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 Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse

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mc

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PostSubject: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Fri May 21, 2010 1:08 am

THE STOOGES
The Stooges
(Elektra EKS 74051) 7/69
‘Hard rock that is hard simply for the sake of being loud is a rather false invention, but The Stooges, because of the intensity of their musicianship, are hard and hot at any volume. This debut set is an exciting premiere from a new group whose inventive lead singer Iggy brings dimension, energy and drama to every cut. Especially outstanding are the bizarre but lovely ‘Ann’, the over-10-minute ‘We Will Fall’, and the group’s just-released single ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. Could be a break-out’ – Cash Box, 26/7/69

‘The Stooges, featuring Iggy Stooge on vocals, will benefit from a big push from the label to cop the same sales power of their best-selling Doors. A 10-minute ‘We Will Fall’ highlights the rock quartet’s debut album, as they feature a rough and raw Rolling Stones-type sound that glitters with the addition of strong lyric content and sophisticated pop execution. ‘1969’, ‘No Fun’ and ‘Ann’ will boost The Stooges to the top’ – Billboard, 2/8/69

‘The dangerous psychedelic Stooges manage to quickly get down to the nitty-gritty of sensual frustration for all of neo-American adolescent malehood. ‘1969’, the lead song on the disc, is the perfect expression of the oldest complaint of rebellious anarcho / crazy youth. Iggy sounds a lot younger than 22 for the horny American youth whose fantasies he summarizes. ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ is reminiscent of early Velvet Underground music, carrying it into even more bizarre levels. ‘No Fun’ is a crazed song of repressed American boy / girl crazies. ‘Not Right’ features some physically abusive guitar playing by Stooge guitarist Ron Asheton. Throughout the album Asheton reveals himself as an insane master of the power The Stooges channel into their music. This is probably the guitar style of the future. The music is all 1969; Iggy and the boys doing Stooge music’ – Creem August 1969

‘Stupid-rock at its best – the side of The Velvet Underground that never developed (John Cale produced)’ – Village Voice, 14/8/69

‘By any formal criteria, they are a retro¬gressive group, a pale copy of the early Rolling Stones. Their music revolves around one modified Bo Diddley chord progression, and neither the singing nor musicianship on their album attains any memorable levels of competence. But like The Velvet Underground (and remember that John Cale produced the album) or The Seeds, or a select number of other bands, any formal criteria here become basically irrelevant in the face of what is actually hap¬pening within the music… The world of The Stooges, simply, revolves around boredom. Not only a mere lack of something to do, but rather a total negation of anything to do… The theme is repeated in every song, reflected in the hypnotic quality of every cut, over and over again until the album itself becomes a symbol of the boredom… The record sounds no hopeful notes; there is no sense of rebellion, no cry of protest, nothing except a kind of resigned acceptance to whatever is happening around them… The al¬bum works, not because it is such great music (though no one can deny its force and power) but rather because the Stooges have touched on one of the major characteristics of where we are today, then extracted it and crystallized it… If 1967 was the year of The Bea¬tles and ‘Get Together’, if 1968 was the year of The Band and Beggar’s Banquet, then 1969 may well be the year of The Stooges. You might not like it, but you can't escape it’ – Fusion, 19/9/69

‘The Stooges are supposedly Ann Arbor’s answer to the MC5 – another hard rock band that plays music with some kind of political import. This is supposedly the music of revolution. Well, if being told over and over for 4 min¬utes that ‘It’s 1969, baby’ is your idea of a political statement, there may be something in this album for you. All I can hear is crude, repetitious, extremely dull material, no-talent instrumentalists and a pretentious, no-voice singer. The 10-minute ‘We Will Fall’, a constantly-repeated chant with some kind of mutterings by the lead singer (including several minutes of ‘goodbye’ at the end), is un¬doubtedly the worst rock track I have ever heard. In fact, I have little hesita¬tion in nominating this as the worst album of the season. Ann Arbor should have kept its mouth shut’ – American Record Guide, April 1970


Fun House
(Elektra 74071) 7/70
‘The album should be out by the end of July, from what the Elektra kids tell us, and believe it, it’s the mindfuck of the year. The tunes include ‘I’m Loose’, ‘TV Eye’, ‘Down On The Street’ (the B-side of the single), ‘I Feel Alright (1970)’ (the A-side of the single), ‘Fun House’ and the colossal mind-destroyer of the year, ‘L.A. Blues’. The record should bring the entire band to prominence, as opposed to the press’s common fixation with only Iggy. Certainly Steve Mackay reveals himself as one of the premiere saxophonists in rock and roll, and the Scott Asheton / Dave Alexander rhythm section is equally astounding. As always, Ron Asheton is superb on lead guitar, and what can you say about the Ig except that he’s never been in finer form?’ – Creem, July 1970

‘The Stooges were the first young American group to acknowledge the influence of the Velvet Underground – and it shows heavily in their second album. The early Velvets had the good sense to realize that, whatever your capabilities, music with a simple base was the best… The Stooges started out not being able to do anything else but play rock-bottom simple – they formed the concept of the band before half of them knew how to play, which figures… The Stooges’ music comes out of a primal illiterate chaos gradually taking shape as a uniquely personal style, emerges from a tradition of American music that runs from the primordial woolly rags of backwoods bands up to the magic promise eternally made and occasionally fulfilled by rock: that a band can start out bone-primitive, untutored and uncertain, and evolve into a powerful and eloquent ensemble’ – Creem, December 1970

