Recommend me some MC5 albums

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by pickslide, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. pickslide

    pickslide Supporting Member

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    Want to grab a few albums and get more into this kickass band. What albums would you recommend? Seems like they are killer live so I would dig a live album too.
     
  2. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    Well, their first record (which is phenomenal) IS a live record, so--score!!! (That's Kick Out the Jams.) High Time is phenomenal, too. I do not get Back in the USA. AT ALL. The other two are magnificent. Go!!! -E
     
  3. roadfilm

    roadfilm Member

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    Just get all three. Back in the USA has their best songs IMHO minus the two cover songs that bookend the album.
     
  4. mannish

    mannish Member

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    I don't know much about MC5 but I had a wonderful time hanging out with John Sinclair & The Blues Scholars at a mutual friends house party many years ago. A really cool/strange/intelligent person. I had no idea who he was at the time.
    A very fun weekend

    I need to give MC5 another listen
     
  5. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    Well there are only 3 MC5 albums the band made in its time, so get 'em all...the live debut, Kick Out the Jams, is the monster noise-rock classic.

    The second album, Back in the USA is the bands most focused, best written and best played collection of songs but is marred by bizarre mixing and production by Jon Landau that makes the band sound like a bunch of angry bees playing in a hive where no bass frequencies have been allowed to penetrate.

    The final album, High Time, I think already shows the signs of the numbing of the bad drug problems that hastened the band's demise but also features plenty of great stuff.
     
  6. Zounds Perspex

    Zounds Perspex Supporting Member

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    Babes In Arms is great, too.
     
  7. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    BTW, no band ever rocked any harder

     
  8. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    And to Jet Age Eric....if you like the 5 what's not to get about tracks like these from Back in the USA




     
  9. mifar55

    mifar55 Supporting Member

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    +1 for Back in the USA. Yea, it's polished but, still very good.
     
  10. bab

    bab Member

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    :agree I LOVE american ruse !!!!
     
  11. bab

    bab Member

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  12. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    The "Five's" power was primarily as a live band. Kick Out the Jams was recorded live at their "home" venue, the wonderful old Grande Ballroom in Detroit, in front of "their people". That one has the energy that was really the MC5. I saw them there dozens of times, butt kickin' rock 'n roll!
    The other 2 albums are fine, but KOTJ is the one!

    Here they are in Detroit in their prime surrounded by their people:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6nasmkg7A
    (from the same concert as the great Looking at You vid linked above).
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  13. bab

    bab Member

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  14. NashSG

    NashSG Member

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    MC5 is definitely one of those bands where you wonder how it could have played out if things went down just a bit different.

    I'd like to know how it would have gone different if Elektra just had sent the MC5 to LA and recorded their first album in the studio with somone like Paul Rothchild or Bruce Botnik who did The Doors albums insead of doing the live record and getting caught up in the whole 'kick out the jams mother...' controversy.

    Like most of those bands back then, they were all totally crazy and doing just copious amounts of drugs, so it's always hard to tell. They might have gone on to be the American take on The Who that turned into big popular hard rock group insead of just legendary figures.

    Not that the first album isn't great an all, more they were just one of those groups from that time where you look at things and think that it could have turned out very different. There was quite a few bands that had stories like that, most known and some reverentially, but things got screwed up and they kind of missed the brass ring for one reason or another.
     
  15. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    The unimaginative sonwriting ("American Ruse" sounds like third-rate Chuck Berry!), spazzy performances, and horrendous sound quality. KOTJ and HT are both filled with epic songs and muscular performances, both of which are sorely missing on BITUSA. HT grooves and rocks and KOTJ is sprawling and ambitious; BITUSA sounds like a bunch of High Schoolers who've OD'ed on Ritalin. -E
     
  16. bab

    bab Member

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    I dig it. Maybe that 3rd rate chuck berry, bunch of high schoolers who've OD'ed on ritalin aspect is what I like about them and the ramones :) I also like the other records too.

    Waaaaayne Kraaaaamer and the ramblin rose
     
  17. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    I dunno, the MC5 just never had the kind of songs that Pete Townshend wrote for The Who. I mean, I love the 5, they're one of my favorite rock n roll bands of all time, I listen to 'em way more than I listen to The Who but quite apart from the personal and drug storms that the band was unable to weather, I'm not sure Sonic or Wayne or Rob were ever gonna be able to deliver the caliber or quantity or sort of songwriting that was gonna make the 5 that sort of act.
     
  18. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    It's funny, I find the songwriting on High Time much, much less imaginative, songs like Baby Won't Ya or even Sister Anne, whatever their charms, are pretty banal; and although it's a much better sounding album with some great musical moments, the crackling energy of the first two albums isn't consistently on display. I mean, it's on display on Gotta Keep Movin', but that's another sort of banal song. It took me years to come around on High Time. I like it a lot now, but for many years I could barely listen to it despite loving the other two albums.
     
  19. NashSG

    NashSG Member

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    Townsend is definitely a much wider songwriter than anything the MC5 did that's true - more I'm thinking the who as the "live at leeds" band that could blast a crowd and take no prisoners, which the MC5 had material to make that happen.

    It's just as possible that the MC5 could have ended up as Spirit, a good band with a cool sound that made some solid records, yet never really caught on big.

    The MC5 got broken pretty hard by their failure early on and kind of got stunted on the vine. A little of success might have lit them to another level or some of them would have ended up dead on drugs, which pretty much screwed with them pretty hard anyway. They also swung and missed bad on their second record shot with a producer who didn't get it. By the time they got it right on the third record, times had changed and they didn't catch on at all.
     
  20. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    That totally makes sense, but given the other two records are totally different, I consider them the baseline and BITUSA the aberration. :p -E
     

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