Yo Ho! Nightrider here!

Two proto-punk albums were released in 1969: MC5’s Kick Out the Jams and The Stooges by The Stooges (also known as Iggy Pop and the Stooges).

MC5 formed in 1964 by Wayne Kramer, Fred “Sonic” Smith, Rob Tyner, Michael Davis and Dennis Thompson in Lincoln Park, Michigan. Because of their Detroit roots, Tyner changed the band name from Bounty Hunters to MC5 (short for “Motor City Five”).

Released on February 1969, Kick Out The Jams was a success even though it was a live album. The song “Kick Out the Jams” became legendary as it famously has the celebrated phrase “… kick out the jams, motherfuckers!” This led to their label Elektra Records to release two versions of the album: a cleaner version in stores while the unedited real version was sold behind the shelf. More tensions erupted when Hudson stores (huge store chain at the time) didn’t want the carry the album. In retaliation, Tyner made a damaging ad with the Elektra logo; Elektra then dropped MC5 after Hudson threatened to drop Elektra albums from their stores.

Kick Out The Jams serves as a response to destroy the restrictions of life. MC5 also brought their political This album serves as a basis for hard rock and punk rock.

In another town of Michigan, Ann Arbor, The Stooges formed in 1967. Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, and Dave Alexander formed the classic lineup. Under Elektra, they were paid less than MC5 and received less acclaim at the time. The Stooges was released on 5 August 1969, two months after MC5’s Kick Out The Jams.

The Stooges was supposed to be a five-song album since the songs were the live set staple: “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “1969,” “No Fun,” “Ann,” and “We Will Fall.” Elektra wanted more songs for the album, making the band lie about the material and doing three additional songs overnight: “Little Doll,” Not Right,” and “Real Cool Time.” Even though the album was negatively viewed by most critics at the time, The Stooges became a classic in its own right. Like MC5, Iggy Pop and The Stooges laid the foundation of what would later evolve into punk rock, especially when The Stooges took their sound to the UK.

Whenever you get a chance, please listen to these two foundations of the punk rock we take for granted today. There’s a genuine feeling in both albums that shaped music ahead of their time.