With moves like James Brown and a wardrobe like Marc Bolan he will forever be remembered for his rally cry of ‘Kick Out The Jams Motherfucker’ The band released three albums from ’69 and the classic ‘Kick out the Jams’ through the ’70s ‘Back In The USA’ to the bands final album ‘High Time’ a year later. The band fell apart due to infighting and drug problems but before it turned sour they really blazed a trail and managed to bug the powers that be – Big time!
Their impact cannot be denied and Tyner was a big part of that from his unique afro and his distinctive voice to their political stance in quite volatile times not just in the USA but around the world. The MC5 featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine even before they had a record out. The band had strong left-wing political ties and were happy to air their Anti-establishment views through their lyrics. Along with Iggy And The Stooges they were punk way before punk was even a thing. They were loud, energetic and had style but most of all they had songs! Their back-to-basics rock and roll included now classics like ‘Ramblin’ Rose’ ‘Kick Out The Jams’ which must be one of the most covered songs in history. ‘Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)’ and ‘Looking At You’ (Another that’s been covered by bands such as The Damned and The Mission). They were certainly unique and at the time caused quite a stir to the mainstream who didn’t know what to do with a bunch of young men who were clued up and armed with a voice their spat with Hudsons Department Store being a good example.
Tyner (going by his real name) was first approached by Wayne Kramer via the underground left-wing hipster scene in Detroit and his talent wasn’t on the bass but out front and center via the microphone. It was also Tyner who named the band MC5 which if you didn’t know it’s short for Motor City Five and the legend was born.
They were well known locally as the band to see with their incendiary live shows that were full of energy and it’s well documented that they were already hypnotising audiences in excess of a thousand people with a blistering energy and loud garage rock. It was Danny Fields who signed the band to Elektra at the same time he signed The Stooges but it was the MC5 who was the first hard Rock band signed to the label.
In ’68 the band performed at an anti-Vietnam war rally and allegedly played for eight hours straight! Hold onto that and it might explain how the band were closely tied with LSD and Marijuana usage. They also use to have firearms as part of their stage show brandishing rifles on stage and then a sniper would shoot Tyner as part of their act to end the set.
Controversy was never far from the band’s door as they were embroiled in an ad campaign when a store (Hudsons) refused to stock their album so they took out an ad that claimed the store should go fuck themselves. in response, the store pulled all Elektra artists which led to the band being fired and subsequent signing to Atlantic for their second album so when McLaren thought he was unique engineering the Pistols labels fiascos it had already been done years earlier by the MC5. Imagine being in an audience not having a clue who the band was and hearing Tyner announce Kick Out The Jams and then witnessing the kind of performance seen in the video? It must have been life-changing.
After MC5 split he kept himself busy with a number of acts such as fireworks and then the Rob Tyner Band who played shows with the likes of Cheap Trick and AC/DC but by the end of ’78 the band fizzled out having not released an album. Tyner then chanced his arm in the UK where he worked briefly with Eddie & the Hot Rods before he headed back to the states to work on Detroit legend Scott Morgan’s benefit project. the Guitar Army, which helped to organise and promote the music of Vietnam veterans. There was a solo record released in 1990 entitled ‘Blood Brothers’, but sadly, the singer died from a heart attack a year later, on this very day in 1991.
Several years after his passing, a live release surfaced courtesy of the Motor City Music label/website, ‘Rock and Roll People’, which documented a pair of Rob Tyner Band concerts from 1977 (at the Kramer Theatre and the Embassy Hotel). His legacy might be limited with regards to his recording output compared to many of his peers but never underestimate the influence of the MC5 – Gone but not forgotten Rob was only 46 at the time he passed away Rest In Peace Rob Tyner.
On this day in 1951 Bun E. Carlos (drummer for Cheap Trick) is born Brad Carlson in Rockford, Illinois. Bun E was the band’s chief setlister and archivist, and kept recordings of all the band’s shows, some of which have been released under the title ‘Bun E’s Bootlegs’.
Bun E’s band Cheap Trick released their debut album way back in ’77 But it wasn’t until ‘In Color’ the bands sophomore release that things really took off. The first place to go crazy for cheap Trick was Japan where they always had a huge mutual love and respect namely their iconic ‘Cheap Trick at Budokan’.
