The Big Bang: The Best of the MC5

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Forget any other combo's claim to the name; in their short lifespan, the MC5 were truly the world's most dangerous band. Their radical politics -- which advocated breaking drug laws and taking up guns in the streets -- was taken from the White Panther Party in the band's native Detroit, while its screaming, intense sound laid the groundwork for the heavy metal and punk yet to come. This 21-song compilation culls material from each of the 5's distinct periods. From their embryonic stage comes the rumbling, decontrolled squall of "Looking at You"; the hyper-politicized late-'60s era is represented by the uncensored "Kick Out the Jams" one of the first songs to get an ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Forget any other combo's claim to the name; in their short lifespan, the MC5 were truly the world's most dangerous band. Their radical politics -- which advocated breaking drug laws and taking up guns in the streets -- was taken from the White Panther Party in the band's native Detroit, while its screaming, intense sound laid the groundwork for the heavy metal and punk yet to come. This 21-song compilation culls material from each of the 5's distinct periods. From their embryonic stage comes the rumbling, decontrolled squall of "Looking at You"; the hyper-politicized late-'60s era is represented by the uncensored "Kick Out the Jams" one of the first songs to get an album banned from the stores; and the back-to-basics latter days get painted in the stark proto-punk relief of "Shakin' Street" and "Call Me Animal." Through it all, the dual-guitar attack of Wayne Kramer and the late Fred "Sonic" Smith keeps both energy and danger levels maxed out -- particularly on "The Human Being Lawnmower" and "Ramblin' Rose." The revolution might not have been televised, but its soundtrack came through loud and clear in the work of the MC5.
All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
A best-of for a group that only made three albums might be considered an inessential addition to their discography, particularly as all three of those albums remain available on CD. However, if you only want one MC5 album, this compilation makes more sense than if might appear at first. It draws judiciously from each of the three records; adds three somewhat rare tracks from pre-Kick Out the Jams singles; and finishes with a live 1972 cut, "Thunder Express," recorded for French TV and previously available on a Skydog CD. In somewhat of a surprise, it leans most heavily on Back in the U.S.A. (with eight tracks), and not so much on the album that most would view as their most significant effort, Kick Out the Jams (only four tracks). That decision works out better than you might think. The three tracks from 1967-1968 singles are fairly similar to the Kick Out the Jams vibe anyway, and if you don't own Kick Out the Jams already, you may well be ready for something a little cleaner-sounding and less assaultive by the time seven songs have gone by. It's unfortunate, nonetheless, that the two remaining pre-Kick Out the Jams tracks from non-LP 45s, "One of the Guys" and a different version of Kick Out the Jams' "Borderline," were not included. Kick Out the Jams itself would get most people's nod as the first and most essential MC5 purchase, but this is a close second, its value enhanced by detailed historical liner notes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/15/2000
  • Label: Atlantic
  • UPC: 081227978327
  • Catalog Number: 79783
  • Sales rank: 29,177

Album Credits

Performance Credits
MC5 Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Rob Tyner Harmonica, Conga, Maracas
Wayne Kramer Bass, Guitar, Piano
Joanne Hill Vocals
Larry Horton Trombone
Brenda Knight Vocals
Charles Moore Flugelhorn
Butch O'Brien Bass Drums
David Oversteak Tuba
Fred "Sonic" Smith Organ, Guitar, Harmonica
Dennis Thompson Percussion, Tambourine, Snare Drums
Michael Davis Bass
Technical Credits
MC5 Composer
Rob Tyner Composer
Wayne Kramer Composer
Bruce Botnick Engineer
Jim Bruzzese Engineer
Danny Dallas Engineer
Geoffrey Haslam Engineer
Fred "Sonic" Smith Composer
Fred Smith Composer
Dennis Thompson Composer
Julie Vlasak Art Direction
Bryan Lasley Art Direction
Dennis Tomich Composer
Lonnie Williams Composer
Michael Davis Composer
Michael Higgins Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    the mc5 were probably the roughest/crudest sounding band of the

    the mc5 were probably the roughest/crudest sounding band of the time. yeah, even their playing style was rough. this is a fine album. the only reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5 was because a couple of songs -tonight, teenage lust, high school-had more of a mitch ryder wannabe style than the mc5's trademark sound. but a couple of songs out of 22 songs isn't bad. weather the political angst of the young was real or imagined, this album is a product of the times. reviewed by carl.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews