Who Loves The Skunk: the Velvet Undergound's Loaded vs. the MC5's High Time

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- same producer (Geoff Haslam)

- same label (Atlantic)

- same year, recorded back-to-back (Loaded recorded April - August, 1970; High Time recorded September - October, 1970)

- both swan songs

Detroit vs. NYC!


Poll Results

OptionVotes
Loaded 38
High Time 14


Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:25 (one month ago) Permalink

not unrelated sub-q: which band smelled worse by this stage in their career

stanley weebeard (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:28 (one month ago) Permalink

loaded!!!

the late great, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:28 (one month ago) Permalink

much as I love the 5, Loaded has better songs

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:41 (one month ago) Permalink

Both awesome but going for High Time, such a great album and it will need a vote when up against VU

Odysseus, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:42 (one month ago) Permalink

VU for me, but an interesting compare/contrast for both of these bands ...

tylerw, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:43 (one month ago) Permalink

The Velvets seem to be in wistful winding-down mode, while the MC5 are determined to go down fighting. But they both seem acutely aware that the end is nigh.

Also, both bands trundled on into the early '70s without key members -- the MC5 with just Wayne Kramer and Fred Smith, and the Velvets with just Yule (sometimes with Morrison and Tucker).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:53 (one month ago) Permalink

"High Time" is great, as fellow habitues of my local pub can testify given that I play it on the jukebox Over and Over, however has to be "Loaded".

Bill Teeters (Tom D.), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:54 (one month ago) Permalink

Loaded.

...so music and chicken have become intertwined (Turrican), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 19:58 (one month ago) Permalink

High Time. Fuck the Velvet Underground. Can't believe how much time I wasted in high school trying to convince myself there was something there.

Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Violent J (誤訳侮辱), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 20:27 (one month ago) Permalink

oh cool, a vu hot take everyone

stanley weebeard (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 20:29 (one month ago) Permalink

fuck the mc5. a bunch of raddled hippies with terrible hair and confused politics whose albums sound like they were recorded in a biscuit tin

stanley weebeard (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 20:30 (one month ago) Permalink

None of the MC5 studio albums is as good as the live bootleg Teen Age Lust (New Year's Day 1970), but the poll is a binary choice.

Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Violent J (誤訳侮辱), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 20:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Is there any bonus material to add to a deluxe version of High Time?
Just wondering when taht was last remastered.

Also has there ever been a commercial release of any of the Ascension material?

Stevolende, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 20:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Is there any bonus material to add to a deluxe version of High Time?

the last two tracks they recorded - "Gold" (which is p great krautrock!) and I forget the other one

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 20:40 (one month ago) Permalink

I've been hoping for remasters of MC5, as I lost my CDs anyway. Loaded was a big part of my life for longer, but High Time is more fun to return to since I haven't played it quite as much.

Fastnbulbous, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 21:59 (one month ago) Permalink

XP "Thunder Express", a street machine song.

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 22:07 (one month ago) Permalink

Can't believe how much time I wasted in high school trying to convince myself there was something there.

was this before or after you realized it was okay to dislike rap music

the late great, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 22:17 (one month ago) Permalink

After. I knew it was OK to dislike rap music in 1983. It's OK to like or dislike anything, you see.

Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Violent J (誤訳侮辱), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 22:28 (one month ago) Permalink

Three brilliant songs on Loaded, the rest I'm indifferent to; don't like High Time nearly as much as Back in the USA. So a halfhearted vote for Loaded.

clemenza, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 22:31 (one month ago) Permalink

such an apt & OTM comparison, great poll. close call but I have to vote Loaded for better songs & overall consistency. Much as I revere MC5 there are always awkward moments amid the glorious highs on all their records. that said, High Time is probably the closest to a consistent album but even so nothing touches "Sweet Jane" and "Rock & Roll" two of my all time favorite songs by anybody.

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 22:35 (one month ago) Permalink

Also has there ever been a commercial release of any of the Ascension material?

nothing besides some very rough You Tube audio clips. Fred Smith's old sidekick Freddie Brooks may be sitting on something. From what I've gathered, Ascension only played a couple of gigs in 1973.

