Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Stooges-HEAVY LIQUID 6-CD set (Easy Action UK, available through Forced Exposure)

Gee, summa youse people really irk me! I mean, here the Stooges, and I mean thee Stooges as in Iggy and have reformed and are a HERE AND NOW PROPOSITION, and a whole lotta you "shoulda known better" types are spending alla your precious free time putting down their latest (but not necessarily greatest) album entitled THE WEIRDNESS as if it were the worst thing to hit the world of rock & roll since David Crosby's involuntary pants crap at the Betty Ford Clinic or somethin'! Yeah, even honest and goodness I will concede that the thing certainly ain't no RAW POWER (as if every rekkid out there has to be!) but I'd place THE WEIRDNESS head and shoulders above a whole great hunkerin' portion of the mire released during the Ig's solo career not to mention an even bigger portion of what passes for rock & roll proper these rotten days let alone the past thirty-five or so years of "classic" rock and pill-pukin' arena tribal meets! OK, maybe you don't think lines like "My idea of fun is killin' everyone" are any great shakes but I sure find 'em a lot more refreshing and downright entertaining than the entire Dead Kennedys oeuvre! Wait, that's too easy (gotta admit "California Uber Alles" hadda fine anti-West Coast fruit 'n nut liberal appeal to it) about anything Lou Reed wrote post-1985 'r so?

Whatever your spin on THE WEIRDNESS may be, I'm 100% positive that you Stooges fans out there will agree on something and that's this '05 six-cee-dee collection straight outta England consisting of classy RAW POWER-eon Stooges '72-'74 is the ritz as opposed to the pits! And it is a fine example, document, and living time capsule for that matter or better yet the undeniably tippy-top pinnacle of the Stooges' ever-lovin' career back when the band was trying to break on through Jonathan Richman's fabled "made it" line only to burn out worse than Icarus. Only it was scag rather'n wax wings that did it, but anyway the results were pretty wild as you'd know from all those bootlegs and French EPs you've bought over the past twennysome years (not to mention the mythmaking that went on during those days and ever since thanks to everyone from such bright minds as Lester Bangs and Lenny Kaye to Danny Fields and Richard Robinson) so thank goodness for small favors and big pushers who have made the Stooges what they remain to this day, at least as far as fabled rock performances that remain nonpariel go.

Anyway, this new six-CD set of the Stooges during their RAW POWER days is as big a trip as you can find lo these many moons...I mean, who in their right mind '73 woulda expected that someday a six-ANYTHING-set Stooge collection woulda made it out. And not only that, but one with two booklets (one containing some great Stooge sagas and the other rare Mick Rock photos!) and a coupla stickers at that! Even those parcels from "Europe's Only Iggy Pop Fan Club" with the "Iggy is KOMING!" patches and fanzines doesn't quite measure up to this one!

Yeah, I'm sure you have most of this stuff in your well-aged collection already, but it's sure nice having it all in one place. And it's also fantab hearing such newies as the only studio recording of their "Louie Louie" cover (not as wild as the one on METALLIC KO but who's caring?) plus even more takes on such once-obscuros as "Rubber Legs" which sorta hit you right inna middle of your breadbasket with their undying surge and pow'r. And of course there are some new sources here that you'll absolutely die for, like the rehearsals for the Max's Kansas City show (followed by set one first night @ Max's!) as well as the original London rehearsals from whence the whole RAW POWER trip began!

And like the best seventies bands the Stooges knew enough to get the cream of the sixties and update it in a fit of heavy metal bravado. Which probably made them even greater since even the Dolls could not hit these heights of atonal madness. There's a whole lotta garage punk in the Stooges even at this late date, not only the mad drone of the Velvet Underground but the snarl of Sky Saxon and the Seeds, the thud of the Troggs and even a classic like "Wet My Bed" reminds me a whole lot of Paul Revere and the Raiders especially the way Scott Thurston's piano rinky-dinks around sorta like Revere's own did on those great early sides. Makes me wonder what kinda skit the Raiders woulda thought up miming to this one on WHERE THE ACTION IS!

And speaking of the Raiders, the CD closes out (after selections from the San Francisco set at Bimbo's) with excerpts of an unbelievable interview with the Ig conducted by none other than Dick Clark (!), who seems to be coming off more like a concerned member of the elder generation than a teenager of any age with his pointed questions about Iggy, transvestitism (as if Iggy was a proponent!), open homosexuality onstage (ditto!) and "decadence"!!!! (Says Iggy, "decadence is decomposition"! Later on, when asked about "moral decadence" he responds "I have no morals"!?!?!?) Whatever your attempt is to make sense outta this interview, it sure makes a fine cap on a great selection of rarities and faves documenting one of the most bared-wire (everyone to follow never got weaned from momma's boobies as Lester Bangs might've said!) rock acts to hit the boards in quite a long time.

And while we're talking Stooge box sets, can anyone out there point me towards the Destroy All Monsters/Dark Carnival collection that's being discussed in hushed tones these days?


Anonymous said...

right on you tell 'em! Don't be afraid of the WEIRDNESS. All those dummies wouldn't have liked FUNHOUSE back in the day either.

Anonymous said...

to me "The Weirdness" doesn't even come up to the level of the last Rolling Stones album - which actually had more good tracks and almost represented a return to some semblance of credibility - let alone the Stooges' past. But it's good that more of the old stuff is coming out.

Anonymous said...

DAM Box Set,Here you go!!