To pay tribute to Davis and his legendary band, List of the Day brings you these fine ten MC5 tracks that serve as a deserving introduction to one of rock 'n' roll's most revolutionary bands. ("American Ruse," in case you were wondering, came in at #11, according to the highly complex algorithm used to compute this list.)
9) Ramblin' Rose: Wayne Kramer's falsetto vocal is pure hilarity and inspiration. That the MC5's debut album, Kick Out the Jams, would be a live album without sweetening is a statement of its own. Being recorded on Devil's Night and Halloween at Detroit's Grande Ballroom makes the mythology behind the album ever more spine-tingling.
8) Looking At You: Their second album, Back In the U.S.A., cleaned up their sound quite a bit. Recorded in an actual recording studio with a producer who had a vision for them, it's so compact and poppy that one can hear where the Ramones got a bit of their inspiration. At just three minutes, "Looking At You" manages a great guitar solo and aggressive rhythmic interplay between the bass and drums, despite a disappointing trebly mix. Go Michael!
6) Future / Now: The first three minutes or so of this tune are pure muscle. The second half sounds like somebody tripped over the electric cord and left the band to space out in the dark. I haven't been this confused about a work of art since I got to the 'Peace' part of War and Peace.
4) Black To Comm: A track that only existed in bootleg form for many years that was often known as the band's official room-clearer, "Black to Comm" takes the free jazz elements of the group to its logical conclusion. While it's often said that everyone who bought the Velvet Underground's records went out and formed a band, I'd say the MC5 did much the same and this obscure-but-well-known track is pure inspiration.
2) Sister Anne: The lead-off cut from the band's third and final album, High Time, "Sister Anne" takes traditional rock 'n' roll, complete with tinkling piano and harmonica, and turns up the volume (a common motif for these gents). The Salvation Army Band coda is a nice touch and further proof of the group's eclectic weirdness that future hard rock bands often missed.