MC5
Proto-Metal / Hard Rock • United States

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MC5 are an american hard rock band, whose raw and dirty rock 'n' roll sound is considered to have been incremental to the establishment of the early heavy metal genre, and has also been an inspiration for the American punk movement.

MC5 was formed in Lincolm Park in Michigan in 1964 and released four full lengths before their break-up in 1972. The band reformed in 2003.
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MC5 Phun City UK CD NEW SEALED WAYNE KRAMER MC5 Phun City UK CD NEW SEALED WAYNE KRAMER USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 32m
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Kick Out the Jams by MC5 (CD, Nov-1991, Elektra (Label)) Kick Out the Jams by MC5 (CD, Nov-1991, Elektra (Label)) USD $3.99 (0 bids)
7h
MC5 MC5 "KICK OUT THE JAMS" LP ELEKTRA 1969 1ST PRESS UNCENSORED GATEFOLD LINER NOTE USD $50.00 (4 bids)
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RARE promotional 1968 LP Orig MC5 KICK OUT THE JAMS punk metal rock Record VTG RARE promotional 1968 LP Orig MC5 KICK OUT THE JAMS punk metal rock Record VTG USD $600.00 Buy It Now 9h
Cheap Freaks - Play Four Songs 7 Cheap Freaks - Play Four Songs 7" - Things MC5 Stooges USD $4.00 Buy It Now 9h
MC 5**ANTHOLOGY 1965-1971**2CD MC 5**ANTHOLOGY 1965-1971**2CD USD $11.90 Buy It Now 11h
Mc5 : Human Being Lawnmower CD (2002) Mc5 : Human Being Lawnmower CD (2002) USD $9.71 Buy It Now 14h
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HEAD OVER HEELS- Self Titled 1971 LP (NEW 180g Vinyl) Hard Rock MC5, The Stooges HEAD OVER HEELS- Self Titled 1971 LP (NEW 180g Vinyl) Hard Rock MC5, The Stooges USD $15.57 Buy It Now 22h
THE MC5 | THE BIG BANG: THE BEST OF THE MC5 | CD | FREE SHIPPING! THE MC5 | THE BIG BANG: THE BEST OF THE MC5 | CD | FREE SHIPPING! USD $9.99 Buy It Now 22h
(AA25) Dennis Hopper Choppers, Listening To MC5 - DJ CD (AA25) Dennis Hopper Choppers, Listening To MC5 - DJ CD USD $5.07 Buy It Now 22h
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MC5 & STOOGES BACKSTAGE PHOTO 1969 DETROIT PUNK COOL LOOK MC5 & STOOGES BACKSTAGE PHOTO 1969 DETROIT PUNK COOL LOOK USD $4.99 (0 bids)
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Vintage 70s MC5 Back In The USA Album Record Vinyl LP Vintage 70s MC5 Back In The USA Album Record Vinyl LP USD $85.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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MC5 / Afrika Bambaataa — Kick Out the Jams - 7 MC5 / Afrika Bambaataa — Kick Out the Jams - 7" 45 Color vinyl RSD Ltd Ed NEW USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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MC5 Back in the USA German Picture sleeve 45 MC5 Back in the USA German Picture sleeve 45 USD $129.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MC5 Back In The USA 2003 UK 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED MC5 Back In The USA 2003 UK 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED USD $33.87 Buy It Now 1 day
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mc5 the american ruse 10 mc5 the american ruse 10" sealed USD $12.74 Buy It Now 1 day
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MC5 back in the USA Atlantic lp k50346 psych rock classic Detroit analog MC5 back in the USA Atlantic lp k50346 psych rock classic Detroit analog USD $9.99 (0 bids)
