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The Stooges

Shameless Sellout Puppets of the Peanut Butter Cartel

Introduction
The Stooges
Fun House
Raw Power (Bowie Mix)
Metallic K.O.

Can you believe these guys started out as the lamest, lowest of the Detroit scene? The same place that brought you the MC5, Alice Cooper, and the Amboy Dukes, the Stooges were considered to be the least talented and least likely to be successful of the entire scene. For one thing, they were younger than everybody else, and rejected the revolutionary political posing of then-kings MC5. They sure didn't reject the hugely loud, chaotic rumble of a sound that characterized Detroit way back when, but pushed it onwards and downwards to new depths of raw and 'stupid'. That was these guys' shtick, at least to start off with, they were 'stupid'. Like the Ramones were 'stupid'...which means they weren't at all. But when you hear something as primitive as 'No Fun' ('No Fun, My Babe, No Fun...No Fun to Hang Around, Feelin that Same Ol' Way...') what else is a self respecting record company supposed to do but push these guys as 'dumb fun for glue headed teenagers too young for 'serious' artists like Donovan'?

What to do indeed? When you're exploring new worlds of hard and powerful, there's not too many people that are going to understand you, especially in the 'hip' year of 1969. These guys may not have been total geniuses in person, but the music they produced from 1969-1970 has yet to be equaled in the realm of focused power. I could call it 'punk rock' but I'm not gonna because what were they rebelling against? They didn't want to 'destroy' anything (except maybe themselves and a few of their audience members) They wanted to be the Doors and the Stones all wrapped up in one, that's all, but they couldn't play like them. They played 'worse', but faster and louder and just as catchy. Their guitar player Ron Asheton wanted to play like Jimi Hendrix and all of the other heroes, but he couldn't so he just plugged into acres of the loudest distortion and fattest wah wah he could find...and thus played better. And the singer....oh man the singer....

James 'Iggy Stooge' Osterberg (wouldn't be Pop for some years yet...) was born to be this guy. The guy to push the idea of 'lead singer'-hood to new levels of insanity, charm, and, yeah! Intelligence! A dumb fuck can't lead a band like this on the trajectory it took with the panache and balls that he did. I remember reading an interview from a 1970 issue of Creem magazine (the only rock magazine based in Detroit, and the funniest one in history) where Ig came off as everything...funny, scary, stupid, misguided, nuts, in control, calm....he was reinventing himself all the time, even over the course of the same conversation. So how can you not think this guy might be the greatest front man any group has ever had?....Greater than Morrison, Jagger, Rotten, whoever you care to name. This guy was the best. Ever. And he cut himself and put peanut butter on himself and did back flips and got hit by bottles and stole girlfriends from the audience and generally did everything you know a rock star should do. He invented the rock star.

The Stooges, man....


The Stooges - Elektra 1969.

The thing you need to know about these first two albums is that the band swings. That drummer Scott Asheton plays groovy rolls that simply swing, like you know, dance music or something. And his guitar player brother does his best to come up with riffs that swing along just as hard, and succeeds damn near 100% of the time. You really can dance to this music, not just bang your head or hit your girlfriend. The riff rockers on this record (especially '1969', 'No Fun', and 'I Wanna Be Your Dog') might be Velvet Underground influenced, but I only hear it in some of the guitar and piano...the drums are flat out funk. There's no surprise Funkadelic used to play in Detroit at the same time, and most likely at the same clubs (I dunno, maybe they were segregated, but I doubt it). Scott Asheton is so good. Talking about riff monsters, '1969' and 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' start off the record with a bang, squeals of feedback and over-fuzzed guitar solos. Iggy is also on 100% freak mode on both of these, but he's not as crazy as he would be on Fun House. Oh yeah, did I mention John Cale, the Welsh sheep-shagger from VU, is our producer on here? How cool is it that some unknown group from Detroit gets John fucking Cale to produce their first record? Those early live shows must've really been paint peelers, you know what I mean?

