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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stooges' greatest album...totally essential
Given the option, I would have rated this at least 6 stars, despite the last track being something of a disappointment (we'll come back to that...)
First off, this 35 years old album still sounds utterly contemporary. So much wouldn't have happened without it, and none of the innumerable bands influenced by it have come close to equalling it.
Second,...
Published on 23 Jan 2006 by freewheeling frankie

versus
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but overrated.
I would recommend getting both the self-titled Stooges album and Raw Power before this and leave this last. and don't buy The Weirdness, for God's sake.

This has some great songs on it (Down on the street, TV Eye), but on the whole the album is bloated and has too many dull parts. Raw Power has NO dull parts and the self titled album has more good songs on it...
Published on 19 Jun 2008 by A. Moncrieff


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stooges' greatest album...totally essential, 23 Jan 2006
By 
freewheeling frankie (north London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Funhouse (Audio CD)
Given the option, I would have rated this at least 6 stars, despite the last track being something of a disappointment (we'll come back to that...)
First off, this 35 years old album still sounds utterly contemporary. So much wouldn't have happened without it, and none of the innumerable bands influenced by it have come close to equalling it.
Second, let's dispel the notion that this is a bunch of spontaneous stuff they just came up with in the studio. What it IS is their live set of the time, honed by regular gigs and (superbly) recorded live in the studio through a p.a. with no overdubs. Anyone who's heard the sadly no longer available "Complete Funhouse Sessions" will know that they arrived in the studio with these songs pretty much already worked out, and the multiple takes (over 30 on some songs) were just a case of nailing the best possible version. These guys weren't virtuosi, but they could lay down a murderous groove to rival anyone - and as for the singer...
Down In The Street is a mean, lowdown, almost funky opener, with some superb whoops and yells from Iggy. Loose (which took the most takes) is an awesome full on floor the accelerator three chord blast, with some great dynamics. TV Eye keeps up the energy level with a bit more structure. Absolutely superb, especially the bit where Ron Asheton just chugs away on guitar with Iggy's unearthly yowling over the top. And then possibly the greatest thing they ever recorded - Dirt. This is an epic ballad, alternating between a vicious, jerking riff and an almost plaintive section, with a cool guitar solo thrown in and Iggy snarling "do you feel it when you cut me?" with terrifying conviction.
The second half is patchier - opener 1970 is probably the least good actual song on here (still damn fine though), but also marks the debut of excellent sax player Steve Mackay, who plays throughout the rest of the album. The title track is a vicious and extended workout showing clear evidence Iggy had been listening to James Brown, though by no means trying to copy proper funk. It seethes with superb vocals and sax. Check out the 2 CD version for some great out-takes of this. Lastly, we get to LA Blues. Unfortunately the producer wouldn't let them do what they did live, which was break down into LA Blues from the end of Fun House, after building up a full head of steam. Instead, they had to start it cold, and it shows - you really have to be in the mood to make a free-form freakout like this work, and they weren't, especially drummer Scott Asheton - he had to overdub a new drum part over the edit (from a 17 minute jam) used for the album - which was never going to yield ideal results.
So five and a half good tracks out of seven, on a 33 minute album - doesn't sound that hot. But be assured that those five and half tracks are at the absolute pinnacle of loud, vicious, evil, dirty (fill in more adjectives when you've heard it) rock music. Just doesn't get any better than this.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars every home should have one, 17 Dec 2003
This review is from: Funhouse (Audio CD)
This is the second (and final) Stooges album made by the original and best lineup. This is the one that was recorded in a brick-walled studio with the volume up to 11, never mind all that soundproofing sh*t, in an attempt to capture the band's incendiary live show. This is the one that features bop jazz sax weaving in and out of the band's crazed jamming all over Side 2. This is the one that culminates in the fabulous "LA Blues". This is the one that got them sacked from Elektra. This is the one sold diddly squat on its' first release, but went on to become one of the most influential rock albums anywhere, anytime. This is the one that every discerning rock fan should know and love. Buy it today, listen and marvel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure, primal noise, 14 Feb 2010
This review is from: Funhouse (Audio CD)
I remember my surprise when Nude & Rude - The best of Iggy Pop was released and there wasn't a single track from Funhouse on it. Surely this was The Stooges' finest hour - the one time when flawed (or maybe floored?) genius Iggy got everything right. Then it dawned on me, you just can't take a song from this album in isolation and clumsily wedge it into a 'best of'. This isn't so much a collection of songs but more a rock 'n' roll symphony in seven movements perfectly charting a trajectory from taut, muscular rock to pure primal noise.
The album opens superbly with the driving, rhythmic 'Down on the Street' more direct, more pounding than anything on the first Stooges album. Then they effortlessly go up a gear with Loose: an incredibly catchy bass line underpins a superbly aggressive guitar workout. The onslaught continues with 'TV eye', with its Stone Age drumming, ear splitting guitar, and Iggy's extraordinary primal scream. Where do you go from there? The album's centrepiece and one of the finest songs the Stooges recorded, 'Dirt'. It's a sexy, slow-burning, seven minute garage-blues workout - a million miles from the dull filler 'We Will Fall' on their first album. "Do you feel it when you touch me? There's a fire" recites Iggy.