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The BellRays Have a Little Faith MC5 Stooges Soul Tina Turner CD The BellRays Have a Little Faith MC5 Stooges Soul Tina Turner CD USD $3.95 (0 bids)
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IGGY POP & THE STOOGES Metallic K.O. lp Near Mint- Proto Punk Garage Rock MC5 IGGY POP & THE STOOGES Metallic K.O. lp Near Mint- Proto Punk Garage Rock MC5 USD $8.99 (0 bids)
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MC5 MC5 "Kick Out The Jams" Elektra 1991 USD $14.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Original Rock LP: MC5 ~ Back In The USA ~ Atlantic 8247 Stereo Original Rock LP: MC5 ~ Back In The USA ~ Atlantic 8247 Stereo USD $40.00 (0 bids)
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1H ATLANTIC MC5 HIGH TIME SISTER ANNE FRED SMITH ROB TYNER WAYNE KRAMER 1H ATLANTIC MC5 HIGH TIME SISTER ANNE FRED SMITH ROB TYNER WAYNE KRAMER USD $29.99 (0 bids)
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NIAGARA DETROIT ART DESTROY ALL MONSTERS 7 NIAGARA DETROIT ART DESTROY ALL MONSTERS 7" VINYL 1979 MC5 THE STOOGES NM RARE! USD $45.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Take 2: High Time/Back in the USA by MC5 (CD, Jul-2004, Wea/Warner Australia) Take 2: High Time/Back in the USA by MC5 (CD, Jul-2004, Wea/Warner Australia) USD $95.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Kick Out the Jams by MC5 (CD, Nov-1991, Elektra (Label)) Kick Out the Jams by MC5 (CD, Nov-1991, Elektra (Label)) USD $3.99 (0 bids)
USD $6.99 Buy It Now
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MC5 - Black To Comm - CD (Receiver RRCD185 U.K.) MC5 - Black To Comm - CD (Receiver RRCD185 U.K.) USD $14.07 Buy It Now 1 day
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MC5 Kick Out The Jams 2003 UK 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED MC5 Kick Out The Jams 2003 UK 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED USD $33.87 Buy It Now 1 day
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The Big Bang: The Best of the MC5 by MC5 (CD, Feb-2000, Rhino (Label)) The Big Bang: The Best of the MC5 by MC5 (CD, Feb-2000, Rhino (Label)) USD $9.99 (0 bids)
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MC5/PRIMAL SCREAM - BLACK TO COMM/LIVE AT THE ROYAL FESTIVAL - NEW CD BOXSET MC5/PRIMAL SCREAM - BLACK TO COMM/LIVE AT THE ROYAL FESTIVAL - NEW CD BOXSET USD $18.20 Buy It Now 1 day
MC5 / AFRIKA BAMBAATAA  Kick Out The Jams  NEW 7 MC5 / AFRIKA BAMBAATAA Kick Out The Jams NEW 7 " 45 rpm RSD Ltd Ed. USD $6.98 Buy It Now 1 day
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Wayne Kramer - Lexington LP #'ed autographed MC5 stooges free jazz Wayne Kramer - Lexington LP #'ed autographed MC5 stooges free jazz USD $25.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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MC5 Kick Out the Jams 1991 Elektra NEW SEALED Wayne Kramer Fred Patti Smith MC5 Kick Out the Jams 1991 Elektra NEW SEALED Wayne Kramer Fred Patti Smith USD $7.99 (0 bids)
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2 days
MC 5 Kick Out The Jams LP Elektra EKS 74042 gatefold big E gold labels VG+ MC 5 Kick Out The Jams LP Elektra EKS 74042 gatefold big E gold labels VG+ USD $4.99 (1 bids)
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mc5 i just don't know 7 mc5 i just don't know 7" USD $16.14 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 MC5 "Kick Out The Jams" Rare Uncensored "Butterfly" Label USD $50.00 (0 bids)
