The Stooges Review

artist: The Stooges date: 08/24/2010 category: compact discs
The Stooges: The Stooges
Release Date: Aug 5, 1969
Genres: Hard Rock, Proto-Punk, Rock 'n' Roll
Label: Elektra
Number Of Tracks: 8
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.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 9.5
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reviews (4) 2 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
The Stooges Reviewed by: red157, on january 17, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9
The Stooges Reviewed by: Drifting182, on july 17, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: When The Stooges went into the studio to record their debut album in early 1969, they brought several stacks of Marshalls along and turned them up to maximum volume. When producer John Cale (formerly of the Velvet Underground) informed the band that Marshalls didn't record properly in the studio, the band compromised by turning them down half a notch. This should give you an idea of just how loud this album is. With the notable exceptions of the 10-minute avantgarde bore "We Will Fall" and the Doorsy ballad "Ann," the album is composed of heavily distorted, primitive 3-chord garage rock numbers. Call it a demented "Louie, Louie" if you will. There's something magical about this album that leaves you wanting more (possibly its short length if you regularly skip "We Will Fall"). // 10

Lyrics: But despite the band's inexperience, many of these numbers manage to become classics. The opener "1969" drives itself into your skull with a primitive Bo Diddley beat and wah-drenched solos backing Iggy's disdaining birthday lament. The next track, "I Wanna Be Your Dog," is a garage rock classic for good reason. The distorted-as-hell feedback intro gives way to a dark descending riff backed by John Cale's eerie single piano note and Iggy's jingle bells, of all things. Iggy's drawling voice tells a story of plaintive sexual desire that may qualify this as one of the first true "punk" songs. Then we hit track 3. "We Will Fall" is DULL. According to legend, bassist Dave Alexander and guitarist Ron Asheton were meditating in the studio one day and John Cale, avantgardist that he is, decided to record it for 10 minutes. Iggy came in and improvised meaningless lyrics over it. A highlight comes with Cale's strangely beautiful electric viola solo near the end - the other highlight actually being the end, of course. Side 2 of this album was concocted in a hotel room in one night when the band was informed that the first 3 tracks weren't enough for an LP. Despite this, Side 2 commences with yet another classic garage rocker, No Fun. Later covered by the Sex Pistols, "No Fun" is Iggy's tale of being bored. Note the fun Asheton solo in the middle. "Real Cool Time" was recorded to be a single, unsurprisingly, it didn't do well. Maybe the album being released the same week as the Woodstock festival didn't help much? // 8

Overall Impression: Despite the album's short length and the unfortunate inclusion of "We Will Fall," it manages to be a garage rock classic. Even Lenny Kaye, complier of the Nuggets anthology of '60s garage rock had to admit he "kind of liked it." This album's simplicity is also its charm. There's a teenage innocence here that would be lost in the band's next album, the psycho blues-rock masterpiece of Fun House. Fans of punk and alternative rock would be wise to take note. // 9

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overall: 9
The Stooges Reviewed by: metallicaPOOS, on july 03, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 8
The Stooges Reviewed by: theslyme, on august 24, 2010
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Year is 1969 as the opening song suggests, and Punk was only a twinkle in the eye of the music scene. Naturally making this a classic for all Punkers United. Due to the insane influence it had on such bands like The Ramones, and early Clash songs during the seventies. The guitar work is neolithic simple with songs like "1969" only using two chords. But effective nonetheless. On the other hand the guitar solo's are quite lack luster and are sometimes a little to painful to listen to sometimes. Also the last four song were written the night before recording and it is apparent as they are not nearly as good as the first half of the album which were all written sometime earlier. // 8

Lyrics: The Lyrics are what they are, very basic much like the music of this album and punk in general. So if Emerson Lake and Palmer would of wrote such lyrics like " I Wanna Be Your Dog" It would be a joke but with the sense of such straight and grinding chords and very simplistic rhythms, they fit surprisingly well. Iggy Pop is very good punching out all his grunts and lines and giving the whole album a life of it's own, despite that he sometimes just isn't captivating enough to make me want to listen to like "Little Doll" which sounds almost exactly like "Not Right". // 7

Overall Impression: The reason why this album is as good as it is to me is due to it's historical significance. Music like this just wasn't around like this prior to this album. Early Punk used this album as their staple and based much of what has become classic Punk sounds on this album. Stand out tracks are "1969" "I Wanna Be Your Dog" " We Will Fall" And "No Fun". // 9

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