First New MC5 Album In 53 Years, ‘Heavy Lifting’, Is Coming Soon

June 10, 2024

Make no mistake, MC5 helped revolutionize rock and roll. End of.

They influenced so many cool bands; Ramones, The Clash, Rage Againast The Machine, to name a few. And now, more than 50 years since you’ve heard new music, that’s about to change!

The Coles-Notes: MC5 started out in Detroit’s music scene in the mid-60s. Fusion, garage rock, blues, soul, free jazz, and proto-punk. A lethal combination. They were known for their incredible live shows and radical left-wing stance.

Now, earMUSIC will release the first new music from the band since 1971’s LP, “High Time”! You can expect the new LP, “Heavy Lifting”, on October 18 – coincidentally, just one day before the band’s induction into 2024’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (they’re receiving the “Musical Excellence Award”)!

And yes, expect a potpourri of excellent guest appearances (see below). “Heavy Lifting” features guitar and singing by founding MC5 member Wayne Kramer. He also co-wrote 12 of the album’s 13 songs with Oakland singer/songwriter Brad Brooks.

Kramer spoke to Uncut in November ’23, saying, “Live long and stay creative. This is my attitude. And this album continues from where ‘High Time’ left off. In that, I think it’s an artist’s responsibility to reflect the times they’re going through. And I think that we made an album that is in sync with where we’re at today and the challenges that we’re facing, and that carries a positive message.”

Producer Bob Ezrin says, “It’s very heavy. It has a revolutionary message but also a good sense of humor. There’s a little bit of heavy metal. There’s quite a bit of funk. But it is a heavy record, and it’s a guitar record left, right and centre. Just a wall of guitars most of the time, and mostly driven by Wayne and his ethos. It’s a snapshot of a guitar man at the height of his powers. We all feel a responsibility to make sure that his work is heard, and he is celebrated. We poured our hearts into the project.”

In addition to the new 13-track LP, a 2CD / 2LP bonus disc will be released including previously unreleased live recordings from the MC50 tour in ’18 celebrating the 50th anniversary of MC5’s ’69 debut LP “Kick Out The Jams”. See the full track listing below.

“Heavy Lifting” track listing:

01. Heavy Lifting (feat. Tom Morello)
02. Barbarians At The Gate
03. Change, No Change
04. The Edge Of The Switchblade (feat. William Duvall and Slash)
05. Black Boots (feat. Tim McIIrath)
06. I Am The Fun (The Phoney)
07. Twenty-Five Miles
08. Because Of Your Car
09. Boys Who Play With Matches
10. Blind Eye (feat. Dennis Thompson)
11. Can’t Be Found (feat. Vernon Reid and Dennis Thompson)
12. Blessed Release
13. Hit It Hard (feat. Joe Berry)

Additional track listing (2CD/2LP):

01. Ramblin’ Rose
02. Kick Out The Jams
03. Come Together
04. Motor City Is Burning
05. Borderline
06. Gotta Keep Movin’
07. Future/Now
08. Poison
09. Shakin’ Street
10. Sister Anne

I wonder what the biggest time difference between albums is? This HAS GOT TO BE up there, hey? Very cool to hear new MC5. Wow. That’s something I never thought I’d say.


Written by Todd Hancock