I know about Iggy, and the MC5, and even fucking Bob Segar and fucking Ted Nugent. I know they have rabid fans, I know about the “Influence” they’ve had over countless bands and their supposed greatness.
However, the best album to ever make its way out of Detroit is the soundtrack to Mack Avenue Skullgame by Big Chief.
It’s a concept record disguised as a soundtrack to a movie that never existed. A street opera that could have only come from Detroit.
Big Chief released 3 or 4 full lengths albums in the early to mid-nineties, alternately fighting and blowing the lid off that that “grunge” thing. They pre-dated the Beastie Boys in adding back in old school funk into the world, and could easily beat down any sludgy-guitared Seattle band.
Mark, one of the guitarists, is an artist in the Detroit area, and notably did the album cover for Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, as well as all the Big Chief covers and several others. He’s also a kickass painter. Barry, the lead singer was the vocalist for hardcore favorites The Necroes, and last I heard, he was a jungle DJ in Chicago. Life is odd.
Anyway, check out this track, I think it’s one of the best on the record.
This is No Free Love on This Street by Big Chief from the LP Mack Avenue Skullgame.
Mack Avenue Skullgame