"Born to Be Wild" is Steppenwolf's best-known song, and possibly its best, but there are some that argue that "Magic Carpet Ride" is every bit as good, if not better, than that biker anthem. Why? Well, it's a funkier ride, with a real deep guitar-organ groove and a great singalong chorus. If you doubt whether it's actually funky, check out the reworking on the soundtrack to Doug Liman's 1999 film Go, where it sounds as contemporary as anything else on the electronica-laden soundtrack. The great thing is, it doesn't really depart from the original all that much. Steppenwolf's original recording was a wonderful, spare but dirty, groove. The lyrics may have been nothing more than a hippie fantasia, but John Kay did write some evocative lines ("Last night I held Aladdin's lamp," etc.). More importantly, he wrote a great three-chord riff that just gained depth and strength as it was fleshed out by bass, organ, and drums. It probably grew out of a jam, but Kay wound up with an actual song, not just a collection of hooks -- the original recording is terrific, but it also works as a cover. Not as well, of course, but it still sounds good in the hands of a local bar band, which is one the true tests of a good rock & roll song.