Oh yeah...Zena Warrior Princess is on. What a lesbian damn show. The whole thing is these two over-muscled butch chicks with mullets and skimpy clothing finding excuses to fall down in the tall grass, cuddle by the fire, and pull arrowheads out of each other's hindquarters. How much damn hinting do you need? They Want To Lick Each Other to Screaming Lesbian Orgasm, People!!! I personally would watch more often if they did!! If I were king, the world would swing, y'all.

Anyway, I wrote that whole thing during the 10 minute chant bonanza 'We Will Fall', which is slower than Zena to a Chippendale's show and longer than her throbbing black strap-on. Lot of chanting, some messy cello noise, some elementary wah wah, some pointless Iggy lyrics, and a 10:14 chunk of my life lost. And no swinging drums! Goodbye, you fuckers!

Then, Oh Yeah!!! 'No Fun'...really it's just like '1969' and 'Dog', but hey, how many cool riffs can you have on one record. Swinging again, and I love these lyrics, boy. Make me wanna get a 12 of Pabst Blue Ribbon and hang out in the parking lot of the Shortstop shotgunning until I puke on my friends' side view mirror, yeah!!! Oh, and how Iggy draws out those syllables. 'Be Alowne, Nowa Fun'....that's singing, man. Attitude city. One note guitar solo with lots of reverb? I'm there man! Dude I've got a pedal that sounds just like that...but I can't play that cool...Fuck! And this one goes for 5:12 and I'm not complainin'. Cool scream! 'Real Cool Time' sounds like some sort of preview for Fun House, how he says 'To-naht!' and with the superfluous wah pedal...I love it! 'Ann's a bit slow to be considered really entertaining, but at least the band is playing here (unlike 'We Will Fall') and Iggy's doing one of his best vocals of the record. I like the over fuzzed ending too...wow, blows my hair back like a dryer. 'Not Right' is not the best riff rocker here, and its pretty dumb in its repetitiveness, unlike '1969' which was cool in its repetitiveness. What, is this some lame rewrite of 'No Fun'? Eh...it's still fine with me! Love those really sloppy guitar lines that sound way psychedelic and scary at the same time. And check those drums on 'Little Doll' that guy could really play, man. I love the herky jerky rhythm on this one...one last blast of great fun power to end up the record. Ig sounds bored, but hey, he probably was.

A classic marred by the inclusion of the obvious time filler 'We Will Fall'. So not every track is classic, 3 of 'em are for sure, and I'd throw in 'Little Doll', too. Call it 25 minutes of damned excellent heavy music.

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Nathan Harper  nator9999@comcast.net   Your Rating: A-
Any Short Comments?: It's okay...the songs are mostly pretty good in their own dumb proto punk way, but Cale's production irks me. I've always found VU boring as hell, and with Cale's help the Stooges are boring too. But Fun House...MAN that had some energy! Iggy sounds too restrained on this one.

Chopped Liva     Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: Fuck punk, I don't care if this is or is not to blame for all that baloney. This is just a damned good rock n roll album. "I wanna be your dog" is one of the best rock performances of all time. Sweet shit, I would have loved to see these guys bang out that song live in their early years. I think that the underrated second side is house to some great, really unique music also, "Not Right" and "Ann" being personal favorites of mine. All in all, good shit!

 


Fun House - Elektra 1970.

The absolute peak of the mountain. Take the cool riffing, swinging drums, and Iggyness of The Stooges and simply amplify it. Cale's stripped production is gone, and we have a guy who throws on some reverbed lyrics, a few well placed guitar overdubs, and...shit...just better sounding everything. And Iggy Stooge is totally off the wall on the entire thing. I hate to describe concepts on albums, but this one I feel has one. It start out on the same plane as The Stooges, with 'Down on the Street, but continues to lose it little by little, descending weirder and deeper and darker through 'Dirt' and 'Funhouse' until finally reaching the depths of Hell on 'L.A. Blues'. Lots of metal bands talk about hell and whatnot. Very few provide the soundtrack for a trip there.

