Whenever your band decides to enter the studio, you always have a unique opportunity on your hands. Outside of the million different effects that you can try on every song, you also get the chance to give the listener an experience that they'll only find when listening to your album. Like all great rock bands though, the overarching rule is just how well you're able to translate that kind of energy to the live stage.
Instead of the usual bells and whistles that you'd find on your standard rock album, these are the records that take full advantage of the audience they have in front of them, stirring everyone into a frenzy with every single guitar lick. Though there's usually no new material to be found on here, the beauty comes in just how well they can translate their songs on the live stage, especially when they're going for the ambitious sides of their catalog.
What no one expected though was just how well some of these records have held up, being able to capture a unique energy that you never could find when in their studio creations. Because that X-factor is always the audience, and they were looking to milk them for all they were worth. The studio may be for the artists, but the stage is for the seasoned veterans.
10. Kick Out the Jams - MC5
Like any great rock and roll, it sounds best when coming out of the garage. No matter how many times you want to layer different guitars on top of each other in the studio, the sound of a fuzzed out amplifier blaring out over drums is what made people want to start their rock and roll journey in the first place. Hell, sometimes it sounds so good that you don't even want to move out of the garage.
Kicking off their entire career with a live album, the MC5 pretty much hit the ceiling right out of the gate with Kick Out the Jams, catapulting them into one of the kings of the hard rock genre before it even had a name yet. Even though acts like Led Zeppelin were making noise across the pond, this was the kind of manic energy that all good rock and roll thrived on, being equal parts bluesy and absolutely punk in its presentation.
In fact, you could probably make the argument that punk rock started here way before bands like the Sex Pistols or the Ramones made a name for themselves, since everything sounds like its about to descend into chaos at any moment. By the time the MC5 actually hit the studio though, they would have a hard time reproducing this energy. I mean, can you blame them? You can't try to recapture something like this if you tried.