|"Magic Carpet Ride"|
|Single by Steppenwolf|
|from the album The Second|
|Steppenwolf singles chronology|
"Magic Carpet Ride" is a rock song written by John Kay and Rushton Moreve from the Canadian-American hard rock band Steppenwolf. The song was initially released in 1968 on the album The Second. It was the lead single from that album, peaking at number three in the US, and staying in the charts for 16 weeks, longer than any other Steppenwolf song.
The 45 rpm version is not only an edit of the album version, but contains a different vocal take on the first verse. Despite the single's popularity, the album version enjoyed heavy airplay on FM radio and is still the preferred version on most classic rock stations, as well as the one most commonly included on compilations and in popular media.
When preparing to record the band's second album, The Second, bassist Rushton Moreve came up with a "bouncy riff". Band member Jerry Edmonton's brother, Mars Bonfire, started playing guitar, and the band developed the riff. For the introduction, guitarist Michael Monarch created feedback which was spliced on to the beginning of the band's recording. John Kay had recently bought a new top-quality hi-fi system, and started writing lyrics "about how great our new stereo system sounded," adding imagery about making a wish. After completing the lyrics and recording the vocal track, Kay overdubbed a falsetto, and sound engineer Bill Cooper spliced an extra chorus at the end of the track. Despite denying that the song was a reference to experiences of drug addiction, Kay did admit to the Wall Street Journal in 2016 that "I may have smoked a joint" the night he and Monarch got the idea for the song. Kay also alleged the lyrics went beyond referencing the quality of the new stereo and were also a reference to his relationship with his wife Jutta and envisioning that he had made a wish with Aladdin's lamp.