I simply can't get enough of this record. The drumless intro to 'Loose' until it pops open and there's Ig going 'I took a Raaaad through the pretty mewzak!!!' blows my mind straight open. The way his lyrics are buried under all this loud bass and cymbals and crashing guitar overdubs all over the place is just flat out exciting....I can't usually describe music as exciting, but this really makes my heart speed up. Unbelievable. Only the Stooges could put together an album that sounds like it's screaming at you from an alley. Iggy's patented screams make their first appearance on 'TV Eye' and hell gets a little closer. Not like the song is too much different than 'Down in the Street' or 'Loose', but hey...we're not here for a bunch of stupid genre experimentation, we're here to be dragged through the sewer grate by the C.H.U.B. people, or to be drunkenly passing out in the back seat of some bank robbery getaway car driven by a PCP head having a bad day....no one in the history of rock can scream like Iggy (or cough on tape afterwards as his band keeps pounding to the end). Wow again. There's even a false ending, as much as that irritates me, but hell...Iggy's the dude next to you in that car while you're trying to pass out quietly who keeps bugging you until you can't take it anymore.

'Dirt' may be the best song on the record. It's totally driven by the bass player dude, and the lines 'I've Been Dirt...and I Don't Care', but when the swing and the guitar comes in on the chorus its head bobbing from here until tomorrow, at least in my house. That bass player is pretty fucking cool too, it's great we can hear him on this album. The tension build on this song is so strong I get that metal taste in my mouth waiting for the next chorus to pop loose and release. What's with these words? Iggy really makes me believe he's a messed up human being here...it's no joke at all. Its simple, but it rocks, and it's damned effective. '1970' is, well, the Fun House-ized version of '1969' off the last album that doesn't sound at all similar to this one. Iggy sounds soooo desperate here. If he was bored last time, this time he's really fucked up and angry. Andy Mackay's wigged-out free verse sax solo gets my nards off pretty hard here, too. 'Fun House' starts with a honking bass, hooks us with dueling sax in the left speaker and Ron Asheton's guitar in the right and proceeds to melt our brains with the hardest nutso James Brown funk on the album, hell yeah you're callin' in from the Fun House, man. Then there's the closing 'L.A. Blues', which is simply wallowing in the chaotic mess left behind by the previous songs...that's right, a tuneless 5 minute noise blast of screaming, blowing, pounding (in stereo), feedback, and crazy-as-shit voice noises from our man. Can you believe this was released on a major label in 1970? With that cover that freaks me to the core and matches the contents of the record perfectly? The same time as Led Zeppelin III, The Yes Album, and Abbey Road? What an insane world we live in! I wonder how quick those A&R guys were given the boot when this album tanked (criminally) sales-wise?

Simply the best punk album ever. I dance, grit my teeth, boogie, bug my eyes out every time I hear it. More avant garde than 1000 Stockhausen records, harder rocking than In Rock, scarier than Last House on the Left and the best album of 1970 hands down. Everyone should own this. Everyone needs to hear this.

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Jacob McVillian  SneakthaSlinger@aol.com     Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: VERY appropriate album title...although the Stooge idea of fun is a pretty twisted, depraved idea indeed.  Every track here is a winner....can't name standouts, because they're ALL great.  This is the difference between a "good album" and a "great album"....a "good album" has no bad songs on it, and a "great album" has no non-amazing, non-overwhelmingly fantastic, non-classic in every sense of the word, IMPERFECT songs on it.  Best classic punk rock album ever, hands down.  Blows away your Sex Pistols, your Clash, your Husker Du, and even your Nirvana...blows EVERYfuckingthing ever labelled "punk" out of the water.

SO fucking influential, too.  Rage Against The Machine covered "Down On The Street," The Birthday Party covered "Loose," Green River would've covered "Dirt" but Jeff Ament denounced the bassline as "Too easy to play," and Mission Of Burma covered "1970."  Those songs are all great and my personal favories on the album.  But "TV Eye" and "Fun House" are almost just as great, and maybe somebody oughta think of covering those!  My band, for example!

