KICK OUT THE JAMS - ELEKTRA Records LP 1969 / CD 1991

1. Ramblin' Rose 2:39
2. Kick Out The Jams 2:37
3. Come Together 7:17
4. Rocket Reducer No.62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa) 5:01
5. Borderline 2:45
6. Motor City Is Burning 4:30
7. I Want You Right Now 6:02
8. Starship 8:26
The MC5
Rob Tyner - lead singer
Wayne Kramer - Fender guitar
Fred 'Sonic' Smith - Mosrite guitar
Michael Davis - Fender bass
Dennis Thompson - drums
John Sinclair - Guidance
MCeing by Brother J.C. Crawford

Produced by Jac Holzman and Bruce Botnick
Engineering & mixing Bruce Botnick
Source :
See Will Shanks full article & interview of Paul McManus (owner of the 610 console which was used to record the MC5 at the Grande!) - "Analog Obsession : History of the 160 Preamplifier with Paul McManus"

"BRUCE BOTNICK brought WALLY HEIDER along to help with the the mobile recording setup" consisting of 3 loud speakers L604 , 1 utility cabinet , and the famous UNIVERSAL AUDIO TUBE CONSOLE (610 console , a 1960 custom built Universal Audio 12 input by 3 output vacuum tube recording console designed by BILL PUTNAM.)
Universal Audio Tube Console
A little bit of history... "WALLY HEIDER was the manager of remote recording for both UNITED and WESTERN STUDIOS, and this console was used to record many artists, including Wes Montgomery, the Smothers Brothers, and the Doors.... also was the one used for the MC5's classic album 'KICK OUT THE JAMS.' BRUCE BOTNICK used a 3M 1" 8 track along with [the 610 console] that he had flownin by WALLY HEIDER from Los Angeles to record the MC5 live in the Grande Ballroom in Detroit on Halloween 1968."
(Will Shanks & Paul McManus)

From Rick Clark's interview (March 2003) with producer and engineer Bruce Botnick about recording the MC5's Classic Track, Kick out the Jams. Classic Tracks: The MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" :

"For the 8-tracks, BOTNICK had two mics out in the hall, two vocal mics, two guitar mics, a bass mic and a drum track. It was recorded non-Dolby on BASF tape at +10. “For the drums, I probably used two Sony C37s on the overhead, one on the snare, and probably a SM56 on the kick — four mics in all,” BOTNICK says. “I seem to remember using AKG, not the C12, but the other one — the 12A, which was the forerunner of the AKG 414, but the tube version — on the guitars. Everything had pads, and the bass was miked as well with the direct box. I used SM57s or 58s on the vocals. It was a pretty simple setup. I wasn't using any booms; just little short stands with sandbags in front of the guitar amps and the bass amp, so they weren't going anywhere. It was the same thing with the drums; they had sandbags on them, too."

Further in the interview, Bruce Botnick tells Rick Clark that he made a SURROUND MIX of "Kick Out The Jams" :
"They were so loud that there was incredible isolation,” continues BOTNICK. “If you were standing in front of FRED ‘SONIC’ SMITH's guitar, that's all you'd hear. I was astonished at how much separation there was on the drums. When I recently went in to do a SURROUND REMIX, there was more than enough for me to go in and EQ everything the way I wanted to do it. If I wanted to compress anything, I could do it without bringing up the other instruments. Sometimes, too loud works in your favor. It's amazing. You don't really need a whole lot of baffling." ...
... "BOTNICK mixed the album at ELEKTRA SOUND STUDIOS Los Angeles. “When I mixed this, I was not really happy with the perspective that I was getting through the big loudspeakers, so I wound up mixing it with some electrostatic headphones,” he says. “I think they were Koss. They worked pretty good for this, and I was able to get the balances that I wanted. I couldn't seem to hear it on the loudspeakers for some dumb reason. Maybe it was because the music was so different than anything I had ever done. The perspectives just didn't seem to work on the speakers in the studio."
7" PROMO Fillmore East
The Fillmore East 7" given away at their show in New York City on december 12, 1968 is labelled "preview pressing for the brothers and sisters of the MC5." Concerning the 2 tracks of this 7", enlightenments are given by Ralph Heibutzki questionning Ben Edmonds in R.H.'s "Edge Of The Switchblade: To Hell, and Back, with the MC5" (DISCoveries 12/95) :

