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MC5|Back In The USA

Back In The USA

MC5

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While lacking the monumental impact of Kick Out the Jams, the MC5's second album is in many regards their best and most influential, its lean, edgy sound anticipating the emergence of both the punk and power pop movements to follow later in the decade. Bookended by a pair of telling covers -- Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A." -- the disc is as much a look back at rock & roll's origins as it is a push forward into the music's future; given the Five's vaunted revolutionary leanings, for instance, it's both surprising and refreshing to discover the record's emotional centerpiece is a doo wop-inspired ballad, "Let Me Try," that's the most lovely and gentle song in their catalog. The recurring theme which drives Back in the USA is adolescence, its reminiscences alternately fond and embittered -- while cuts like "Tonight," "Teenage Lust," "High School," and "Shakin' Street" celebrate youth in all its rebellious glory, others like "The American Ruse" and "The Human Being Lawnmower" condemn a system which eats its young, filling their heads with lies before sending them off to war. Equally gripping is the record's singular sound -- produced by Jon Landau with an almost complete disregard for the bottom end, Back in the USA captures a live-wire intensity 180 degrees removed from the group's live sound yet perfectly suited to the material at hand, resulting in music which not only salutes the power of rock & roll but also reaffirms it.

© Jason Ankeny /TiVo

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Back In The USA

MC5

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1
Tutti-Frutti (LP Version)
MC5
00:01:27

Wayne Kramer, Solo Guitar - Rob Tyner, Lead Vocals - MC5, MainArtist - Richard Penniman, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Davis, Bass Guitar - Joe Lubin, Composer, Lyricist - DENNIS THOMPSON, Drums - Dorothy LaBostrie, Composer - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

2
Tonight (LP Version)
MC5
00:02:32

Wayne Kramer, Composer - Rob Tyner, Composer, Lead Vocals - Fred Smith, Composer - MC5, MainArtist - Michael Davis, Composer, Bass Guitar - DENNIS THOMPSON, Drums, Writer - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

3
Teenage Lust (LP Version)
MC5
00:02:33

Wayne Kramer, Guitar, Writer - Rob Tyner, Lead Vocals, Writer - Fred Smith, Writer - MC5, MainArtist - Michael Davis, Bass Guitar, Writer - DENNIS THOMPSON, Drums, Writer - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

4
Let Me Try (LP Version)
MC5
00:04:13

Wayne Kramer, Writer - Rob Tyner, Lead Vocals, Writer - Fred Smith, Writer - MC5, MainArtist - Michael Davis, Bass Guitar, Writer - DENNIS THOMPSON, Drums, Writer - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

5
Looking at You (LP Version)
MC5
00:03:00

Wayne Kramer, Composer, Guitar - Rob Tyner, Composer, Lead Vocals - Fred Smith, Composer - MC5, MainArtist - Michael Davis, Composer, Bass Guitar - DENNIS THOMPSON, Composer, Drums - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

6
High School (LP Version)
MC5
00:02:39

Wayne Kramer, Composer - Rob Tyner, Composer, Lead Vocals - Fred Smith, Composer - MC5, MainArtist - Michael Davis, Composer, Bass Guitar - DENNIS THOMPSON, Composer, Drums - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

7
Call Me Animal (LP Version)
MC5
00:02:03

Wayne Kramer, Writer - Rob Tyner, Lead Vocals, Writer - Fred Smith, Writer - MC5, MainArtist - Michael Davis, Bass Guitar, Writer - DENNIS THOMPSON, Drums, Writer - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

8
The American Ruse (LP Version)
The MC5
00:02:28

Wayne Kramer, Writer - Rob Tyner, Lead Vocals, Writer - Fred Smith, Writer - Michael Davis, Bass Guitar, Writer - DENNIS THOMPSON, Drums, Writer - Jon Landau, Producer - The MC5, MainArtist - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

9
Shakin' Street (LP Version)
MC5
00:02:19

Wayne Kramer, Composer - Rob Tyner, Composer, Lead Vocals - Fred Smith, Composer - MC5, MainArtist - Michael Davis, Composer, Bass Guitar - DENNIS THOMPSON, Composer, Drums - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer - Fred "Sonic" Smith, Guitar

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

10
The Human Being Lawnmower (LP Version)
MC5
00:02:21

Wayne Kramer, Writer - Rob Tyner, Lead Vocals, Writer - Fred Smith, Writer - MC5, MainArtist - Michael Davis, Bass Guitar, Writer - DENNIS THOMPSON, Drums, Writer - Jon Landau, Producer - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

11
Back in the USA (LP Version)
The MC5
00:02:25

Wayne Kramer, Guitar - Rob Tyner, Lead Vocals - Chuck Berry, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Davis, Bass Guitar - DENNIS THOMPSON, Drums - Jon Landau, Producer - The MC5, MainArtist - Danny Jordan, Keyboards - Jim Bruzzese, Engineer

© 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp. Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

Album review

While lacking the monumental impact of Kick Out the Jams, the MC5's second album is in many regards their best and most influential, its lean, edgy sound anticipating the emergence of both the punk and power pop movements to follow later in the decade. Bookended by a pair of telling covers -- Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A." -- the disc is as much a look back at rock & roll's origins as it is a push forward into the music's future; given the Five's vaunted revolutionary leanings, for instance, it's both surprising and refreshing to discover the record's emotional centerpiece is a doo wop-inspired ballad, "Let Me Try," that's the most lovely and gentle song in their catalog. The recurring theme which drives Back in the USA is adolescence, its reminiscences alternately fond and embittered -- while cuts like "Tonight," "Teenage Lust," "High School," and "Shakin' Street" celebrate youth in all its rebellious glory, others like "The American Ruse" and "The Human Being Lawnmower" condemn a system which eats its young, filling their heads with lies before sending them off to war. Equally gripping is the record's singular sound -- produced by Jon Landau with an almost complete disregard for the bottom end, Back in the USA captures a live-wire intensity 180 degrees removed from the group's live sound yet perfectly suited to the material at hand, resulting in music which not only salutes the power of rock & roll but also reaffirms it.

© Jason Ankeny /TiVo

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