Back in the USA

Back in the USA

by MC5

CD

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Overview

While lacking the monumental impact of Kick Out the Jams, the MC5's second album is in many regards their best and most influential, its lean, edgy sound anticipating the emergence of both the punk and power pop movements to follow later in the decade. Bookended by a pair of telling covers -- Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A." -- the disc is as much a look back at rock & roll's origins as it is a push forward into the music's future; given the Five's vaunted revolutionary leanings, for instance, it's both surprising and refreshing to discover the record's emotional centerpiece is a doo wop-inspired ballad, "Let Me Try," that's the most lovely and gentle song in their catalog. The recurring theme which drives Back in the USA is adolescence, its reminiscences alternately fond and embittered -- while cuts like "Tonight," "Teenage Lust," "High School," and "Shakin' Street" celebrate youth in all its rebellious glory, others like "The American Ruse" and "The Human Being Lawnmower" condemn a system which eats its young, filling their heads with lies before sending them off to war. Equally gripping is the record's singular sound -- produced by Jon Landau with an almost complete disregard for the bottom end, Back in the USA captures a live-wire intensity 180 degrees removed from the group's live sound yet perfectly suited to the material at hand, resulting in music which not only salutes the power of rock & roll but also reaffirms it.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/04/1992
Label: Imports
UPC: 0081227103323
catalogNumber: 1050279
Rank: 20532

Album Credits

Performance Credits

MC5   Primary Artist
Michael Davis   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Rob Tyner   Harmonica,Vocals,Group Member
Pete Kelly   Keyboards
Wayne Kramer   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Dan Jordan   Keyboards
Fred "Sonic" Smith   Guitar,Harmonica,Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Dennis Thompson   Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Danny Jordan   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Michael Davis   Composer
Rob Tyner   Composer
Wayne Kramer   Composer
Jon Landau   Audio Production
Fred "Sonic" Smith   Composer
Dennis Thompson   Composer
Dave Marsh   Liner Notes
Dennis Tomich   Composer

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Back in the USA 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You know you have a great group on your hands when nobody can agree on the best album. I love all of the three official MC5 recordings, but Back In The U.S.A. is in my opinion, their definitive statement. It's short and sweet - all killer and no filler. Despite the almost complete absence of bass, this is nonetheless their strongest set of songs melody-wise. The razor thin sound would go on to influence the punk explosion of the late '70s, along with other greats such as The Stooges, also from the Detroit area. It's fun, infectious and a must for any collector of true cult rock classics. More people should check out this underrated classic, which remains a keystone of the Detroit rock scene today.