Cheap Trick has always had a rabid following but their general popularity has always been a bit up and down over the decades but being able to boast sales in excess of 20 million albums is no mean feat. The band has toured the world many many times, playing over 5,000 shows. Even though Bun E has been replaced for almost a decade after initially needing time off after back surgery he was replaced by Nielsons Son Daxx. His contribution is huge and that archive must be something to behold to this day. Carlos had to sue his former bandmates several years ago and things got messy as he was countersued and so it began. However, in 2016 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 8, and the band was introduced and Zander, Nielsen, Petersson, and Carlos all in attendance; performed ‘I Want You to Want Me’, ‘Dream Police’, ‘Surrender’ and ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ so not all bad. Happy Birthday Bun E!
Let us guide you through some of our choice picks from the pile of this years RSD releases and the ones we fancy as well as the ones that might just be a Record shop bun fight. As fans go toe to toe for that collectible 7″ that you hope and pray won’t be on eBay for even larger inflated prices than you pay on the day. Anyway, we’ve picked through the list alphabetically and where possible we’ll give you online guide prices (some of which will make your eyes water). This is part one – part two will follow tomorrow.
First up is a no brainer for us as The Alarm celebrate reissuing ‘Strength’ on vinyl and give it the old dark arts of a remaster there is also a RSD double live album of one of their best bootlegs live from Boston Orpheum in 85 on the Strength Tour. Four of the tracks (Where Were You Hiding?, Deeside, Sixty Eight Guns & Knocking On Heaven’ s Door), were used as B-sides and extra tracks with the band’ s ‘ Spirit Of ‘ 76’ UK single release of early 1986 which put the band into the UK Top 30, with ‘ Howling Wind’ being issued in the USA only as part of the ‘ Live For Life’ IRS Records cancer benefit compilation album. The audio was recorded by WBCN Radio Station in Boston, MA on November 9th 1985 and was a pretty hot show to record. Certainly, one to pick up.
Second up is possibly one of this year’s most popular releases that of ‘Bingo Hand Job – Live At The Borderline 91‘ Who you might ask? Well, if you have asked its probably not for you then. It’s none other than REM and some friends such as Billy Bragg pre-MTV unplugged superstardom taken from a set they played in London under the name BHJ. Again this is a two-disc LP and has reached mythical status amongst REM fans over the years as to its validity. Heads down 1-2-3-4 Go! Expect to pay stupid money for a copy of this if you find yourself without a copy on the day.
Next we see Bob Dylans classic ‘Blood On The Tracks‘ being advertised as the original New York Test Pressing and its also to be found on rough Trades website for £26.99 the story goes like thus – Months before Bob Dylan released ‘Blood On The Tracks’ in early 1975, a small number of test pressings were circulated, consisting entirely of material from sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City. (Dylan re-recorded five of these tracks in Minneapolis for inclusion on the final album.) Those original records were soon bootlegged, and the alternate history of one of Dylan’s most acclaimed works was born. This LP is an exact duplicate of the test pressing, containing unique mixes from the New York session available for the first time. It doesn’t say if this is limited so I’d imagine this might well be pressed in big numbers thus making it available after the furor of RSD has gone.
Next is Brett Smiley and ‘Sunset Towers‘ an eight-track release. Brett recorded a session at what was to become Cherokee Studios, in the Valley in Los Angeles. Owned by The Robbs, three brothers who had previously been the house band on ‘60s TV music show Where The Action Is (and who backed Brett on the session) and produced by Del Shannon, the session has lain in the vaults till now. This album of previously unreleased recordings is a what could have been for American glam music. expect to pay £21.99 for this album
RSD stalwarts Cheap Trick have something to offer this year that is one of the limited pieces and will be globally sought after ‘The Epic Archive Vol. 3 (1984-1992) (Limited 2-LP “Flame Red” Vinyl Edition)’ After Releasing Two Packages of Cheap Trick Rarities on LP for Record Store Day and BlackFriday to Great Acclaim (and Great Sales), Real Gone Music Is Back with Its Third and FinalCompilation of Hard-to-Find Epic Label Nuggets. coloured vinyl and limited to 2000 pieces this will fly which is why they’ve put an eye-watering price of £44.99 on it for a double album! Ouch!
The first seven-inch single we are really interested in is from Chuck Mosley. Never before released its limited to 750 copies worldwide. Chuck former singer with Faith No More, Bad Brains, Indoria and Primitive Race decided to pursue a solo project with a raw, psychedelic, acoustic direction. Armed with his guitar, a vocal effects processor, and a few friends (Cris Morgan, Randy Pirosko, and Douglas Esper), he embarked on a two-year tour and completed a few recording sessions. During a six-hour block in August of 2017 with producer Joe Haze, Chuck recorded two covers, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” originally written by Prince (and originally made famous by Sinead O’ Connor), and “Take this Bottle” by Faith No More (a FNM cut recorded during Mike Patton’ s reign). The two recordings have never been released until now. This ended up as Chuck’ s last time recording in a studio before his death on November 9th 2017. His guitar solo on Nothing Compares 2 U never got completed as the band had to leave for a show that night in Salt Lake City. Tracks : A Side Nothing Compares To You B Side Take This Bottle.
Bowie always a RSD favourite for the scalpers as they look to take advantage of the limited quantities available this year sees ‘Pin Up’s‘ getting the picture disc treatment and already its advertised on eBay for upwards of $80 a snip I guess if you can’t be bothered to go find a copy and go against everything RSD stands for even if it does look a very nice record. Good luck baggin’ one of these folks. It doesn’t say how many have been pressed but I’d imagine it’s not enough to satisfy the demand.
The Crow – OST Original motion picture soundtrack to the movie of the same title, to be released on vinyl for the first time since its original 1994 release. The album features covers, including Nine Inch Nails who covered Joy Division’ s “Dead Souls”, Pantera who covered Poison Idea’ s “The Badge”, and Rollins Band who covered Suicide’ s “Ghost Rider”, and Rage Against the Machine re-recorded their 1991 B-side “Darkness of Greed” and renamed it “Darkness” for this soundtrack. It’s a three-sided record with side four being an etching. It seems like this is the popular thing at the moment to leave side four blank and put an etching on it but hey maybe I’m old fashion I’d rather some more music. Expect to pay an eye watering £34.99 for this but it is limited to 1000 pieces
‘Dexys Midnight Runners Live At The BBC‘ is also on some RPM lists as this 1982 recording of the band at the peak of their powers and for the first time on vinyl, this legendary Newcastle BBC In Concert was regarded as a turning point in the band’ s career. the concert features a host of the finest Dexys’ tracks as well as introducing the audience to Dexys new “Celtic” sound including ‘Geno’, ‘Let’ s Make This Precious’, ‘Jackie Wilson Said’, ‘The Celtic Soul Brothers’… The concert introduces the Emerald Express string section and the audience are treated to the not heard before ‘Come On Eileen’-listen to the reaction after… The LP set finishes with 4 tracks from a David Jensen session from the same year. This double album pressed on Green Vinyl will look to set you back £27.99 if you’re lucky enough to bag one of the 1400 copies. Good luck!
It’s a staggering 32 years since Cheap Trick last played the capitol city of Wales, and whilst I’ve seen the band a good few times since that Motley Crue support slot it was their return to Cardiff that meant for the first time in many a year I not only snapped up a ticket for this show in double quick time but I’m also queuing early doors in the pouring rain outside one of my least favourite venues just to make sure I don’t miss a note. Ever the fan boy eh!
I’m glad I did too because tonight really does belong to the boys from Rockford. Playing a tight and sadly shorter set than I’ve come to expect from the band they still manage to change things around set list wise from the previous two nights (I just couldn’t resist a sneaky peak online beforehand) slotting in the sublime ‘Big Eyes’ and a crowd pleasing ‘The Flame’ as tonight’s curveballs around the rest of the set – which effectively plays out like a greatest hits of Cheap Trick.
The addition of Robin Zander’s son Robin Zander Jnr on second guitar and backing vocals certainly adds a new dimension to the band, one which allows his father to make full use of the ego ramp and concentrate on hitting all the right notes, something the 65 year old still does with the utmost of ease. Whilst behind the kit Daxx Nielsen has become as much a feature of Cheap Trick these past seventeen or so years as the legendary Bun E Carlos. And whilst legendary is a term bandied around all to easily these days when it comes to songs like ‘ If You Want My Love’, ‘I Want You To Want Me’, ‘Dream Police’ and ‘Surrender’ right here in these four songs you have perhaps the very cornerstones of many a subsequent musical genres. Without this band there would certainly be no power pop, there would be no hair metal and perhaps maybe even no alt-rock or grunge so when Kliph Scurlock takes to the drums for a song tonight everything comes kinda full circle and I feel honoured to witness such a magical one-off event.
