Phun City, UK

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Interestingly, two of the acts most influential to first-wave British punk -- the Motor City's finest, MC5 and the Stooges -- only played a limited amount of shows on U.K. soil. Although no audio has ever surfaced of the Stooges' lone U.K. performance (the King's Cross Cinema in 1972), the only MC5 U.K. gig to surface on CD form came in 1996, under the title of Phun City, UK. Since MC5 is responsible for issuing one of rock's all-time great live recordings (1969's classic Kick Out the Jams), it would be hard for any subsequent live set to match the lofty heights of its predecessor. From a sonic standpoint, Phun City, UK (which was recorded at a festival in 1970) doesn't even come close, as it's basically a bootleg. But from a historical context in MC5 history, it's a very intriguing listen for the longtime fan. Several tracks that would turn up a year later on the group's woefully underrated swan song, 1971's High Time, are included -- "Sister Anne," "Baby Won't Ya," and "Miss X" -- in addition to the Kick Out the Jams classics "Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa" and "I Want You." A possible purchase for longtimers, while newcomers should go directly to Kick Out the Jams.

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