Wednesday, February 22, 2006

MC5 - Back in the USA

Sometimes even I forget just how fuckin’ great this record is!

Coming after the wonderfully cacophonous blast of hi-energy noise that is the first album (Kick Out The Jams), this gem tends to be overlooked. But this short-sightedness misses the fact that this album is loaded with terrific SONGS. Sure, I wish that the production was rawer and the guitars roared more, but the playing, singing, arrangements and energy are all here in abundance!

The catchiness of the songs is undeniable. Why tunes like “High School”, "Tonight", "Shakin' Street" or even their version of “Tutti Frutti” were not hits is a sin of the highest magnitude! This record should have made them stars!

Sonic and Wayne play together like it is what they were meant to do – and neither one ever found a foil like the other in their subsequent careers. The guitars bounce and weave off of each other in a combination that is all too rare in bands – tearing down the wall of “rhythm” and “lead” guitarists (check out the fantastic "Call Me Animal" for an example). Yeah, at this point they were letting their egos rear their ugly heads and even crediting separate solos in the liner notes, but they still worked together like a team. And the solos are as memorable as the tunes – just listen to Sonic’s great riffage in “American Ruse” and Wayne’s climb in this version of “Looking at You”, which is surely one of the most copied solos of all time!

All 3 of the MC5’s official albums are essential, of course, (the third being High Times) and all for different reasons. The first for a shot of raw abandon, this for rockin’, yet super catchy songs and the third for an interesting mix of both!

Surely, the greatest rock’n’roll band of all time!


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