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The Up Killer Up 10 The Up Killer Up 10" Stooges MC5 Detroit USD $22.49 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 MC5 "Kick out the jams" - garage punk rock - *L*I*S*T*E*N* USD $19.99 (0 bids)
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MC5 /  AFRIKA BAMBAATAA - SIDE BY SIDE: KICK OUT THE JAMS NEW VINYL MC5 / AFRIKA BAMBAATAA - SIDE BY SIDE: KICK OUT THE JAMS NEW VINYL USD $11.68 Buy It Now 2 days
THE MC5: Back In The USA (NEW/2003/LTD/OOP/UK/PICTURE DISC LP) THE MC5: Back In The USA (NEW/2003/LTD/OOP/UK/PICTURE DISC LP) USD $24.95 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 Black To Comm GARAGE PSYCHEDELIC Detroit Rock CD MC5 Black To Comm GARAGE PSYCHEDELIC Detroit Rock CD USD $8.39 Buy It Now 2 days
Richard Dick Wagner Vinyl Record Frost Alice Cooper Detroit Rock MC5  Lou Reed Richard Dick Wagner Vinyl Record Frost Alice Cooper Detroit Rock MC5 Lou Reed USD $29.94 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5:Kick Out Empty Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd iggy pop grand funk stooges Q MC5:Kick Out Empty Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd iggy pop grand funk stooges Q USD $71.25 Buy It Now 2 days
The Stooges: s/t Empty Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd iggy pop mc5 grand funk Q The Stooges: s/t Empty Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd iggy pop mc5 grand funk Q USD $61.75 Buy It Now 2 days
Kick Out the Jams by MC5 (CD, Nov-1991, Elektra (Label)) Kick Out the Jams by MC5 (CD, Nov-1991, Elektra (Label)) USD $3.00 (0 bids)
2 days
Thunder Express by MC5 (CD, May-1999, Jungle (Punk/U.K.)) Thunder Express by MC5 (CD, May-1999, Jungle (Punk/U.K.)) USD $5.99 (0 bids)
2 days
Extended Versions by MC5 (CD, Nov-2003, BMG Special Products) Extended Versions by MC5 (CD, Nov-2003, BMG Special Products) USD $5.99 (0 bids)
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'66 Breakout! by MC5 (CD, Aug-1999, Total Energy) '66 Breakout! by MC5 (CD, Aug-1999, Total Energy) USD $5.99 (0 bids)
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MC5 - Kick Out the Jams LP NEW Rhino 180G analog master debut MC5 - Kick Out the Jams LP NEW Rhino 180G analog master debut USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2 days
The Big Bang: The Best of the MC5 by MC5 (CD, Feb-2000, Rhino (Label)) The Big Bang: The Best of the MC5 by MC5 (CD, Feb-2000, Rhino (Label)) USD $4.99 (0 bids)
2 days
"7"-Rob Tyner & the Hotrods-Till the night PS'77 garage punk (MC-5) USD $9.99 (0 bids)
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"7"-Wayne Kramer(MC5)-Ramblin Rose/Get some PS '77punk garage USD $9.99 (0 bids)
2 days
CD-Mc-5- High Time '71 heavy garage~Hard rock~Detroit Punk CD-Mc-5- High Time '71 heavy garage~Hard rock~Detroit Punk USD $12.99 (0 bids)
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CD-MC-5-Back in The USA 70's garage punk motor city classic CD-MC-5-Back in The USA 70's garage punk motor city classic USD $11.99 (0 bids)
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CD-Motor City's Burning-MC-5/RATIONALS/STOOGES/MUTANTS ETC PUNK GARAGE CD-Motor City's Burning-MC-5/RATIONALS/STOOGES/MUTANTS ETC PUNK GARAGE USD $9.99 (0 bids)
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Kick Out the Jams by MC5 (CD, Mar-2000, Elektra (Label)) Kick Out the Jams by MC5 (CD, Mar-2000, Elektra (Label)) USD $5.92 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 ‎– Back In The USA CD (1970) Garage Punk Rhino Atlantic 1992 MC5 ‎– Back In The USA CD (1970) Garage Punk Rhino Atlantic 1992 USD $4.50 (0 bids)