Ending their ten song set with ‘Goodnight Now’ Rick Nielsen’s ludicrous multi neck guitar once again makes a long overdue appearance on a Welsh stage before it’s all over in the blink of an eye. Short and sweet this might have been but I adored every single sugar coated second of it, long may the Trick shine on.
Having witnessed the tail end of Def Leppard’s 25th anniversary tour for the ‘Hysteria’ album at Hellfest five years ago I was certainly interested in seeing what the band might do to top that stealing performance this time around.
Okay there’s a few small changes – there’s no Def Leppard supporting themselves “deep dive” archive set to start things off, plus (and this bit does seem strange) there’s no repeat of the intro film that they used to set the scene for what was about to follow, but what we do get tonight is the twelve song, bazillion copy selling, album played out in sequence in meticulous detail and boy does it sound good. How can you critique arena rock perfection? You can’t, you just have to simply accept that songs like ‘Animal’, ‘Armageddon It’ and ‘Gods Of War’ (noticeably now devoid of the Mrs T outro speech) were written for “Sold Out” nights like tonight and whatever you think of Def Leppard you cannot deny these guys have achieved a phenomenal amount in their time together as a band and tonight they have simply never looked happier – especially with the ecstatic crowd response.
Moving the “deep dive” section to the encores (ah! I see what you did their guys) and noting that on previous nights classics like ‘Wasted’ and ‘Let It Go’ have been given an airing I have to admit that tonight’s opening selection of ‘Make Love Like A Man’ ‘When Love And Hate Collide’ and ‘Let’s Get Rocked’ kind of leave me feeling like I’d been dealt a bum hand, I mean am I the only one who’d have preferred to hear ‘When Saturday Comes’ at this point? Ha! Look, I’ve still got the game changing ‘Rock Of Ages’ and the always awesome ‘Photograph’ so I’m always going to leave here tonight with a smile on my face, just like pretty much everyone else, it’s just that deep down inside I wish Da Lepps would have done a 35th year anniversary of the album those classics came from instead.
Ah well, you can always dream…
I get it you love Biters and you have a soft spot for the likes of The Cars and Cheap Trick and they all have more great songs than they don’t, well, Kurt Baker is like that as well. He doesn’t do bad songs simple as that – original or covers. He doesn’t write bad tunes, in fact, he writes awesome tunes and this is the proof. He writes great tunes -pop tunes even but he plays them with loud guitars and that’s a lethal combination.
Hey, you Eureka Machines fans and you Costello fans get on this and check it out (you can thank me later) ‘Emma Stone’ has a melody and hook that’s just so listenable you can’t stay still it’s infectious and should have a government health warning.
He doesn’t change tack much at all (but why would you?) ‘What’s That Got To Do With Rock And Roll’ is a groovin’ slab of T-rex and some 70’s glam slam a go-go but don’t bother looking for imperfections because there aren’t any its just good time Rock ‘n’ Roll and its all about the good time and the party in your head whilst the songs are spinning and Baker is so good at it. Damn, there’s even time to sound like Thin Fuckin’ Lizzy on the excellent ‘On The Run’.
Thinks go Costello overload on the laid back ‘Since You’ve Been On My Mind’ its got a certain Joe Jackson about it too. There’s even time this October to throw in a Christmas song but because its Kurt Baker I’m giving him a pass and it’s perfectly acceptable because when Bakers singing it’s like every day is Christmas such are the power pop gifts being dished out. I know some of you will be scratching your noggins as this looks familiar well it does and it doesn’t this is the first time it’s had a vinyl release for the first time thanks to Ghost Highway and with some bonus material for all you audiophiles who just want your music on Wax or not at all.
By the time this album reaches the end we’ve got ourselves some synth-pop that’s right, some tasty new wave to put a cherry on the icing on the cake. ‘High Fidelity’ indeed!
Author: Dom Daley