The Stooges – Fun House (1970)

AllMusic Review: The Stooges’ first album was produced by a classically trained composer; their second was supervised by the former keyboard player with the Kingsmen, and if that didn’t make all the difference, it at least indicates why Fun House was a step in the right direction. Producer Don Gallucci took the approach that the Stooges were a powerhouse live band, and their best bet was to recreate the band’s live set with as little fuss as possible. As a result, the production on Fun House bears some resemblance to the Kingsmen’s version of “Louie Louie” — the sound is smeary and bleeds all over the place, but it packs the low-tech wallop of a concert pumped through a big PA, bursting with energy and immediacy. The Stooges were also a much stronger band this time out; Ron Asheton’s blazing minimalist guitar gained little in the way of technique since The Stooges, but his confidence had grown by a quantum leap as he summoned forth the sounds that would make him the hero of proto-punk guitarists everywhere, and the brutal pound of drummer Scott Asheton and bassist Dave Alexander had grown to heavyweight champion status. And Fun House is where Iggy Pop’s mad genius first reached its full flower; what was a sneer on the band’s debut had grown into the roar of a caged animal desperate for release, and his rants were far more passionate and compelling than what he had served up before. The Stooges may have had more “hits,” but Fun House has stronger songs, including the garage raver to end all garage ravers in “Loose,” the primal scream of “1970,” and the apocalyptic anarchy of “L.A. Blues.” Fun House is the ideal document of the Stooges at their raw, sweaty, howling peak. — Mark Deming

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Down on the Street” 3:42
2. “Loose” 3:34
3. “T.V. Eye” 4:16
4. “Dirt” 7:00
Side two
No. Title Length
1. “1970” 5:14
2. “Fun House” 7:45
3. “L.A. Blues” 4:52

 

Schill Score: 6/10

 

Listen to Album

The Stooges – The Stooges (1969)

AllMusic Review: While the Stooges had a few obvious points of influence — the swagger of the early Rolling Stones, the horny pound of the Troggs, the fuzztone sneer of a thousand teenage garage bands, and the Velvet Underground’s experimental eagerness to leap into the void — they didn’t really sound like anyone else around when their first album hit the streets in 1969. It’s hard to say if Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, Dave Alexander, and the man then known as Iggy Stooge were capable of making anything more sophisticated than this, but if they were, they weren’t letting on, and the best moments of this record document the blithering inarticulate fury of the post-adolescent id. Ron Asheton’s guitar runs (fortified with bracing use of fuzztone and wah-wah) are so brutal and concise they achieve a naïve genius, while Scott Asheton’s proto-Bo Diddley drums and Dave Alexander’s solid bass stomp these tunes into submission with a force that inspires awe. And Iggy’s vividly blank vocals fill the “so what?” shrug of a thousand teenagers with a wealth of palpable arrogance and wondrous confusion. One of the problems with being a trailblazing pioneer is making yourself understood to others, and while John Cale seemed sympathetic to what the band was doing, he didn’t appear to quite get it, and as a result he made a physically powerful band sound a bit sluggish on tape. But “1969,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “Real Cool Time,” “No Fun,” and other classic rippers are on board, and one listen reveals why they became clarion calls in the punk rock revolution. Part of the fun of The Stooges is, then as now, the band managed the difficult feat of sounding ahead of their time and entirely out of their time, all at once. — Mark Deming

Track Listing:

Side A
No. Title Length
1. “1969” 4:05
2. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” 3:09
3. “We Will Fall” 10:18
Side B
No. Title Length
1. “No Fun” 5:14
2. “Real Cool Time” 2:29
3. “Ann” 3:00
4. “Not Right” 2:50
5. “Little Doll” 3:20

 

Schill Score: 3/10

 

Listen to Album Below