And "L.A. Blues"?  WOOOOOOOO!!!!  Gotta love those incomprehensible shouts and stammers from good old Mr. Pop.  And the rest of the band literally sound like they're playing "music" intended for people that are standing outside the gates of Hell to listen to, as you said.  Amazing.  The perfect ending to a perfect(Stooges) album.  Major label-release in 1970....holy fucking shit.  That IS hard to believe.

(Capn's Note: Jeff Ament's an asshole...Mr. 'Jeremy' can suck me.)

Nathan Harper nator9999@comcast.net    Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: I don't see how people can think Raw Power is better than this. I hardly ever listen to this, but whenever I do, its scares the crap out of me. Raw Power is an okay proto-punk record, but there is just something totally otherworldly about this one that just freaks me out.

 

Mike     Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: Well, duh...this is the best. Nothing really to say here, other than Steve Mackay could have skronked his sax-vomit-noise all over the other songs as well and it would have been even better. Not even solos...just horrifying noise squawk-doodles to make shit like "Down on the Street" that much more evil. Ron Asheton's guitar is insane, and I can't really say anything more about Iggy's performance that hasn't been said. I sometimes wish it was longer, but I can't really conceive any other songs that could fit. Perfect.

 

Mike  thepublicimage79@hotmail.com   Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: Oh. Dear. God.

How can I comment objectively about this? This album, "Fun House," is beyond great. Beyond life. A half hour trip to the pits of hell. And the songs were rehearsed into the ground. No joke. There were something like 32 takes of "Loose" alone. If you can find it, look for the box set "1970: The Complete Fun House Sessions" (it was limited edition, so good luck trying to find it).  It has alternate takes of every song, and while I haven't heard every song, there are some takes of "Fun House," the title track, that absolutely blow the fucking ROOF off. Unbelievable.


 nate  nmulfordindy@yahoo.com   Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: amazing album.  My personal favorite track is "funhouse" 'cause Iggy goes completely insane on this one.  No matter how many times I hear it, I get goosebumps every time Iggy goes "SHA-DA-LA-DA-LA-DA RA TAW RA-DA TAAAW" as Ron Asheton bends his guitar strings into oblivion.  Just amazing.  "I came to play and I mean it, I came to plaaaaaaaay".  He sure fucking did.



Mike     Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: I have written in entirely too many times about this album, but I had to state some things.

1 - The producer on the record is Don Galluci. Don Galluci, at the tender age of 14, played the keyboards on "Louie Louie." That's right...the Kingsmen's version, the essence of rock itself, and Iggy's favorite song. And what's even better about all of this is that the Stooges didn't even know Galluci had played on "Louie Louie" until after starting the sessions for the album. It's like the planets aligning. Galluci also played the organ overdubs on the "Down On The Street"/"1970 (I Feel Alright)" single (apparently Elektra wanted to make them sound more like the Doors for commercial consumption. Gotta hand it to 'em for total unoriginality).

2 - The tenor saxophonist's name is Steve Mackay. Andy? You really need to check the credits occasionally, man.

3 - As opposed to the debut, the Stooges recorded this mostly live-in-the-studio. Even the vocals - Iggy's microphone was going through the
studio P.A. Iggy and the band were playing together, and Iggy was jumping around and doing all his Iggy moves in the studio. And the studio gear was put together so that it practically duplicated their stage setup. About the only overdubs were Ron's more standard-toned guitar in the right speaker (like with "Loose") and the occasional Iggy double-tracked vocal (parts of "T.V. Eye").


Raw Power - Columbia 1973.

