Stunning album and full of energy. Still sounds fresh today. Well worth £1.99 and if you are unfamiliar with MC5 – here’s a potted history.
The MC5 formed in Lincoln Park, Michigan and originally active from 1964 to 1972. Their loud, energetic style of back-to-basics rock 'n' roll included elements of garage rock, hard rock, blues-rock, and psychedelic rock.
The MC5 had a promising beginning which earned them a cover appearance on Rolling Stone magazine in 1969 even before their debut album was released.They developed a reputation for energetic and polemical live performances, one of which was recorded as their 1969 debut album Kick Out The Jams. Their initial run was ultimately short-lived, though within just a few years of their dissolution in 1972, the MC5 were often cited as one of the most important American hard rock groups of their era. Their three albums are regarded by many as classics, and their song "Kick Out the Jams" is widely covered.
Tyner died of a heart attack in late 1991, aged 46. Smith also died of a heart attack, in 1994, also at the age of 46. The band reformed in 2003 with The Dictators' singer Handsome Dick Manitoba as its new vocalist, and this reformed line-up sometimes performs live
The MC5 earned national attention with their first album, Kick Out the Jams, recorded live on October 30 and 31, 1968 at Detroit's Grande Ballroom. A live debut was all but unheard of in 1968 (and is still rare today), but Elektra executives Jac Holzman and Bruce Botnick recognized that the MC5 were at their best when playing for a receptive audience. The first song, a version of the obscure Ted Taylor R&B song "Ramblin' Rose," featured a ragged falsetto lead vocal from Kramer before Tyner joined the group onstage. Containing such songs as the proto-punk classics "Kick Out the Jams" and "Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa", the spaced-out "Starship" (co-credited to Sun Ra because the lyrics were partly cribbed from one of Ra's poems), and an extended cover of John Lee Hooker's "Motor City is Burning" wherein Tyner praises the role of Black Panther snipers during the Detroit Insurrection of 1967. The album is generally regarded as one of the best live rock and roll records: critic Mark Deming writes that the gleefully lusty Kick "is one of the most powerfully energetic live albums ever made ... this is an album that refuses to be played quietly.
The album caused some controversy due to Sinclair's inflammatory liner notes and the title track's rallying cry of "Kick out the jams, mother******!" (According to Kramer, the band recorded this as "Kick out the jams, brothers and sisters!" for the single released for radio play; Tyner claimed this was done without group consensus (Thompson, 2000) ) . The edited version also appeared in some LP copies, which also withdrew Sinclair's excitable comments. The album was released in January, 1969; reviews were mixed, but the album was successful, quickly selling over 100,000 copies, and appearing for several weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
1. Ramblin' Rose
2. Kick Out The Jams
3. Come Together
4. Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)
6. Motor City Is Burning
7. I Want You Right Now