This is my favorite Wolf album since Steppenwolf 7. Recorded at my new studio in Tennessee, it contains some of the best material written by the team of Michael Wilk, keyboards, Rocket Ritchotte, guitar, and myself. For me two standouts are “Rock and Roll War” which was to become a favorite of many Vietnam vets, and “The Wall” a song near and dear to me because of my early years behind the iron curtain. Both benefited from Rocket’s soaring guitar lines and Michaels’ imaginative keyboard work. Others include the title cut as well as “Do or Die”, “Sign on The Line” and “The Daily Blues”, although there isn’t a single dud on the on the whole album as far as I’m concerned. Overall the record conveyed the optimism and enthusiasm that we felt about our partnership with our new label IRS. Unfortunately IRS decided to switch distributors in the midst of “Rise & Shine’s” release and shortly thereafter sold the label altogether. Naturally we were disappointed under the circumstances, but that does not change the fact that it is one of our better records and that many fans who have discovered it agree.
Our 1987 “Rock n Roll Rebels” release contained some of our best material in many years. However it was just supposed to be a demo recording and for various reasons it wound up being released as a master. We always wished we could have recorded it the way we intended and in 1996 we had the opportunity to do so. Eight of the songs from “Rebels” plus two new tracks “Feed The Fire” and “Bad Attitude” were recorded and/or reworked and the results were far more satisfying. The central theme of this record is still “don’t let the bastards get you down” as exemplified by “Hold On”, “Rock Steady” and “Man On A Mission”, but there is also some humor in “Bad Attitude” and reflection in the title cut “Feed The Fire”. All together (along with the “Rise and Shine” album) my favorite studio recording of the 80’s and 90’s.
In 1976 Morgan Cavett and I produced these recordings, which were shelved and forgotten until the 90’s when they were rediscovered during the move to my new studio in Tennessee. Some of these songs were re-recorded in Muscle Shoals in ’78 on my “All In Good Time” album but with different musicians. What makes “Heritage Tapes” special to me is not only some of the previously unreleased material but also the contributions made by the fine musicians (Lowell George and Bill Payne of Little Feat, Nicky Hopkins, Jim Gordon, The Tower of Power Horns as well as Steppenwolf drummer Jerry Edmonton and others) several of whom are no long with us. Their mix of various styles combined with a broad range of songs resulted in this album of diverse musical textures and contrasts. Some of my favorites include “Business is Business,” “Captain of Your Destiny “,” Nothing But” and “Hurricane Maryann” among others.
Released by Repertoire Records of Germany, known for its quality recordings. This is the most extensive “Wolf” collection to date. It consists of 2 disks with a total of 39 tracks: from 1967 through 1990 with diverse and interesting selections.
Digitally remastered utilizing state of the art technology. This is the best, most comprehensive single disk compilation of Steppenwolfs’ musical history so far. Its 18 selections capture most of the high points through 1974. Excellent liner notes and archival photos etc, round out this first rate release by MCA Records.