenwolf’s fifth single release and their second Top 5 record. Like the previous hit, “Born to Be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride” was certified as a gold single for one million units sold. It was the only single released on their second LP – which was appropriately titled “The Second.” The single peaked at #3.

Co-written by Steppenwolf’s guitarist/vocalist John Kay and bassist Rushton Moreve. Moreve, an original member of the band, left Steppenwolf after recording “The Second.” He rejoined the band in 1978, but was killed in an automobile accident in 1981 prior to John Kay and Steppenwolf’s recording of the album “Wolftracks” in 1982.

One of my favorite parts of this song is Goldy McJohn’s organ parts. I always thought that he used a Hammond organ, but McJohn stated that his instrument of choice was a Lowrey. Of course, he had this beast connected to a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet that provided a Doppler effect to the organ’s sound. McJohn’s staccato style of playing gave a percussive feel that added to the heaviness of this recording.

The single mix, in my opinion, is much better than the album version. It has a different lead vocal track and the overall instrumental balance is better. Typically, I prefer the album mixes, but there are always exceptions. I provide both versions so you can choose which on you like.

Single Edit

Album Version


  1. I'm not interested in Goldy McJohn's organ parts. 😖

    1. Stick to paste, Jim. Or perhaps paste will stick to you. :)