MC5 – Kick Out The Jams

Mc5Detroit’s MC5 (Motor-city 5) could maybe quite rightfully claim to be the first punk band. Although fellow Detroit natives, The Stooges are maybe the most feted, the MC5 released their incendiary debut album a year before the Stooges and actually were instrumental in getting their “little brothers” signed to Elektra records. Kick Out The Jams is a pretty unique record, for a debut, as it’s a live album recorded in Detroit’s Grande Ballroom in front of the group’s hardcore fans. It seems like an odd choice, but the band had a ferocious live reputation and the actual sound recording is first class. It obviously doesn’t compare to modern live albums in clarity, but the instruments are all clear and it’s mixed perfectly.

From JC Crawford’s rabble rousing intro, the album never let’s up. “Ramblin’ Rose” is a full on stomper, followed by the best song on the album, the title track “Kick Out The Jams”. From the opening intro (“Right now, right now it’s time to…. kick out the jams motherfuckers!”) to the final crescendo at the end, it’s pure punk energy at it’s finest. “Come Together” and the bluesy “Borderline” are great too, and really show off the great guitar work by Wayne Kramer and Fred “Sonic” Smith.

It’s not perfect though, “Starship” is a psychedelic wig-out that sounds as if it’s a totally different band. The latter part sags a bit as the shorter tracks are at the start and the final three tracks go on for almost 20 minutes. Kick Out The Jams is still a short album though, it’s 8 songs in 40 minutes and some of the energy from the start pushes the whole album along. It’s not hard to see why this was a big inspiration for punk, with it’s stance against the man and short, fast songs and it still holds up today and an exciting album to listen to.

MC5 – Kick Out The Jams:


  1. Designate

    Thank you for putting me in your blogroll, I added yours to mine as well 🙂

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