2 days
MC5 High Time 2003 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED MC5 High Time 2003 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED USD $34.59 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 Back In The USA 2003 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED MC5 Back In The USA 2003 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED USD $34.59 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 Kick Out The Jams 2003 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED MC5 Kick Out The Jams 2003 180g vinyl picture disc LP NEW/UNPLAYED USD $34.59 Buy It Now 2 days
CHOOSE 3 POSTERS FROM  36. MUSE, MC5  LIBERTINES, YEAH YEAH YEAHS, SHINS, DOVES CHOOSE 3 POSTERS FROM 36. MUSE, MC5 LIBERTINES, YEAH YEAH YEAHS, SHINS, DOVES USD $45.06 Buy It Now 2 days
Rehearsals [Vinyl], Mc5, Rehearsals [Vinyl], Mc5, USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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VARIOUS 'CBGB' 1st Press Double Pink Vinyl LP MC5 Velvet Underground Blondie NEW VARIOUS 'CBGB' 1st Press Double Pink Vinyl LP MC5 Velvet Underground Blondie NEW USD $35.66 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 Kick Out The Jams - French LP on Elektra - Hard Rock Garage Proto Punk Psych MC5 Kick Out The Jams - French LP on Elektra - Hard Rock Garage Proto Punk Psych USD $10.15 (0 bids)
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MC5 - The Very Best Of MC5 - gatefold LP MC5 - The Very Best Of MC5 - gatefold LP USD $20.93 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 JAPAN 1ST ORIGI BACK INTHE USA MC5 JAPAN 1ST ORIGI BACK INTHE USA USD $349.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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(STONES) MC5+RAMONES+VA *VG+* US UNCUT MAG CD GIMME SHELTER VOL. 2 (STONES) MC5+RAMONES+VA *VG+* US UNCUT MAG CD GIMME SHELTER VOL. 2" (16 RS CVRS) USD $6.59 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5(Original Vinyl LP Gatefold)Kick Out The Jams-Elektra-42 047-France-VG/VG+ MC5(Original Vinyl LP Gatefold)Kick Out The Jams-Elektra-42 047-France-VG/VG+ USD $53.99 Buy It Now 2 days
MC5 SISTER ANN WITH LEMMY 2003 7 MC5 SISTER ANN WITH LEMMY 2003 7" 300 only near mint USD $1.68 (0 bids)
2 days
THE BROADCASTERS-DOWN IN THE TRENCHES-RARE ENIGMA PROMO CD SINGLE-MC5-1987-U.S. THE BROADCASTERS-DOWN IN THE TRENCHES-RARE ENIGMA PROMO CD SINGLE-MC5-1987-U.S. USD $3.00 (0 bids)
USD $3.99 Buy It Now
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"7"-DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - BORED PICTURE SLEEVE & 45 IDBI EEEE-1! STOOGES! MC5! USD $29.99 (0 bids)
2 days
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Kick Out the JamsKick Out the Jams
Elektra / Ada 1991
Audio CD$4.99
$3.43 (used)
The Big Bang! Best of the MC5The Big Bang! Best of the MC5
Rhino 2000
Audio CD$5.28
$3.44 (used)
Back in the UsaBack in the Usa
Rhino 1992
Audio CD$4.50
$3.50 (used)
Looking at YouLooking at You
Import
Receiver Records 1994
Audio CD$4.39
$2.78 (used)
High TimeHigh Time
Rhino 1992
Audio CD$4.68
$3.68 (used)
The MC5: Live at Sturgis Armory June 1968The MC5: Live at Sturgis Armory June 1968
Total Energy 1998
Audio CD$13.75
$14.14 (used)
Anthology 1965-1971Anthology 1965-1971
Cleopatra 2010
Audio CD$8.29
$13.71 (used)
Purity Accuracy the AlbumPurity Accuracy the Album
Easy Action 2005
Audio CD$7.60
$37.51 (used)
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MC5 Discography

