500 Greatest Songs of All Time

130

Steppenwolf, 'Born to Be Wild'

Writer: Mars Bonfire
Producer: Gabriel Mekler
Released: Jan. '68, Dunhill 
13 Weeks; No. 2  

The first two singles from Steppenwolf's 1968 debut stiffed; the third was "Born to Be Wild." It hit Number Two on the Billboard charts in the summer of '68, a year before Dennis Hopper used it in a rough cut of the movie Easy Rider, where it was originally just a place holder - actor-producer Peter Fonda had asked Crosby, Stills and Nash to do the soundtrack. But "Born to Be Wild" stayed. "Every generation thinks they're born to be wild," said frontman John Kay, "and they can identify with that song as their anthem." The line "Heavy-metal thunder" would help give a new genre its name.

Appears on: Steppenwolf (MCA)

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