"The MC5 spent two nights, 10/30-31/68, recording for its live debut. The A-side (Kick Out The Jams) appears to come from the afternoon of 10/31/68, when the band recorded an entire set as "insurance" if particular takes didn't turn out in concert that night. The A-side stops cold, with no hint of crowd noise ... it's from the 10/31/68 afternoon taping .... This particular take of "Kick Out The Jams" was to have been the clean version of the single - because Rob Tyner's introduction, "And right now, it's time to kick out the jams, brothers and sisters!"- is said all in one piece, while its LP counterpart sounds heavily censored. Musically, the promo and LP takes of 'Kick Out The Jams" share the same middle part, while their beginnings and endings are different. That, in turn, raises another intriguing possibility. Kick Out The Jams was engineered by BRUCE BOTNICK, who worked under Doors producer PAUL ROTHCHILD, at Elektra. The late ROTHCHILD was well-known for cutting and pasting on live and studio albums, "so it's entirely conceivable that the (promo single A-side take) body's on Kick Out The Jams, spliced together with different takes from other version."
(Ralph Heibutzki & Ben Edmonds)

As for promo single B-side Motor City Is Burning "appears to be same as LP take, possibly a different mix."
Indeed, this particular mix makes this version more 'crude' and the guitars sound 'crunchier' than on the official LP - the result being the 'supercharged' Motor City Is Burning preview pressing.
Also, one can hear clearly some 'echo' on Dennis Thompson's snare. Was it an intentional choice for this particular mix? Or could it be the echo caused by an empty Grande Ballroom. Was it recorded on 10/31 afternoon without an audience?
Note the audience is not heard at the beginning of this particular mix but at the end. Were the 2 mics out in the hall shut up in the mix process or was it recorded at the afternoon session without the crowd? Any idea?
Under construction

useful links:
* The Airheads Radio Survey Archive (ARSA)
Date Last week This week Station City State 7" / LP Weeks
1969-01-30 --- 26 WKNR Detroit/Dearborn Michigan 7"
1969-02-04 --- 19 CKLW Windsor Ontario 7"
1969-02-06 26 9 WKNR Detroit/Dearborn Michigan 7"
1969-02-13 9 5 WKNR Detroit/Dearborn Michigan 7" WKNR Top Album #1
1969-02-20 5 2 WKNR Detroit/Dearborn Michigan 7" WKNR Top Album #1
1969-02-27 2 2 WKNR Detroit/Dearborn Michigan 7" WKNR Top Album #1
1969-03-04 2 2 CKLW Windsor Ontario LP 5
1969-03-06 2 2 WKNR Detroit/Dearborn Michigan 7" WKNR Top Album #2
1969-03-13 2 3 WKNR Detroit/Dearborn Michigan 7" WKNR Top Album #3
1969-03-16 --- 58 WAVZ New Haven Connecticut 7"
1969-03-20 3 12 WKNR Detroit/Dearborn Michigan 7" 7
1969-03-23 58 46 WAVZ New Haven Connecticut 7"
1969-03-30 46 33 WAVZ New Haven Connecticut 7"
1969-04-06 33 24 WAVZ New Haven Connecticut 7"
1969-04-13 24 31 WAVZ New Haven Connecticut 7"

Billboard TOP LP'S
MC5's LP is listed as "Kickin' Out The Jams"
Date Last week This week Weeks
1969-03-08 --- 178
1969-03-15 178 108 2
1969-07-19 120 137 20
1969-09-09 159 158 23
Billboard HOT 100
Date Last week This week Weeks
1969-03-15 --- 90
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by Don McLeese - 2005
"Kick Out The Jams" by Lester Bangs - 1969
"Kick Out The Jams"
by Mick Farren - 1969
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