MC5 albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.90 | 10 ratings
Kick Out the Jams
Proto-Metal 1969
.. Album Cover 4.27 | 4 ratings
Back in the USA
Proto-Metal 1970
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
High Time
Proto-Metal 1971
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Can Only Give You Everything
Hard Rock 2007

MC5 EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Power Trip
Proto-Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
American Ruse
Proto-Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ice Pick Slim
Proto-Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Summertime Blues / Looking At You
Proto-Metal 2009

MC5 live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live 1969/70
Proto-Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ice Pick Slim
Proto-Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Teen Age Lust
Proto-Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Starship: Live at Sturgis Armory June 1968
Proto-Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits Live
Proto-Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thunder Express
Proto-Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Grande Ballroom 1968
Proto-Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Saginaw Civic Centre
Proto-Metal 2005

MC5 demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
'66 Breakout!
Proto-Metal 1999

MC5 boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Babes In Arms
Proto-Metal 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Looking At You
Proto-Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Power Trip
Proto-Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black to Comm
Proto-Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Big Bang: The Best of the MC5
Proto-Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Human Being Lawnmower: The Baddest And Maddest Of MC5
Proto-Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Extended Versions: The Encore Collection
Proto-Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Purity Accuracy (Boxset)
Proto-Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Are You Ready To Testify?
Proto-Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Purity Accuracy
Proto-Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Can Only Give You Everything
Proto-Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best Of
Proto-Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Back In The USA / Kick Out The Jams - 2 In 1
Proto-Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kick Out The Jams!- Anthology 1965 - 1971
Proto-Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Anthology 1965 - 1971
Proto-Metal 2008

MC5 singles (9)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Can Only Give You Everything / I Just Don't Know
Proto-Metal 1966
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Can Only Give Everything / One Of The Guys
Proto-Metal 1966
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ramblin' Rose / Borderline
Proto-Metal 1968
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Looking at You / Borderline
Proto-Metal 1968
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tonight / Looking At You
Proto-Metal 1969
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kick Out The Jams / Motor City Is Burning
Proto-Metal 1969
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Back In The USA / Tutti - Frutti
Proto-Metal 1970
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shakin' Streets / The American Muse
Proto-Metal 1970
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sister Anne / One Of The Guys
Proto-Metal 2008

MC5 movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
A True Testimonial
Proto-Metal 2002
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sonic Revolution - A Celebration Of The MC5
Proto-Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kick Out The Jams
Proto-Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live: Helsinki, Finland 1972
Proto-Metal 2007

MC5 Reviews

MC5 Kick Out the Jams

Album · 1969 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Kick Out the Jams" is the debut album by US hard rock act MC5. The album was released through Elektra Records in February 1969. A bit out of the ordinary the album is a live album instead of a studio recording like the case is with most debut albums. Elektra Records felt that the band´s energy and wild performance were best captured in a live setting. "Kick Out the Jams" was recorded live on October 30 and 31, 1968, at Detroit's Grande Ballroom. The album sparked some controversy as the word "Motherfucker" is shouted on the album and also appeared on the inner sleeve of the first pressing of the album. That version was soon pulled from stores and two different versions with censored album covers where pressed after that. Even after that the band had trouble with the major department store Hudson´s, which refused to sell the album. In reaction to that MC5 moved in an add which depicted Rob Tyner and the words "Fuck Hudson´s". Although the band have later claimed that Elektra Records was in on the idea, MC5 was subsequently fired from the label to end the conflict. Damage control.

From the above it should be clear that MC5 weren´t the type of band who gave a fuck what others felt about them and that attitude is very much present in the material on "Kick Out the Jams". The band´s far left political ties and anti-establishment lyrics only further enhances the feeling that these guys were rebels and meant business. And that´s to a point where some of the talking between the songs is close to sounding like a political rally. But the politics out of the way "Kick Out the Jams" is ultimately just a filthy, loud, sweaty and distorted hard rock album that went just a bit further than most rock albums released around the same time. In addition to some of the energetic hard rocking tracks like "Ramblin' Rose", "Kick Out the Jams" and "Rocket Reducer N°62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)", the album also features the heavy blues cover of John Lee Hooker´s "Motor City is Burning" and the closing sonic experiment "Starship". The latter is the only time during "Kick Out the Jams", where I think the album loses it´s breath and becomes a bit tedious. Back in 1968 - 1969 this kind of experiment was probably considered bold and maybe even mindblowing to some people, but noisy sound collages like this one have a tendency to become tiresome after only a few spins. Quite frankly I always skip this one.

