Sound — 9
Not many records are as great an influence as The Stooges debut. At the same time, not many records are as simple as this, yet still achieve and accomplish as much as it has. The reason for this being the 'do it yourself' mentality of the band. Of course, many other bands during prior years had kept it simple. Garage bands of the 60's - the Seeds, the Pretty Things, the Sonics - and even some of the more popular UK acts at the time - the Who, the Kinks - featured simple songwriting, 3 chord riffs, and screaming vocals. The artists were hardly striving to be talented, virtuosic musicians, rather focusing on having a good time through means of fun music. When the garage rock revival movement began in the early 70's, the world was introduced to the Stooges. The Detroit area around the Stooges incarnation was in havoc due to the massive 1967 race riot at the time. This must have fueled the raw music that the Stooges created. Soon, former Velvet Underground member John Cal discovered them and ended up producing their legendary debut. The recording of this album is not spectacular, nor should it be. The bands sound is that of an average rock band. This record alone influenced many people to pick up a guitar and start a band. After hearing this record it seemed possible. With simple 3 chord wonders, the Stooges created music that inspired many artists to come.
Lyrics — 8
Iggy Pop wasn't much of a songwriter; even a singer/musician for that matter. The Stooges have claimed their practice sessions consisted of them getting stoned and listening to the amplifiers feedback. To say the least, his singing skills aren't at the level of some of the other musicians at the time. Nor are his lyrical compositions. "I wanna be your dog" seems to be about a sexual encounter. But the lyrics remain simple and minimal. In fact, there are very few lyrics throughout the entire record. Simple song form is eminent, with verses and a repeating chorus. "We will fall" is an exception, with much experimentation featured. All things considered, the singing is perfect for what the stooges represent. Iggy Pop helped many singers to come realize the true unimportance of singing talent. Iggy made up for it by smearing peanut butter all over his chest and using vaccuum cleaners on stage.
Overall Impression — 10
The Stooges first record was not an commerical success. It was also received poorly by critics. In hindsight, it has become clear however how much it has shaped rock music since. It, along with possibly MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" and The Velvet Underground & Nico's debut, arguably creating the entrire genre of punk rock. The rawness, the energy, the angst all portrayed through the music has effected many people over the years. Kids relate to the music created more so than ever because of the relevant issues to their times. Punk Rock would not be where it is today, let alone be here at all without the likes of the Stooges. This album is exceptional in that it has grown more popular throughout the years. The impact of this album makes it extremely important in the history of punk rock music, or even rock music for that matter.