MC5

Do It

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Do It is a snapshot (albeit a rather small and blurry one) of MC5 doing what they did best -- playing live -- in the (motor) city of their birth, Detroit. For those who never got the chance to experience the incendiary quintet in person and have worn their debut, Kick out the Jams, down to a nub, Do It may just help to satisfy that craving -- for a while, at any rate. Unlike that acclaimed live predecessor, the sound quality of this 1971 date isn't quite up to par, there are a mere eight songs (none of which break the five-minute mark), and it's believed that not all of MC5 were present for the recording, although the credits and cover art indicate otherwise. Fortunately, the set list includes some of the best tracks from the first two LPs and the performances are fiery -- and fast, with the exception of "Looking at You," which is actually slower than the original version. The cover of "19th Nervous Breakdown," on the other hand, sounds more like a punked-up version of something by Sweet (circa Desolation Boulevard) than the Stones. It should be noted that "Rock & Roll People" (listed on the sleeve as "Rock 'n' Roll Pips") and "Unknown Rock" (listed as "Unknowed Rock") are Rob Tyner and not MC5 compositions, thus giving some credence to the theory that he's actually backed by session players. Also, the take on "Kick out the Jams" appears to be self-censored, as it features the word "everybody" in place of the infamous expletive (or the cleaned-up version's "brothers and sisters"). The French Revenge label was also behind Live Detroit 68/69, released in 1988 (on pink vinyl, no less). Despite any nagging concerns regarding membership and fidelity, Do It is the superior effort.

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