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Kick Out The Jams

(33⅓ #25)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  111 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
When the Motor City 5 stormed the stage, the band combined the kinetic
flash of James Brown on acid with the raw musical dynamics of the Who
gone berserk. It s a unique band that can land itself on the cover of
Rolling Stone a month before the release of its debut album and then be
booted from its record contract just a few months later. Rock had never
before seen the likes of
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 18th 2005 by Continuum International Publishing Group (first published 2005)
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Miles Honey
this book is like fine if you are interested in 1. the MC5 2. detroit music history in general 3. john sinclair/the white panther party—i came for all 3 equally so there was enough interest for me to not feel like it was a huge waste of time. that said, this is not a very interesting book—it's very short, so i was able to blow through it on a bus ride from ann arbor to detroit (fitting, right?), but if i had put it down at any point i doubt i'd have picked it back up. the writing isn't terribly ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: music
This is a fine, if brief, introduction to the band, though the book is hardly about what its title promises...Kick out the Jams is less than half of the content here.

If you're a fan, sure, read it. If you're new to the band, it'll give you some grounding, though the music itself is the real story. Otherwise, eh.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was one of the better entries in the series I've read this year. I think McLeese did a fantastic job with an album that's fairly hard to write about, giving it a place in the larger cultural context of 1969 and, more importantly, the sixties in general. I've always been a fan of this record, but I now have an even better appreciation for it.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Stooges leerde ik redelijk vroeg in mijn muzikale ontdekkingstocht kennen, dankzij die niet te missen SEARCH & DESTROY op de rug van jeugdheld Henry Rollins, maar ik denk dat ik hun Detroitse collega’s van the Motor City 5 pas een paar jaar later te horen kreeg. Velen beschouwen die twee bands als een essentiële schakel in de ontwikkeling van de punk en (hard)rock, en daar zijn zeker valabele argumenten voor aan te voeren: beide bands stonden voor een doorgevoerd primitivisme dat het con ...more
Edward Sullivan
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
From the 33 1/3 series, this is a good chronicle about Detroit proto-punk band MC5 and their 1969 debut album with some nice touches of personal insight.
Dr. Detroit
Oct 13, 2009 marked it as to-read
Haven't read this book yet, but that won't stop me from prattling on about the album that forms the basis for it.

As Wayne Kramer so wryly observes in the mind-frying, so-good-it's-nearly-unfathomable, not-yet-released-on-DVD (SOMEBODY do something already!) documentary “A True Testimonial,” the Summer of Love (patent pending) didn’t make a stop in Detroit, but it’s just so easy to forget about adding things like putting flowers in your hair, organizing peaceful anti-war rallies, and restocking t
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The MC5 - or the Motor City Five - I saw them at a dance in 1965 - and a couple of them had Beatle haircuts. Then in 1966 they played a dance at my high school. And then........

Their performances began with ....

Brothers and Sisters! I want to see a sea of hands out there! Let me see a sea of hands! I want everyone to kick up some noise! I want to hear some revolution out there Brothers! I want to hear a little revolution!

Brothers and Sisters, the time has come for each and every one of you to d
When the author, a professor of journalism and music journalist, was given the go-ahead by the publisher to pursue a project on the Motor City 5's seminal album Kick Out the Jams, he
had no idea what kind of book might result. All I knew was that I wanted to come to terms with the most powerful rock I had ever experienced and to try to explain how a time like no other and a place like no other had ignited a band like no other.

The writing would allow me to revisit a pivotal year in my life—as the
May 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book doesn't talk much about the contents of the actual "Kick Out The Jams" album--though don't get me wrong, there are a few pages devoted to it. What it mostly focuses on is a social history and biography of the MC5 and their place within the broader context of the late 60s rock scene. In the absence of a major MC5 biography, this book does a great job of providing at least the skeleton of such a thing, though it can't go but so far in 120 half-sized pages. The suppressed documentary "The ...more
Beth martinez
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Don McLeese approaches this book is to begin with his personal experience with the MC 5 and how they changed his life as a young adult, and then moves on to elaborate on the MC 5 as a band and their history. The MC 5 were always a bit of mystery to me. There are certain recordings that I loved right off the bat, and others where the appeal is lost on me. This book illuminated why this is the case for me by discussing the different studio albums and the approach that the band, label, management a ...more
Chris Allan
Feb 03, 2010 rated it liked it
A small(literally) but fairly in depth look at the time of the MC5. This band couldn't have been around at any other moment, they didn't sell many records, The Stooges their little brother band became bigger, but these guys set the tone for sonic garage rock and roll. The whole White Panther thing sort of took over from their initial power which in some ways was everything that they stood for, some didn't want to be involved(the rhythm section)others thought it provoked middle America, which it ...more
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it
in my opinion the book gets a little too into slagging Wayne Kramer at conclusion for reforming with the MC rhythm section to take the songs on the road again. Also, it is regrettable that the doc about the 5 called "A True Testimonial" was squelched but, again, the author doesn't seem interested in understanding position of Wayne Kramer, Dennis Thompson, and Mike Davis in their action against the filmmakers.

But for the most part this is a great read and provides great historical context and ref
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

excellent! the series is back on track! admittedly, this book was as much about the MC5 as it was about this particular album. but it melded the world that existed around MC5, the time and other things really well.

i appreciated hearing the difference of being in the rust belt vs. being on the coasts - musically. i enjoyed the DNC 68 talk and the discussion of the band post kick out the jams.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: music
These were the first guys to learn record companies don't subsidize the dog that bites the hand. Rage Against the Machine would learn later. Nonetheless, a nice aural assault from the people's band, back when guerilla theatre was in vogue and they didn't need no stinkin' stage.
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
Sometimes the writing of such books just makes the book all the more interesting. McLeese definitely made the material in this story come to life, and in doing so, made the album come to life for me all over again, though I feel as if I might not understand it quite the way he sees it.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Definitely a strong book from what I've read of the 33 1/3 series so far. It offers a good historical look at one of my favorite bands and one of my favorite cities, though it mentions riots in Detroit in 1968, a year Detroit happened to be riot-free.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
A really nicely written account of the days of mayhem. Lots of excellent historical research. I probably will never consider this one of my favorite albums but that doesn't mean I don't think it's one of the most important in the history of rock.
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
what music writing should always be like.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good history of the hype that buried a great band. The author notes that their next two albums were ignored classics (true).
Nick H
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Serves as a succinct history of the band, as well as an informational snap-shot of the Detroit rock music scene in the mid to late 60's. a quick read, and quite enjoyable.
David Crunelle
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly well written, which is kinda exceptional in the music book world. Highly recommended for early fans of the MC5.
Greg Renoff
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great read. It really helped me understand the power and significance of the MC5.
Oct 23, 2013 rated it liked it
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