is the debut studio album (and second album overall, following 1969's live album Back in the USA ) by American rock band Kick Out the Jams MC5.
Background [ edit ]
The central focus of the album is the band's movement away from the raw, thrashy sound pioneered and captured on their first release, the live album
(1969). This was due in part to producer Kick Out the Jams Jon Landau's distaste for the rough psychedelic rock movement, and his adoration for the straightforward rock and roll of the 1950s.
Landau, who originally wrote for
magazine, was looking to get more involved in actual music production. Becoming close with Rolling Stone Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler was his chance and led Landau to the politically radical MC5, who had just been picked up by Atlantic after being dropped from Elektra Records in 1969 – ironically, the Kinney National Company (later known as Time Warner), parent of Atlantic, would acquire Elektra in the same year of this album's release; both labels are now part of the Warner Music Group (now a separate company from TW), through the Atlantic Records Group.
Content [ edit ]
The opening track is a cover of the classic hit "
Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard. "Let Me Try" is a ballad. "The American Ruse" attacks what the Detroit quintet saw as the hypocritical idea of freedom espoused by the US government, and "The Human Being Lawnmower" expresses opposition to the US involvement in the Vietnam War. The last song on the album, which is the title track, is a cover of Chuck Berry's 1959 single " Back in the U.S.A.".
Release and reception [ edit ]
Though the album was viewed as a flop early on by most fans, and lacked the commercial success of their previous release, it would later be considered highly important due to the album's absolute projection of MC5's core sound and earliest influences.
In his retrospective review, Jason Ankeny of
AllMusic wrote, "While lacking the monumental impact of Kick Out the Jams, the MC5's second album is in many regards their best and most influential". [1 ]
In 2011, the album was ranked number 451 on
magazine's Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. NME listed the album as number 490 on their list.
Jason Ankeny of
AllMusic commented that "[the album's] lean, edgy sound anticipat[ed] the emergence of both the punk and power pop movements to follow later in the decade." [1 ]
Track listing [ edit ]
All songs written and composed by
MC5, except as noted.
Tutti Frutti" Dorothy LaBostrie, Joe Lubin,
Richard Penniman 1:30
"Let Me Try"
"Looking at You"
"Call Me Animal"
"The American Ruse"
"The Human Being Lawnmower"
Back in the U.S.A."
Chuck Berry 2:26
Personnel [ edit ]
Danny Jordan – keyboards
Pete Kelly – keyboards
References [ edit ]
^ a b c Ankeny, Jason. ". Back in the USA – MC5 | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic" AllMusic . Retrieved . February 20, 2015
^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: MC5". robertchristgau.com . Retrieved . February 20, 2015
^ Marcus, Greil (May 14, 1970). "[. Back in the USA review]" Rolling Stone . Retrieved . February 20, 2015
External links [ edit ]