Sound — 10
Stepping out of MC5's shadow, the first release from the legendary Stooges could have easily gone very wrong indeed. Velvet Underground's John Cale (Whose mix of the album was rejected) was roped in as producer in an attempt to bring the incredible energy and (please, excuse the pun) raw power from their live shows and inject it into their first record. Talent will out, however, and the end result (the album was initially rejected as the original five tracks weren't enough) is the last great album of the '60s. Opener "1969" is all pounding drums and looping guitars courtesy of the Asheton brothers before melting into ludicrously catchy mode, hand claps and all. Most of the tracks which follow are in a somewhat similar vein, just take "Not Right". Clocking in at just under three minutes, it's furiously energetic with a guitar riff that's trying to embed itself in your mind and make you move at the same time. The band just has an undeniable chemistry that shines through even over record, notably on "Litte Doll". The rumbling bass enveloped in a wave of, well noise, but good noise of course. One of the exceptions to the earlier rule regarding every song having an unstoppable momentum is the ten minute plus "We Will Fall". On the surface a rather pretentious song; a basic chant running throughout with every player bouncing off of it (Including violins at one point), it's amusing to note the track was only made so long in order to bump the records length up.
Lyrics — 9
Ah yes, Iggy. Before he was Pop he was still an unparalleled frontman, as this album proves. He's never sounded more youthful, his slurred vocals as fiery as each track requires("No Fun" being a good representation). The icon is at his very best on "Ann", deep and venomous at the song's start before reaching a height more associated with Thom Yorke. Lyrics have never been the Stooges fort ("And now I'm gonna be 22, I say oh my and a boo-hoo!" from "1969" for example), but to rate them down too highly for it would be a crime. It's one of the many reasons why the record is timeless; whilst the other bands of the age were harking on about war, the Stooges were singing about nothing in particular. The songs are as fresh as the day they were concieved.
Overall Impression — 10
As a first album, The Stooges self titled effort couldn't have succeeded any more than it did. Containing their live sound and the accompanying songs, whilst still making what would later become a classic album is no mean feat. Yet it worked as things weren't over complicated as many proggy albums of the time were. When it kicks into gear, nothing in modern rock can touch it. Stooges key track and my favourite from the album "I Wanna Be Your Dog" is rock, as pure as it can get. Compared to the rest of their discography (ignoring the turd released last year), I wouldd argue it's cause as their best, which is a high compliment considering the quality of both Funhouse and Raw Power.