CD Review: "Max's Kansas City 1976 and Beyond"

NEW YORK CITY - The Max's Kansas City 1976 album was originally released (in 1976, of course) in order to promote all the cool punk music that was happening at Max's and in the clubs of New York City. And now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of it's release, Peter Crowley, the original booking manager at Max's Kansas City, has teamed up with Jungle Records to re-release an expansive version of this punk-rock treasure.


Review by Joe Milliken * Photos: 1. New 40th Anniversary expanded edition 2. Original "Max's Kansas City 1976" album release.

In it's prime, Max's (along with CBGB's) was the hip place to be in the mid-70's for the best in New York City punk and glam rock, and when the new music director, Crowley, took over the music bookings at Max's in the mid-70's, he collaborated with the club owner to release the 10-track album (a later, CD version featured 14 tracks) to promote the music happenings at Max's.

Released on two CDs or a cool, red colored-vinyl double album, the new package is packed (40 tracks) with four times the music as the original release, while still featuring the studio-recorded tracks from the said original. Some of these original gems include Suicide's recording debut, Jayne County, Cherry Vanilla, Cleveland-rockers Pere Ubu and the Fast.

However, the new, 40th anniversary release features some 30 additional tracks by some 20 additional artists, and so many more unbelievable gems at that! Other legendary artists included in this expanded version include Iggy Pop, New York Dolls, Sid Vicious (with the Idols and Mick Jones), Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Nico, The Offs, The Stilettos (pre-Blondie), Gang War and more. Some of these songs are also rare and/or unreleased recordings.

A Wayne County song was released as a single, prior to the CD/album release, and the expanded package also includes a track-by-track breakdown of the music, as well as extensive liner notes (a 20-page CD booklet) written by Crowley and Jimi LaLumia, whose band, the Psychotic Frogs, were Max’s regulars and their “Death to Disco” song is on the new compilation.

To learn more and to order this re-issued punk music treasure, please visit www.jungle-records.net.