‘This group’s first album was nominated here as the worst record of 1969; the present one is merely lousy. All of the music follows the standard Stooges formula; a basic beat and bass riff are laid down, and the boys just go on and on until you are ready to scream. Meanwhile the lead singer does the screaming for you. The group has been practicing, because the instrumental playing is now a bit better than incom¬petent, but still there is not an original idea to be heard anywhere and so the tracks are uniformly monotonous. Other Stooge news: the lead singer has changed his name from Iggy Stooge to Iggy Pop. He still tries to sound like Mick Jagger, and he still does not make it. The Stooges have been popular in live performance, and I understand that they do a spectacu¬lar stage routine; maybe they should wait for video discs’ – American Record Guide, August 1971

Note: These were kindly passed to me by Richard Morton Jack who wrote Galactic Ramble www.galacticramble.com which reviews 1000s of UK albums from the 60s and 70s. He is currently working on a new book "Endless Trip" covering US albums from 66-73, due out later this year.


Last edited by mc on Fri May 21, 2010 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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G, F#, E
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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Fri May 21, 2010 10:20 am

Thanks mc! The "American Record Guide" reviews are hilarious!
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Nadja

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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Fri May 21, 2010 10:52 am

great post mc.
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Garageman

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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Fri May 21, 2010 12:44 pm

"Throughout the album Asheton reveals himself as an insane master of the power The Stooges channel into their music. This is probably the guitar style of the future."

How true.
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Natalie
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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Fri May 21, 2010 3:44 pm

I remember when all the "bad" reviews first came out.

It was not funny at all then!!!!!
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Garageman

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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Sat May 22, 2010 5:25 pm

Natalie,

do you remember how the band reacted to the bad reviews?
Were they angry, shocked or possibly slightly amused, knowing themselves how great the music they produced was?
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Natalie
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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Mon May 31, 2010 7:21 pm

The best way I can describe the feeling at the time was "confusion".

We had many discussions at the Elektra offices but the subject did not often arise with the members of the band.

I should point out that there were a select few journalists and music types who got the band. There was supposrt among the NY people and certainly the Detriot and Ann Arbor press. Rolling Eyes
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mc

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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:15 am

just found this one -


Fun House
The Stooges
Elektra 74071-2
Released: 1970

Ah, good evening my good friend. Good evening and welcome to the Stooges' Funhouse. We are so glad you could come. Oh, do not be alarmed, dear one, if things should seem a trifle unusual...or, as the natives say, "oh-mind"...at first. You'll doubtless get used to it. Perhaps, you may even begin to...like things you see.

Why do you look so pale, my friend? Why, that's only tenor saxophonist Steve Mackay vigorously f***ing drummer Scott Asheton, dog-style. Steve is a new member of the band, you know, but like Iggy and the rest of the boys were saying, he really fits in, n'est-ce pas? How smart he looks in his new black leather jacket. And that swastika on Scott's lapel. How killer...how terribly, terribly killer.

And that man over there? The one being slowly whipped with long, curly tendrils of that young lass' hair? Why, that's none other than Don Galucci, who produced the Stooges' last album. He was the producer of the song "Louie, Louie" by the Kingsmen, you know. Here. I have the original words to it written on this piece of paper. Perhaps you would like to read them.

Oh, thank you, Mr. Galucci. Please do put on the new Stooges record. It would be so nice for our guest to hear.

Mercy! "Down On the Street," what a super killer jam! That is why I love the Stooges so, you know, and why I have stayed here at the Funhouse with the boys for so very long. They are so exquisitely horrible and down and out that they are the ultimate psychedelic rock band in 1970. Don't you agree?

Don't laugh. You mustn't laugh. The new record is much more sophisticated than their first. And you cannot deny that they are the best Detroit area rock band. Why, Iggy was just telling me that when he plays with other Detroit and Michigan area bands, that he feels, not like King of the Mountain, but King of the Slag Heap! Can you imagine that? King of the Slag Heap! How super oh-mind, no?

Do you think you might like to...see Iggy? Well, all right. But you must take care not to disturb him. When Pop is really "Jonesed," there's really no telling what could happen. His scars do take so long to heal, you know, and he is so slight, sometimes I can't help worry about him, but can you blame me?

He should be behind that door, in that room. Perhaps, if we're lucky, he might be spreading peanut butter upon his phallus. Why, sometimes, he'll lock himself in there for days screaming, "I feel all right!" at the top of his lungs until he passes out. And then, it is said, before he can arise again, an 18-year-old female must perform oral intercourse upon his comatose body. Oh! He has heard us! Do be quick, my friend, before he can get it together to react! Heavens! What a close shave, eh, mon ami?

Ah, no, you mustn't be leaving so soon. There is yet so much you have not yet seen, so many things strange, killer, and oh-mind. Well, if you must, then I suppose you must. Sometime soon you will pay us a return visit, all right, dear one? Thank you for stopping by ever so much.

You. Out there. What are you doing? Do you long to have your mind blown open so wide that it will take weeks for you to pick up the little, bitty pieces? Do you yearn for the oh-mind? Do you ache to feel all right?

Then by all means, you simply must come visit us at the Stooges' Funhouse. I know the boys would look forward to seeing you. In fact...they'd be...simply delighted.

- Charlie Burton, Rolling Stone, 8/29/70.
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Beck

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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:29 am

Wired but it sounds cool
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HelterShelter



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PostSubject: Re: Some Reviews of Stooges 1st & Funhouse   Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:08 pm

anyone read lester bangs's funhouse review? is is in all seriousness, one of the greatest things I've ever read.
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