.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/04c39803307b1c2a0b703097d0324c09534d1225.jpg Are You Ready To Testify?

MC5

Are You Ready To Testify?

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
April 21, 2005

In a late-sixties detroit rock scene that gave rise to the uncompromising protopunk blast of Iggy and the Stooges, the Motor City 5 were the rulers of the roost, crafting a kind of soul music for disaffected white freaks. On Are You Ready to Testify?, the three mid-fidelity CDs present a trio of Michigan-area onstage performances that embody the manifesto of MC5 manager — and White Panther Party chairman — John Sinclair, namely "rock & roll, dope and fucking in the streets."

On Disc One, recorded in June 1968, the set list overlaps somewhat with the band's debut, 1969's live Kick Out the Jams. A James Brown medley, Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and Pharoah Sanders' "Upper Egypt" are subjected to Afro'd frontman Rob Tyner's vigorous vocal strut and the welt-raising guitar tandem of Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith, who drag the songs far from their R&B and free-jazz origins. Disc Two features the MC5 ushering in New Year's Day 1970 with raw servings of "Teenage Lust" and "Shakin' Street" — tracks soon to be spit-polished for the group's second LP and studio debut, Back in the USA. The capper on the four-song third disc, also from '68, is eleven minutes of their loud-jazz freakout "Black to Comm," the ultimate call to arms for the brothers and sisters and motherfuckers of the MC5's rock & roll revolution.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com