MC5 – Kick Out the Jams
This month we’re tackling an album I’ve been aware of for a long time, never listened to, but the time has come.
Kick Out the Jams by MC5 was released in February 1969 and has been classified as proto-punk. While the band formed in 1963, it took a few years for their debut album to come into form, and uniquely, it was recorded live over two nights at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom in 1968. Typically bands release a live album well into their career but MC5 uniquely opted to do so out of the gates.
It was not terribly well received upon release, with critic Lester Bangs, writing his first review for Rolling Stone, calling Kick Out the Jams a “ridiculous, overbearing, pretentious album”. But as time often does, as the years passed, it has become one of the most positively cited live albums, as well as noted for laying the tracks for the true punk explosion that was to come.
Over the last few months I keep hearing Kick Out the Jams and MC5 being mentioned in articles and podcasts, so the time has finally come to embark down the MC5 road.
So, buckle up, pour a drink, have a puff, turn it up to 11, and let’s see where this takes us…