MC5 50th Anniversary ‘Total Assault’ Box Set Due

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Rhino Records, on Sept. 21, will release MC5 Total Assault: 50th Anniversary Collection, a limited-edition boxed set that features all three of the MC5’s albums pressed on colored vinyl. This year is the 50th anniversary of the recording of the band’s incendiary debut, Kick Out the Jams, which was recorded live over two nights at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom in October 1968.

In addition, MC5 co-founder and guitarist Wayne Kramer will release his memoir The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities on Aug. 14 before hitting the road with the MC50, an all-star band that includes Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and Zen Guerrilla frontman Marcus Durant, as well as Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron on drums and Don Was on bass at select dates. The group will perform Kick Out the Jams in its entirety, along with other MC5 classics.

MC5 Total Assault: 50th Anniversary Collection will include Kick Out the Jams (red vinyl), Back in the USA (white vinyl) and High Times (blue vinyl). The albums come in sleeves that faithfully re-create the original releases, including gatefolds for Kick Out the Jams and High Times. All three are housed in a hard slipcase with new art and previously unseen photographs by Raeanne Rubenstein.

Related: Fellow Detroit rocker Bob Seger’s early recordings will finally be reissued

The set also includes a new essay by Creem magazine founding editor/writer Jaan Uhelszki, who writes, “Turned loose on a bare stage, the MC5 were among the most awe-inspiring perpetrators of sheer bombast and rock and roll brinkmanship alive…They tore through the stuff they heard on the radio with a fierce intensity that transcended the original artists’ intent. Tunes by James Brown, Chuck Berry, the Kinks and the Rolling Stones vibrated at a higher frequency when the Motor City Five tackled them.”

Singer Rob Tyner, guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred “Sonic” Smith, bassist Michael Davis and drummer Dennis Thompson came together as the MC5 in 1965. The music on Total Assault shows why the MC5 is held is such high regard today with indelible tracks like “Kick Out the Jams,” “Human Being Lawnmower” and “Sister Anne.”

MC50 Tour Dates

5 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
6 – St. Augustine, FL @ Backyard Stage at St. Augustine Amphitheatre
7 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
8 – Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Music Festival
9 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
11 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
12 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
13 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
14 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
17 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
18 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
19 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
21 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
22 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
23 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
25 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
26 – St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
28 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
29 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater

1 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Marquee
2 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
3 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
4 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
5 – Los Angeles, CA @ John Anson Ford
15 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
16 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
17 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
20 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
23 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
24 – Chicago, IL @ Metro Chicago
25 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
26 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall
27 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore

Watch a video set to “Kick Out the Jams”


Best Classic Bands Staff

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