After releasing Fun House, blowing all their contract money on the Finest White Powders Michigan Has to Offer, and, well, Iggy spending some time in the 'fun house' himself trying to clean up a bit, nearly everyone forgot about the Stooges. 3 years is a long time to go without an album now, and in the early 70's it was a lifetime. Especially for a group as marginal and unknown as the Stooges. They were gone, kaput, a 2 record footnote in the book of Midwestern psychedelic punk history.
Then along comes a certain Mr. David Bowie. You see, at this time Ziggy Stardust was trying to spread his talent all over the place 'rediscovering' his favorite weird rock artists and producing smash albums by them. He'd already given Lou Reed a number one hit, wrote the only song anyone knows by Mott the Hoople, and now set his sights to Detroit to resuscitate the memory of Iggy and the Stooges. So on to the scene comes Bowie, and a reborn Iggy reunites with the brothers Asheton (brother Ron now taking over bass), while the guitar seat goes to another Keith Richard-wannabe James Williamson. Williamson has since become sort of an 'original master' for punk guitar technique, for the reasons he presents here, but I'm not at all comfortable as to why Ron Asheton has been forgotten as a result. But realize that Bowie was so far into Glam in 1973 that all of the old psychedelic / avant garde trappings are long gone from this release. So is the cool production of Fun House. At least on the original mix version that I have, the sound is top/bottom heavy, thin, murky, and nearly drumless. There's Iggy, though, way out front and way too loud. Being the sign of a truly awful mix job, the mix changes on nearly every song.

'Search and Destroy' presents the new sound wide open for us to ponder...and I must say that 3 years on this band is different, but really no worse. Simply less risky. Iggy is still nuts, and Williamson's guitar is so darn propulsive its hard to be too down on this song. In the tradition of 'Dirt' from the last one, 'Gimme Danger' is an acoustic-driven (!) understated number with an extended solo where Williamson wanks to his heart's content. Some of the Rolling Stones influences really come out strong on this album, I mean 'Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell' and 'Raw Power' are just fast, sloppy Faces/Stones boogie ripoffs. Reminds me of the New York Dolls, but the Dolls didn't have a singer half as cool as Iggy. Iggy isn't bored like on Stooges, or whacked out like on Fun House, he's raunchy...you can just see his cretin hopping around the stage to these songs. 'Penetration' sounds like slow Judas Priest without the vibrato'ed screeching. 'Shake Appeal' sounds like, swear to God, Gene Vincent.

What bothers me about this record, besides the horrendous mix, is the fact that all the drama is gone. Snotty and horny have replaced scary and nuts. Pounding and boogie have replaced swinging...its almost as if the funk in the drums has gone to James's guitar, and Ron's old simplistic riffing has spread to his brother on the drum kit. The band has completely returned to it's 'stupid' roots...but on the other hand the album is so fast, so catchy, so rocking, and well, so Iggy that I can't help but love it. It doesn't melt my face off, but I do want to dance around the room like an idiot for 33 whole minutes. And that's for sure worth an A-. It would be an A if Bowie hadn't made it sound SO FUCKING AWFUL. Too busy getting buggered by Iggy and the gang to push the faders right, I says.

Hey, we just bombed Afghanistan....how bout that? I hope those first signs of anthrax don't sting too bad. Try not to breathe too deep or rub your eyes...and try laying off drinking the tap water for the next 3-4 years or so. We boil all our damn water over here...rusty, smelly Soviet water piping must be good for something, maybe it's killing the new form of organ-liquefying hell that awaits all of us in a few weeks. Maybe the horrible, Russian diseases that already live in St. Petersburg drinking water will eat the competing raghead diseases some Afghani hairball will drop in there. Get ready for 10 years of 'sacrifice', as Lemmy used to say. I'm sure glad I'm here in Russia where its simply impossible for things to get any more fucked up...I'd hate to be in America when the economy tanks and people realize life may in fact hold some difficulty a bit higher than programming your VCR or kissing your boss's ass. And I'm sorry if some fat, soft, overcoddled American cubicle drones don't necessarily strike me as being able to beat some well-armed bloodthirsty Shiite in his own mountainous backyard. Hooray for the USA! Come back in a few years, after the draft starts, and I may be the only American record reviewer who still has use of both his legs! Thanks for kicking me and my wife out, America, you might just have saved me from getting drafted...I owe you one!  I may actually pay U.S. taxes this year like I'm supposed to, but since I earn about $200 a month, I just don't think I can be bothered.

