MC5 Starship Live
- Released: October 12, 1998
- Originally Released: 1998
- Label: Total Energy
- 1.Kick Out the Jams
- 2.Come Together
- 3.Revolutionary Blues
- 4.Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa
- 5.James Brown Medley: Cold Sweat / I Can't Stand Myself / There Was a Time: Cold Sweat / I Can't Stand Myself / There Was A Time
- 6.Upper Egypt
- 7.Tutti Frutti
- 9.Born Under a Bad Sign
- 10.I Want You
- 12.Black to Comm
MC5: Rob Tyner (vocals, flute); Wayne Kramer, Fred "Sonic" Smith (guitar); Michael Davis (bass); Dennis Thompson (drums).
Recorded live at the Sturgis Armory, Sturgis, Michigan on June 27, 1968. Includes liner notes by John Sinclair.
Personnel: Rob Tyner (vocals, flute); Wayne Kramer (guitar); Dennis Thompson (drums).
Liner Note Author: John Sinclair.
Recording information: Sturgis Armory (06/1968); Sturgis Armory, Sturgis, MI (06/1968).
Editors: John Sinclair; Keith Keller; Mike Wolf.
This is one band that is not under-represented when it comes to live albums, but like their pals the Stooges, their historical importance is such that there can be no ambivalence about another one coming out. And like the Stooges, the MC5 were such a supersonic, unequaled live act that their two studio LPs could never, ever, remotely come close to seizing their power -- especially the kind of raw explosions they set off in the summer of 1968 , when they were at the peak of their stage prowess. This show in Western Michigan, a few hours from their Ann Arbor headquarters, is but three months shy of their riotous appearance in Chicago's Lincoln Park, as part of the legendary antiwar protests during the 1968 Democratic convention that resulted in the "Chicago 7" trial. And it's only four months before the Halloween-weekend Grande Ballroom gigs that became Kick out the Jams. So clearly this is a Five that was cresting as a band and, more importantly, in its self-belief as the loudest, wildest, most dangerous band ever. You don't just hear it in the grooves; it attacks you, like a ferocious animal, right out of your shocked speakers. (The sound quality, though far short of Kick out the Jams' sonic boom, is way better than bootlegs.) And it's not just the fireball Hendrix/Cream/Chuck Berry/1964 Kinks blasts of hurtful, mega-watt guitars over a cinder blocks-heavy rhythm section, or even the insane power vocals. That's what they are known for, and it's here in spades as ever, on familiar first LP marvels "Kick out the Jams," "Borderline," "Starship," and also on an ungodly, absolutely insane "Black to Comm." But it's the unfamiliar territory that differentiates this CD from the other MC5 live gigs out there. A few cuts, such as "Upper Egypt," show their Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, and in this case, Pharoah Sanders influences, while both "Revolutionary Blues" (with Rob Tyner making up words) and a filthy cover of Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Side" prove few could get more down and dirty with trudge-and-lumber blues. These guys could bring the "total energy" to whatever style they chose, make it theirs, and blow you away doing it. ~ Jack Rabid
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