The Stooges

    Fun House [Deluxe Edition]


    Fairly soon after the Stooges’ self-titled debut received little attention outside of Detroit, the band recorded Fun House,
    replacing producer John Cale with Don Gallucci, the former keyboardist
    for the Kingsmen (“Louie, Louie”). Gallucci, upon seeing the Stooges
    live, had said their energy was unrecordable, but he did his best
    anyway, allowing live performance, with minimal overdubbing, to
    dominate the recording time. The result is one of the greatest rock ‘n’
    roll records ever made, more frustrated and forward-looking than its
    predecessor, more accessible and stylish than its follow-up.


    Aside from a welcomed remastering that maintains the
    integrity of the sludgy guitar kicks while emphasizing drummer Scott
    Asheton and bassist Dave Alexander at their driving, careless best, the
    deluxe edition provides a bonus disc of worthy material. Most of it is
    outtakes, alternate cuts that give the energy of the record a broader
    perspective. But all of it (save one previously unreleased demo of
    album highlight “Loose”) appears here for the first time since the now
    out-of-print 1970 The Complete Fun House Sessions
    box set. The only two tracks considered for but eventually discarded
    from the album are included as well: “Lost in the Future” and “Slide
    (Slidin’ the Blues).” Both are slower, bluesy compositions that were
    practically made for bonus discs: not right for the album, too good to
    throw away.

    Often put in the shadow of its harder, dirtier younger brother, Raw Power, Fun House
    is the meeting place of the two records that flank it. Steven Mackay’s
    sax that comes in blasting midway through the record swirls back into
    the psychedelic era, but Iggy’s solidified persona is the definition of
    the rock frontman, reborn for the modern era. Punk, metal — hell, if
    it frightens your parents, it owes a debt to Iggy Pop. Listen to his
    sneer on “TV Eye.” It morphs into the positively animal yell at the
    beginning of “L.A. Blues” and seems to meld with feedback. Even Ron
    Asheton’s guitar seems to be cowering in the corner. Fun House is the energy felt in that coda, but it’s also the slick groove of “Down on the Street” that kicks off the album.

    Fun House is a lesson for people who believe relevant rock is
    current rock. If you think U2 is actually a rock group, this album will
    knock you out of your complacency, and if you’ve come to believe the
    Sex Pistols are actually important, it will remind you what was going
    on nearly a decade before they decided to swindle the public. Fun House is rock ‘n’ roll. Not thirty-five years ago rock ‘n’ roll, right now rock ‘n’ roll. Truly essential.

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