Wow..when I first got this box set a year ago, I thought, what a bunch of rip-off artists, putting out the Sweet Nothing CD as part of the box, not to mention most of the City Slang CD. Now I find out those are out-of-print, going sometimes for extremely exorbitant amounts. Now my view has changed to "why didn't they put the 1999 remix of City Slang on here?".
(the lyrics are MUCH clearer in that mix)
This is an excellent boxset, but let me clarify something: the quality is not that great everywhere on here. In fact, only disc 4, and parts of discs 5 and 6 are really of good quailty.
That said, this is a must for true rock 'n' roll fans. If you don't know it, although Wayne Kramer was the superior guitarist in the MC5, by a few years later, Fred 'Sonic' Smith had become one of THE greatest guitarists in rock 'n' roll history, easily outshining his former bandmate.
Not that this is a contest, or that Wayne isn't great, but Fred Smith is truly one of the most underacknowledged guitarists ever. Makes me think of Denis Tek, from Radio Birdman (from their original period); too many greats not getting their proper perspective in history, and thereby getting ignored. A crime considering how magnificent this stuff is.
Completely beautiful playing, real rockers...I can't find the proper words here, but there have been few bands as exciting to listen to as Sonic's Rendezvous. I remember the first time I heard City Slang, on a "Ron Asheton (Destroy All Monsters)/ Sonic's Rendezvous" split LP.
I was COMPLETELY blown away. I wanted the original. No luck.
But it's okay, it's the MUSIC that matters! And here, you've got a veritable treasure trove of fantastic rock 'n' roll.
The first 3 discs aren't exactly professional sound quality, but the thing with great rock 'n' roll is, that ain't enough to kill excitement if the music's good enough. And here it is; I can only sing the highest praises about ths band.
Great packaging (WISH THE COVER WAS A T-SHIRT!) (anybody out there listening? No? I thought not...)
The booklet is fantastic, with Scott Morgan (a great musician and singer in HIS OWN right! A COMPLETELY intregal part of the band and maybe a better singer than Fred) explaining why the group disintegrated (does EVERYTHING Iggy touches turn to s--t?).
I'd love to get the ONE disc in the Iggy set with Sonic's Rendezvous (sans Scott Morgan) backing him up; but I ain't gonna pay $80 for it, for ONE DISC? That should be released seperately, for those of us who don't care much about Iggy's music past Kill City.
This box set, by the way, includes the song "Take A Look" by the Scott Morgan Band (where's Soul Mover?).
The one thing I REALLY wish was on here is the best version of City Slang I can possibly imagine, one that was on a boot LP called "Strikes Like Lightning"; it's UNBELIEVABLE! The leads on that, oh my GOD.....
that LP also contained a fantastic version of "Dangerous"...but you can't have evrything, I guess (SOMEBODY RELEASE THAT VERSION OF CITY SLANG!! PLEASE!!!!)
That aside aside, this box set is one of my prize sets, with only the FunHouse box beating it really (when's Rhino gonna wise up and issue that on their regular label??)
This is a must for any rock 'n' roll fans out there.
EVERYBODY who loves rock 'n' roll MUST HAVE City Slang in their collection, the studio version, one way or another.
Just don't pay more than $80 for this please, it's in print still.
The only problem I have with this set is that no information is given regarding the contents of the last two discs; if you have been a fan of this band for a while, you can figure out a good deal of it, but I can't figure out all of it, and notation is always a good idea, and when so much is put into a set, that's not too much to ask, esp. considering the list price ain't exactly pocket money.
But if you got the money, don't hesitate; GET THIS!
I love Patti Smith at the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony; how she said that Fred said one day she'll get in it, although he's better, and not to feel guilty! Which she agreed with, that he was the better of the two. And, (NO disrepect to Patti) -- Fred was right! Fred 'Sonic' Smith RULED!
CI-CI-CI-CITY! City SLANG!!! (one of THE most AMAZING songs of all time...)