Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#3); 1968

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Steppenwolf completed its first album – from recording to mixing – in just four days. By contrast they took a leisurely six weeks to do the second. Among the songs recorded for the sophomore effort was Magic Carpet Ride with its opening line, “I like to dream, yes, yes/Right between my sound machine/On a cloud of sound/I drift in the night.” Those searching for hidden meanings in the spacey-sounding lyrics need look no further than singer/writer John Kay’s spanking new home stereo system. The first time John heard a tune blasting out of the speakers, he was floored. So he did what any self-respecting musician would do: he wrote a song about it. At the session, Rushton Moreve laid down a mean bass line while Born To Be Wild composer Mars Bonfire – who was hanging out in the studio – contributed rhythm guitar. Some far-out experimentation in the instrumental section helped differentiate Ride from your average Top 40 fare; giving Steppenwolf its second ride to the Top 3 in three months.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Gabriel Mekler

Lyrics Written by:

  • Rushton Moreve
  • John Kay