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 22:39 (one month ago) Permalink

I've been listening to early Alice Cooper and the MC5 quite a bit in the past couple weeks. It is interesting that that Alice Cooper basically moved to Detroit and kinda hit it big with somewhat similar shocking hard rock sound as the MC5. The causal link to this thread that Bob Ezrin who made his name on those 'Detroit' Alice Cooper albums ends up producing Lou Reed and eventually two studio guitarists end up in his band (Wagner & Hunter). Listening to High Time, it's not hard to see that 'it' could have happened for the MC5. Then again, the story might have ended up totally different if Elektra passed on making a live record and sent the MC5 to L.A. to record in their studio out there.

Interesting comparisons on the two records, kind of hard for the Velvet Underground to lose a poll and I doubt this will change here. Loaded might have had a different story if Lou Reed had stuck around, got to figure him leaving made the record instant old news. Sweet Jane always sounded like a tune that would fit along with old nuggets on AM radio to me.

earlnash, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 23:13 (one month ago) Permalink

I thought something like Easy Action would be all over an Ascension release if they had access to tapes. I had a live set that I can't find now, thought it was in one large folder but can't see it. Now hope it ain't on a crashed drive.
It was on at least one torrent site a few years back anyway.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 5 April 2017 01:09 (one month ago) Permalink

High Time is easily the MC5 album I listen to most but Loaded is prob the VU I play most.

Odysseus, Wednesday, 5 April 2017 14:16 (one month ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 17 April 2017 00:01 (one month ago) Permalink

In Danny Says somebody refers to the MC5 as being 6ft 2. I'd never thought about them being tall until then.
Are they?

Just occured to me that John Sinclair is supposed to be pretty tall. But imagined the band as medium height. Anybody know?

Stevolende, Monday, 17 April 2017 00:10 (one month ago) Permalink

6ft 2, if you include the afros.

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 17 April 2017 01:27 (one month ago) Permalink

a pity that nobody brought zappa or seger into this thread

budo jeru, Monday, 17 April 2017 03:43 (one month ago) Permalink

anyway, "loaded" is a pop masterpiece. "oh sweet nuthin" is gold. i honestly feel bad for anyone who can't here that there's "something there" on, well, first listen. "new age" and "i found a reason" are the two weak tracks, though i kind of like the robert mitchum line on the latter.

"back in the USA" is definitely the 5's best, marred by two bad, horrifically bad, covers. "high school" is maybe the best song ever.

"high time" sounds indulgent, confused. who the fuck calls a track "skunk (sonically speaking)" ?

budo jeru, Monday, 17 April 2017 03:54 (one month ago) Permalink

much as I love the 5, Loaded has better songs
This.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Monday, 17 April 2017 17:49 (one month ago) Permalink

In Danny Says somebody refers to the MC5 as being 6ft 2. I'd never thought about them being tall until then.
Are they?

Just occured to me that John Sinclair is supposed to be pretty tall. But imagined the band as medium height. Anybody know?

Patti Smith is around 5'7" or 5'8", Fred was at least half a head taller than her. In most pics he seems right in the middle of the band height-wise. So 6'2" sounds about right.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 17 April 2017 19:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah just seen a couple fo shots where members look only slightly shorter than John Sinclair


I take it afro you see at back in lower one is Kramer

Stevolende, Monday, 17 April 2017 20:10 (one month ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 18 April 2017 00:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Xp rarely seem to get photos of the 5 with other people that you can guage height from.
Mostly seem to be band together or on stage where they're raised anyway.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 18 April 2017 07:15 (one month ago) Permalink

I stood in physical proximity to three members of the 5 a couple times during the late 70s in Ann Arbor; adjust for my addled memory. So approximately: Fred Smith was probably just over 6 feet, Michael Davis about same, Wayne Kramer maybe an inch or two shorter. Watched Fred on stage many times, he was broad-shouldered slender guy, unusually athletic-built for a rock and roll musician.

told this story before, but: once I saw Lou Reed (w/Laurie Anderson) at my swimming pool in NYC back in the 90s. Can't remember how tall he was but he had a pot belly and couldn't swim for shit.

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Tuesday, 18 April 2017 16:37 (one month ago) Permalink


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