Legendary rock band releasing first new album in 53 years with special guests

Legendary rock band releasing first new album in 53 years with special guests

Legendary Rock Band Releasing First New Album in 53 Years with Special Guests

In a monumental return to the music scene, the legendary rock band MC5 is set to release their first new studio album in over half a century. The album, titled “Heavy Lifting,” is scheduled to drop on October 18, just a day before the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

MC5, renowned for their 1969 live album “Kick Out the Jams,” has not released a studio album since 1971’s “High Time.” The new album features contributions from founding guitarist Wayne Kramer, who tragically passed away in February, and original drummer Dennis Thompson, who died in May. Kramer co-wrote 12 of the 13 tracks on the album, making it a poignant posthumous release for the band.

Produced by the iconic Bob Ezrin, known for his work with Aerosmith, Lou Reed, and Pink Floyd, “Heavy Lifting” promises to be a heavy-hitting record. Ezrin described the album as “very heavy” with a revolutionary message and a good sense of humor. “It’s a guitar record left, right, and center. Just a wall of guitars most of the time, and mostly driven by Wayne and his ethos,” Ezrin said.

The album features an impressive lineup of special guests, including Slash from Guns N’ Roses, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, William DuVall from Alice in Chains, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, Tim McIlrath from Rise Against, and Don Was. This all-star cast adds a unique flavor to the album, bridging the gap between generations of musicians inspired by MC5’s fearless approach to music and activism.

MC5 emerged from the gritty streets of Detroit in the mid-60s, revolutionizing rock ‘n’ roll with their fusion of garage rock, blues, soul, free jazz, and proto-punk. Known for their incendiary live performances and radical left-wing stance, the band has inspired countless musicians, including the Ramones, The Clash, and The White Stripes.

The album’s debut track, “Boys Who Play with Matches,” is already out, giving fans a taste of what’s to come. In an interview with UNCUT in November 2023, Kramer discussed the album, saying, “Live long and stay creative. This is my attitude. And this album continues from where ‘High Time’ left off. I think we made an album that is in sync with where we’re at today and the challenges we’re facing, and that carries a positive message.”

In addition to the 13-track album, a 2CD/2LP bonus disc will be released, featuring previously unreleased live recordings from the MC50 tour in 2018. This tour celebrated the 50th anniversary of MC5’s revered debut album, “Kick Out the Jams,” and included classic anthems like “Kick Out the Jams” and “Ramblin’ Rose.”

The MC50 live band, which performed during the tour, featured Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, Faith No More’s bassist Billy Gould, and frontman Marcus Durant from Zen Guerrilla, with a special guest appearance by Mark Arm of Mudhoney.

Ezrin emphasized the importance of celebrating Kramer’s work, stating, “We all feel a responsibility to make sure that his work is heard, and he is celebrated. We poured our hearts into the project.”

The track listing for “Heavy Lifting” includes:

  • Heavy Lifting (feat. Tom Morello)
  • Barbarians At The Gate
  • Change, No Change
  • The Edge Of The Switchblade (feat. William Duvall & Slash)
  • Black Boots (feat. Tim McIlrath)
  • I Am The Fun (The Phoney)
  • Twenty-Five Miles
  • Because Of Your Car
  • Boys Who Play With Matches
  • Blind Eye (feat. Dennis Thompson)
  • Can’t Be Found (feat. Vernon Reid & Dennis Thompson)
  • Blessed Release
  • Hit It Hard (feat. Joe Berry)

The additional track listing for the 2CD/2LP bonus disc includes:

  • Ramblin’ Rose
  • Kick Out The Jams
  • Come Together
  • Motor City Is Burning
  • Borderline
  • Gotta Keep Movin’
  • Future/Now
  • Poison
  • Shakin’ Street
  • Sister Anne

As the release date approaches, fans eagerly await the new album, which promises to be a powerful testament to MC5’s enduring legacy. The band’s influence on rock and punk music is undeniable, and “Heavy Lifting” is set to be a fitting tribute to their groundbreaking career.

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