Rob Tyner

Rock and Roll People

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In the wake of MC5's demise in the early '70s, the members of the group went on to different projects, trying to recapture the energy of that seminal Detroit group. For singer Rob Tyner, by the end of the decade, that meant continuing to work with local musicians and continuing to work in the heavy rock vein.

Recorded live at the Kramer Theatre in Detroit on August 16, 1977, Rock and Roll People chronicles that period in Tyner's career.

When it happened, the show was billed as "The New MC5," even though Tyner was the only member of that band in the group, and the only MC5-penned song on the disc is a version of Kick Out the Jams. The record label, Motor City Jams, decided to call the group the Rob Tyner Band out of respect for the real MC5 -- a wise decision, because this group says much more about Tyner than it does his earlier group.

The music on the disc is beefy and muscular, but is devoid of the innovative improvisational brilliance of MC5's work. The material finds Tyner reaching back to his musical roots, with a cover of the Rolling Stones song "19th Nervous Breakdown" and the Chuck Berry tune "Back in the USA," both of which were also performed by MC5. It also features four songs penned by Tyner and guitarist Robert Gillespe.

The sound quality on the disc is like that of a decent bootleg. For die-hard MC5 fans, it's worth picking up as a novelty. But this project pales in comparison to former bandmate Fred "Sonic" Smith's Sonic's Rendezvous Band, which was chronicled on a similar (and far superior) posthumous live release, Sweet Nothing.

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