ARTIST: The Stooges
TITLE: Fun House
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Down on the Street
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Loose, TV Eye, 1970
LINEUP: Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, Ron Asheton, Dave Alexander, Steve Mackay
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Unholy hell unleashed on vinyl. Play this as loud as you can stand it. It’s not for the faint of heart, but rock ‘n’ roll ain’t that, sister.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: How do you describe the apocalypse of rock ‘n’ roll? The first side of this album, probably. Seriously.
The Stooges’ debut showed some attitude and sneer, but was a little short of actual content. While this album is just seven songs, with the last one being a chaotic free-jazz collapse of everything around it into a black hole of noise, the content is there. The sneer is there. The attitude? Oh, there’s attitude!
Alexander’s bass moves through each song like a panther, working with Scott Asheton to set a rhythmic bedrock while establishing the structutre. That allows Ron Asheton to smear his guitar everywhere with a Jackson Pollak approach to his wah-wah riffs and solos.
Then there’s Iggy. There’s always Iggy. Iggy rules this album. Without the other Stooges, it wouldn’t work, but without Iggy there’s nothing. This was everything the counter-culture wasn’t, and it had to scare the bejeezus out of hippies everywhere. This was scuzzy dirty ugly music for a scuzzy dirty ugly time, no matter what hippy-dippy crap was in a utopian mind. His screams throughout this record (especially before “TV Eye”) are all you really need to hear to understand.
Rock ‘n’ roll wouldn’t be the same without this record.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: After this album was released, the Stooges played at a festival in Cincinnati where Iggy did his famous peanut butter smear and walk on the crowd. Yes, walk ON the crowd – their hands holding him up.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Lord yes – the entire session is out there. I mean, every take. But, really, it’s a bit much. They did choose the best takes for the album
GRADE: A: I’m not totally on board with the last cut – I respect it though since I get what the free jazzians were trying to do. The other six though? Fuckin’ A.