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Hear "Compared to What," a Rocking Slice of Newly Unearthed Classic Steppenwolf

Canadian-American classic-rock legends Steppenwolf will release Steppenwolf at 50, a new career-spanning 3CD set, March 16. The 41-song collection contains four previously unreleased tracks from frontman John Kay's vault, including a rocking cover of “Compared to What,” a 1969 Gene McDaniels composition that became a hit for Les McCann and Eddie Harris. You can check it out below.

"A couple of tracks on this collection were never released before now, and hearing them after all these years brought back lots of memories," Kay tells us. “'Compared to What' is perhaps my favorite ‘new’ track, particularly because of its relevance in the here and now."

The song features the classic Steppenwolf sound—authoritative, scooped-but-solid guitars, growling vocals and—in this case—a satisfying jam section that's punctuated by tight drumming and pulsating bass.

The set also includes an unreleased version of “From Here to There Eventually” (plus "Labor of Love") and includes Kay's solo material. The liner notes were written by Kay, who curated and A&R’ed the album with his longtime manager, Ron Rainey. The album cover, which you can see below, is a slightly modified version of a 1969 Steppenwolf tour poster.

The band—now known as John Kay & Steppenwolf—is adding several new shows this year, with all proceeds going to the 14 animal care-related NGO’s Kay has supported over the years.

For more about Steppenwolf at 50, step right this way. For more about the band and their 2018 shows, visit steppenwolf.com.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.