The Stooges- The Stooges
Chances are you’ve at least heard of the band The Stooges.
And you’ve probably heard the stories about lead singer, Iggy Pop, rolling around in broken glass to some kind of loud obnoxious guitar driven racket.
You might have even heard how this little band from Ann Arbor, Michigan influenced a whole mess of other artists who were ready to close the door on what they saw as the idealized, out of touch, hippy attitudes of peace and love that seemed to propagate and influence popular rock and roll of the early/ mid 60’s.
But what a lot of people may not have know is that the improvisational free jazz influences of artists like Pharaoh Sanders may have had just as much influence on The Stooges as 60’s psychedelic rockers like Jimi Hendrix and The Byrds.
When the band originally auditioned for their first record deal with Elektra they only had seven songs. As their Wikipedia entry claims: “A typical Stooges song of the period would involve either two minutes of composed song followed by several minutes of improvisation or avant-garde, free-form workouts.”
Pop’s account t of the audition go as follows: “We auditioned [the seven-song version of the album] live in the studio and they refused it. Jac Holzman, head of Elektra Records, is quoted having said, ‘There aren’t enough legitimate songs that contain structured lead vocals!’ So we lied and said, ‘That’s OK, we’ve got lots more proper songs.’ Upon hearing this Holzman then indicated to the band that they had one week to record and prepare the album.”
Needless to say The Stooges made their deadline composing and compiling four new songs including the ten minute plus durge: “We Will Fall” in a week.
When the original self titled album was released in August of 1969 the response was tepid at best. Edmund O. Ward of Rolling Stone called it “loud, boring, tasteless, unimaginative and childish”, while conceding that he “kind of liked it.”
Through the years the album as evolved to become an undeniable classic, some claiming it to be the first Punk record ever recorded.
In 2003, the album was placed at number 185 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” yielding two legendary tracks 1969 and “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”
If you don’t have this one now is a great time to snag one for your collection in Whiskey colored vinyl. – Major Matt