"Born to Be Wild" is a rock song written by Mars Bonfire and made famous by the Canadian-American rock band Steppenwolf. It is often used in popular culture to denote a biker appearance or attitude. It is sometimes described as the first heavy metal song, and the second verse lyric "heavy metal thunder," marks the first use of this term in rock music.
"Born to Be Wild" was written by Mars Bonfire (who also wrote several other songs for Steppenwolf) as a slow ballad. Writer Bonfire was previously a member of the Sparrows, the predecessor band to Steppenwolf, and his brother was Steppenwolf's drummer. Although he initially offered the song to other bands — The Human Expression, for one — Born to Be Wild was first recorded in 1967 by Steppenwolf in a sped-up and rearranged version, that the All Music Guide's Hal Horowitz described as "a roaring anthem of turbo-charged riff rock" and "a timeless radio classic as well as a slice of '60s revolt that at once defines Steppenwolf's sound and provided them with their shot at AM immortality."
"Born to be Wild" was the band's third single off their debut album and became the most successful single, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles...