Wayne Kramer – Dangerous Madness (1996)

FrontCover1Wayne Kramer (born April 30, 1948) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and film and television composer.

Kramer came to prominence as a teenager in 1964 as a co-founder of the Detroit rock group MC5 (Motor City 5), a group known for their powerful live performances and radical left-wing political stance. MC5 broke up amid personality conflicts, drug abuse, and personal problems, which, for Kramer, led to several fallow years, as he battled drug addiction before returning to an active recording and performing schedule in the 1990s.

Rolling Stone ranked him number ninety-two on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time”. (wikipedia)

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All-knowing adolescent punk rock fans beware: Wayne Kramer is an old dude who was once in a band called MC5 that was important long before you were a glimmer in your parents’ eyes. Yes, I know, his second solo record is on Epitaph, but believe me when I tell you he sounds nothing like Rancid or The Offspring. There is little chance he’ll sell a million copies of Dangerous Madness and it’s even less likely you’ll see his aging mug in high rotation on MTV.

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Too bad, though, because to my jaded, old ears, Mr. Kramer has made a mighty fine record. He still throttles a Gibson SG like few others, particularly on the snarling title track, but he seems just as comfortable crooning X-inspired Americana like “Something Broken in the Promised Land.” I’m unfamiliar with Kramer’s first Epitaph solo record, The Hard Stuff, but Dangerous Madness covers a wide variety of material from the blues to punk to hard rock to a couple of ’60s-like, spoken word rants accompanied by suitably eclectic music. The amazing thing is that Kramer sounds comfortable doing it all.

It’s refreshing to hear an influential artist return to music he obviously wants to play rather than mine some weak, nostalgiac trip. Sure, a few of these songs smack of classic MC5 rave-ups, but they come naturally and unforced from one of the original sculptors of that sound. So, the kids may not appreciate this record, but for us old fogies it’s a nice, varied collection of kick-ass rock & roll songs. No mohawk required. (Adem Tepedelen)


Brock Avery (drums)
Wayne Kramer (vocals, guitar, bass, piano on 06.)
Terence Trent D’Arby (vocals on 01.)
Brett Gurewitz (vocals on 03., 04., 06.)
David McMurray (saxophone on 08.)
Tad Schumacher (bass on 11.)
Chad Smith (drums on 11.)
Scott Thunes (bass on 03., 06. – 09.)


01. Dangerous Madness (Farren/Kramer) 4.01
02. Back To Detroit (Kramer)
03. Wild America (Farren/Kramer) 3.45
04. Something Broken In The Promised Land (Farren/Kramer) 5.23
05. Take Exit 97 (Farren/Kramer) 3.32
06. God’s Worst Nightmare (Farren/Kramer) 4.57
07. The Boys Got That Look In Their Eyes (Farren/Kramer) 2.52
08. A Dead Man’s Vest (Kramer) 3.24
09. It’s Never Enough (Farren/Kramer) 3.17
10. The Rats Of Illusion (Kramer) 4.05
11. Dead Movie Stars (Farren/Kramer) 6.32



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More from Wayne Kramer:

1 thought on “Wayne Kramer – Dangerous Madness (1996)

  1. Thanks for the Wayne Kramer good to hear that he is still recording and producing solid albums. You cannot regain your youth but you can retain the angst


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