If you make me eat my words I'll be the happiest man on earth, but from over here it's looking like a pretty bad turn of events.

Fuck the war. Buy this album. 

Note: There is a remix version of this album released sometime around 1998 that my friend tells me is light years better than this. It's actually his favorite Stooges album, and he's a big fan too. I really need to get with the times and check it out.

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AJF  ajf93@hotmail.com    Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: I bought the '97 remix of this album on a whim during the last year of my degree, having not heard the original vinyl mix.  I took it home, cranked it up, and it blew me away.  It helped me through many a late-night essay-writing session (in conjunction with copious amounts of caffeine, naturally).  I still haven't actually heard the original mix (though I might try and find it someday, if I can be bothered), but from what I can gather, the people responsible for the buggering-about-with of the tapes (of whom Iggy himself was one) have done an excellent job.  The drums pound, the guitars crunch, the bass... well, the bass is audible, which is a definite improvement (and the band's former guitarist, Ron Asheton, proves to be a fine bassist, many of his basslines really adding to the songs).  The guitars and vocals are cranked well into the red, giving Williamson's solos a razor-sharp, ear-piercing quality, and making Iggy's vocals border on overdrive.

The album seems to do away with much of the jazz-fusion experimentation of Fun House and strips itself down to straight-ahead, heavily-distorted-guitar-driven, cocaine-and-two-bottles-of-JD-for-breakfast Rawk and Rohl.  Which isn't an incredibly original concept.  But the thing is, prior to this album, no-one had really infused hard rock with this much passion, sleaze, psychosis, self-destructiveness, naked aggression and raw sexuality.  The Stooges were never the most competent musicians technically speaking (to put it mildly), but it doesn't really matter, because they infuse their playing with such passion (much in the same way that it doesn't really matter that Bob Dylan has a terrible voice, because he uses it so well and with such passion).

But the key ingredient that changes this from being simply a very good hard rock album to a great one Iggy's vocals.  The man is everything a good rock star should be - violent, insane, offensive, testosterone-driven, self-destructive whilst being seemingly indestructible.  And his performance on this record is truly inspired.  His range of different styles is near-schizophrenic - his distorted screaming helps make 'Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell' violent and distrubing, yet exhilerating; his crooning and groaning help turn 'Penetration' into just about the sleaziest thing ever recorded; and his proclamation on the opener that he's 'a street-walkin' cheetah wid a haaahd full o' nay-powwwwm' can't help but draw the listener in.

A sleazy, apocalyptic, oft-imitated masterpiece.

Nathan Harper nator9999@comcast.net    Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: Iggy's new mix isn't "light years" ahead of Bowie's, but it's pretty great. Definitely not on the same level as Fun House, but I like it more than the debut. I miss the funkiness of Fun House and the experimental aspects; this is mostly just straight up punk music. It's pretty cool though. 'Search and Destroy' is easily one of the greatest punk songs ever written, 'Raw Power' uses that one note piano line even better than 'Now I wanna be Your Dog,' and the rest is just an ass-kicking good time. I also like the dark 'Penetration' a lot.

Mike     Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: This concerns both mixes, as I have both the Bowie mix and the Iggy mix of the album. Mostly, even though the sound is better on the Iggy album (and "Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell" and "Shake Appeal" sound the way they were meant to sound on the Iggy mix - like a Soviet tank with a hotrod motor being driven by a nymphomaniac cokehead sociopath), I like the Bowie version a little more overall because of the totally sleazy, '70's trash-vibe that hangs over it like a bad stench.

The Iggy version's just pumped to hell, but there are some truly questionable attempts to rewrite history (like the unforgivable use of a different vocal take on "Gimme Danger" and irregular, lifeless digital distortion on the guitar during the verses of "Search and Destroy") and so, by default, I'd take the Bowie versions over those, because, when all's said and done, they simply aren't the real versions of the songs.

