||From the Vault...
"Back In The USA"
© Atlantic/Rhino Records
Year of Release: 1970
Let Me Try
Looking At You
Call Me Animal
The American Ruse
The Human Being
Back In The USA
The MC5 related sites:
"Back In The USA"
The MC5 -- short for The Motor City Five, a pure sounding band out of the
late 1960s into the 1970s. Their philosophy was the power of Rock & Roll to
change the world. They only released 3 albums, from 1969 to 1971; Back In
The USA (their second album) was their "masterpiece." They were very
outspoken, demonstrating their personal views at concerts by wearing American
flags and screaming revolutionary slogans. (Their original record label,
Elektra dropped them, due to their ad with the "F.U." words. Atlantic Records
would later sign them.) The band consisted of Rob Tyner (vocals), Wayne
Kramer (guitar), Fred "Sonic" Smith (guitar), Michael Davis (bass), and Dennis
Thompson (drums). Named after their home base in 1965, their masterpiece
albums defines the beginning stages of Punk Rock, likewise continuing the
basics of Rock & Roll.
The Little Richard remake "Tutti-Frutti" is basic rock & roll,
easily making any garage band having their near two minutes of fame.
"Tonight" is an original tune (written by The MC5), as it has a definite
good late-1960s Rock styled sound. "Teenage Lust" begins the stages
of Pre-Punk, especially of a band that would later surface in the 1970s, The
Ramones. "Looking For You" is another great rocker, and easily defining
Pre-Punk, likewise "The Human Being Lawnmower."
"Let Me Try" is a ballad, having a definite 1970s Rock sound. The
guitarworks is exceptional -- nice, smooth, and easily flows the song along with
Rob Tyner's vocals. I could picture Grand Funk Railroad doing this song on one
of their early 1970s albums.
"High School" is another great '70s Rocker, comparing to that of the
Brownsville Station's "Leader Of The Gang." in a way. "Call Me Animal"
is a song that showcases The MC5 as a true ROCKING band! And speaking of
ROCKING -- If Chuck Berry would be a hard rocker, "The American Ruse"
would be a great example, it has the simple rocking style Berry always had,
yet The MC5 ROCKS once again on this song. "Shakin' Street" might be
considered the mellower side of The MC5, comparing the other rockers on this
album. This one could also be compared to the pop songs of The Kinks.
"Back In The USA" -- The Chuck Berry classic; The MC5's version is
just in one word -- AWESOME -- it's basic Rock n Roll, that everyone can enjoy.
This is a song that can easily be played over and over, and this album overall
is a great introduction to The MC5's music.
The MC5 shaped the sound that would later become Punk music, yet they
kept the Rock & Roll style intact. Bandmembers Rob Tyner Fred "Sonic" Smith
are probably rocking somewhere in Rock & Roll Heaven now, as Tyner passed away
of a heart attack in 1991, and Smith in 1994 of health failure. Wayne Kramer
released 4 solo albums in the 1990s. If you're a fan of basic Rock & Roll
and/or The Ramones' music, Back In The USA will have this album on
for repeated listening. This album is meant to be listened to from the first
song to the last. It is that good of an album, and easily recognized as a
masterpiece. With only 3 albums, a 1983 cassette, and a 2000 Best Of,
it's probably best to listen to their original albums, rather than a Best Of.
Back In The USA clearly defines this. Best Of compilations just simply
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