The sound production is raw, distorted and so "live" that you can almost feel the presence of the audience and smell the sweat, smoke and beer in the venue. I doubt if there are any overdubs on the album, this really does sound like the "real" thing.

Compared to their contemporaries in The Stooges and their more nihilistic ways, MC5 almost come off as gentle and today their outspoken far left wing views also come off as more humourous than they were originally intented, but "Kick Out the Jams" is still one hell of a raw and filthy hard rock live album. It´s the kind of album that you´ll remember long after it´s over. Despite the tedious nature of "Starship" which takes up about 8 minutes of the playing time, I still think a 4 star (80%) rating is warranted. A true classic this one.

MC5 Back in the USA

Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
1967/ 1976
"SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE USA"!!!

Why quote Shakespeare? Because MC5 was one of the most political band in the world. To say that MC5 was the musical expression of White Panthers is to tell the truth. Yet his music has no barriers: is loved by all. However, they proposed a raw rock and roll, damn Proto Punk but very honest. A gear music, then? Certainly. But not without technique. Simply they proposed a very immediate Rock'n'Roll without psychedelic influences. But you do not expect the Garage Rock, not even listening to "Call Me Animal".

Today the musical proposal of MC5 seems simple, direct and outdated. But in 1970 a middle-class american extreme surely found an album like this "Back In The USA". An album that, in any case, it is still relevant and fresh.

MC5 Kick Out the Jams

Album · 1969 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Angry and politicised enough to edge towards punk rock, but with enough classic rock features - they slip in an old school guitar solo here and there, like at the end of Ramblin' Rose - to not quite qualify as founders of the genre (it would be down to the Stooges to do the honours there), the MC5 were still one of the loudest bands you could hope to hear in 1968. The band made the right call in making their first album a live one, because the music is so raw, so vital, and the energy of the crowd is so intense, that it would be impossible to capture quite the same atmosphere in a studio.

And if you want proto-metal, boy you've got it. Come Together, which emerges roaring from the tail end of the title track, reaches almost speed metal velocities, and with its lyrics about revolution and solidarity in the darkness is scary as hell - not in a "Satan is going to eat your soul" way but in a "they're going to riot in the streets and burn the world down" kind of way. In fact, the first five tracks all exude immense power and speed; the albums only slow down for Motor City is Burning, a bit of politicised blues-rock more interesting for the lyrical content than for the somewhat hackneyed musical content. Not that I have anything against the blues, but other artists did the whole blues-rock thing better than these guys. (And it continues into the next song, the uninspired I Want You Right Now.) Things pick up for the energetic Starship, but it has to be said that the album's second side seriously sags in the middle.

Those who don't agree with the MC5's politics might be put out by the lyrical content and the occasional rabble-rousing between songs - but then again, if you're not into rebellion and sticking two fingers up at authority you're hardly likely to be particularly keen on metal. Not a five-star album by a long way - the second side is just plain weaker than the first - but a very creditable three and a half stars.

MC5 Kick Out the Jams

Album · 1969 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
Kick out the jams, motherfuckers...

Genre: garage rock

MC5 are hugely important in the history of extreme rock. Their style is sometimes described as proto-punk because of its dirty sound, but MC5 are just as important in the history of metal. What they did was to take the hard rock that would eventually develop into metal and take it to the nth degree of extremity - a move which has been incremental in the development of extreme metal genres ever since.

And, although the music is sloppy and noisy on this album, I think that its energy and bluesey groove is more akin to that which is characteristic of hard rock and classic metal, and in addition there are some psychedelic - almost progressive elements on some of the tracks, such as the last track "Starship" as well as "Borderline". While the energy is hard rock and more metal-like the DIY-attitude of punk music pervades the album. Although listed as and treated as a full length release proper, it is in reality a collection of two live concerts, which explains the sloppiness and noise of the album, but it also captures the intensity of the music in a way that a studio recording wouldn't.

This is a classic dirty hard rock release which should be of interest to both punks and metalheads.

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