Bowie Version vs. Iggy Version:

1 Search And Destroy - Bowie Version - No question. Iggy's mix just makes it sound like an arena rocker. Bowie's mix makes it sound like random homicide. I know which one I'm taking with the volume pumped.

2 Gimme Danger - Bowie Version - Actually a pretty good mix here on the original version: I can hear Ron and Scott just fine, and Iggy's vocal is brilliant, as it just keeps changing - you have no idea whether he's being arrogant or truly remorseful for everything he's done. The Iggy version has a different (?!!?!?!??!) vocal take that's just more strident. Bowie wins again.

3 Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell - Iggy Version - The Bowie mix didn't do true justice to this song. Iggy's mix blasts the levels to Pluto. This song is nuclear-intense, cheap prostitute-pursuing sex defined - in other words, pure rock and roll. Iggy's version is better.

4 Penetration - Bowie Version - This one really is a toss-up for me, but I'll give Bowie's the nod because the reverb on the drums combined with the unreverbed guitar sounds like Los Angeles...I don't know why, it just does. Even though I'd like to hear the celeste part a lot more than I can on the Bowie mix. Iggy's has the celeste, but sterile reverb on the guitar, and you can't hear the backing vocals very well.

5 Raw Power - Bowie Version - Same argument that I had for "Search and Destroy." Iggy's sounds like arena rock. Bowie's sounds like random homicide. Plus, Ron Asheton's bass is trebly, tinny, and evilly abrasive on the Bowie mix, where it's, ironically, obscured on the Iggy mix.

6 I Need Somebody - Bowie Version - The sleazy '70's trash-vibe that permeates Bowie's version of the album suits this song far more than Iggy's mix. The obscured drums also sound like lead here - all you can really hear well is the snare, beating away, and even though that would normally be a criticism, it just makes the music that much more amazingly repellent - the production makes the song sound like it's coming through a hangover.

7 Shake Appeal - Iggy Version - I'd cut the countoff that Iggy decided to include, but other than that, I'd keep everything about this one. Bowie's didn't serve the song - there were no drums, the handclaps sounded anemic, Iggy was brilliant but the backing had, really, just bad production. Bowie didn't do too well with the song. This version is pumped and ready to kill - pass the amphetamines.

8 Death Trip - Bowie Version - This one was the hardest. Bowie's mix isn't as good in many ways, but Iggy's slightly extended version feels too long, as opposed to Bowie's being the exactly correct length, and doesn't have the all-important trashy '70's feel to it. So, if I could, and had the proper software to do it, I'd combine different attributes of both versions into a whole more suited to what I'd like.

The album is a total classic, but both versions have their own problems production-wise. I would recommend that fans get both versions and compare. The Bowie mix MP3's I got off Soulseek had bad internal volume, but I took WavePad (free program of utter brilliance) and turned the internal volume of the MP3's way, way up so that there could be sonic comparison to the Iggy mix and, of course, total ass-kicking to be had.

"Raw Power" is not a better album than "Fun House," but it is just as good in a different way...pure power, songwriting, and amplitude subsituting for pure power, inspired jamming, and hellish viscera. Take your pick.


Metallic K.O. - 1974.

Listen, this album is hilarious. I gotta be honest and tell you I haven't heard it in a few years, but it's in my record collection. I've also only heard the original LP release, not the double-length 2 CD version you might find in your local CD store stamped 'Imports'. Anyway, it's a recording of the final Stooges show in 1974, and boy they hadn't changed at all in the last 5 years. People throwing shit at the band, Iggy threatening the audience, hitting on chicks....'We're Just Gonna Play Louie Louie'...'This one's called 'Cock In My Pocket', yeah, now that's rock 'n' roll. So while there's really little audible music on the album, and a lot of bad hiss and noise, it's still worth a listen by anyone who cares at all about Iggy Pop and/or the Stooges.

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