Dirt marks the turning point between the more structured songs on the first half of the record and the perfectly orchestrated degeneration into pure noise on the second half. This starts with '1970' which picks up where TV Eye left off but turns into an infectious wig-out with wailing saxophone joining in as the band whip themselves into a frenzy. Then comes the title track which is a loose-limbed continuation on the same theme with blasting sax perfectly interwoven with Ron Asheton's guitar playing, from the word go and Iggy rapping at the mic, improvising off of the rhythm like some kind of garage rock James Brown.
The Stooges start this album like a tightly coiled spring and unravel gloriously as the album progresses. Hence, 'L.A. Blues' brings the record to a close in the only possible way: complete meltdown. It's 5 minutes of pure discord which must have been recorded in a single take as it's impossible to imagine anybody putting themselves through that more than once. Yet it isn't unbearable or pointless as most tracks of its type usually are (who has ever listened to 'Revolution 9' by The Beatles more than once?). It has no lyrics, it has no tune, it has no need of either, it is a truly beautiful piece of noise. Essentially with Funhouse the Stooges are peeling away the layers of Rock 'n' Roll and stripping it back to find out what lays at the heart of their music and L.A blues is just that - like a painting of a pure emotion.
So, there's only one way to listen to Funhouse: right through from start to finish and turned up as loud as possible. I personally find that it's the most cathartic experience rock 'n' roll has yet produced - This is the best of Iggy Pop.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rough and Raw album that Influenced hundreds!, 27 Aug 2007
Now dont listen to the below reviewer who spouts rubbish, this album may not be as tecnhically good as Sabbath or Zeppelin but for its influence and its down and dirty sound (rivalled only by Funkadelic or James Brown at the time) is not to be forgotten.
The album with 3 piping hot numbers (Down on the Street,Loose, and T.V EYE respectively) which hit you over the head with a guitar while iggy pop trips you up with a mic stand. T.V Eye in particular is incredible with its manic impactful opener of Iggy screaming "LOOOORRRRRD!" coupled with Ron Asheton's (contrary to the below reviews) incredibly streamlined and intense guitar riff, make this an iconic classic of 70's rock.
The album does stray from the afforementioned songs in the second half however although Dirt and 1970 are both psychadelic and enjoyable the other songs are crippled for me by the presense of the kingsmens saxophoner. This may well enhance the music for many but not for me.
But that aside this album is a classic and a must own to any self respecting Muso or Rocker. Iconic.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleazy Rock and Roll!, 4 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Funhouse (Audio CD)
To me, the classic Stooges albums are the first two records. "Fun House" being their greatest moment and one of rock's sleaziest statements ever committed to tape. For those born in the 70's or even later, you must remember what NYC used to be like before Giuliani. "Fun House" was recorded in an age when Times Square was full of seedy bars, porn shops, dirty old men, and junkies. This album, along with the band themselves, inhabited those warrens, and are lucky to have escaped alive. "Fun House" is quite possibly the sleaziest album ever recorded. It is not pretty, nor is it clean. Track 2 sums this album up perfectly. Loose. If this album had not been recorded there would never have been The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, or all the other numerous punk bands that have come our way in the last 30 years. The amazing thing about "Fun House" is that it sounds as if it was recorded yesterday. It has aged well and rocks harder than most bands today. A true classic that no rock fan should go without.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best rock album ever, 1 Sep 2005
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Iggy Pop. He'll soon get an OAPs bus pass and he still prances round the stage like he's 18 and loaded on ketamine. As much as he can run rings around any new musician, this album is the best he has ever produced.
Let's just get to the point here. This album created punk rock. This album invented Sonic Youth. This album was regarded by Lester Bangs as one of the best albums of all time. This album simply rocks. At its most primal, most fun, most dangerous. If you have never heard it, you are in for a real treat, as the new remastering job is superb, and the bonus tracks very enjoyable.
However nothing can beat the force of 1970, when the free jazz saxophone solo kicks in...the future is born.
I love this album-could write about it forever, but I'm not-instead I'm gonna go into the other room, crank up Down on the Street and throw myself around like an 18 year old on ketamine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock 'n' Roll Stripped to the Bone, 14 Feb 2010
I remember my surprise when Nude & Rude - The best of Iggy Pop was released and there wasn't a single track from Funhouse on it. Surely this was The Stooges' finest hour - the one time when flawed (or maybe floored?) genius Iggy got everything right. Then it dawned on me, you just can't take a song from this album in isolation and clumsily wedge it into a 'best of'. This isn't so much a collection of songs but more a rock 'n' roll symphony in seven movements perfectly charting a trajectory from taut, muscular rock to pure primal noise.
The album opens superbly with the driving, rhythmic 'Down on the Street' more direct, more pounding than anything on the first Stooges album then they effortlessly go up a gear with 'Loose': an incredibly catchy bass line underpins a superbly aggressive guitar workout. The onslaught continues with 'TV Eye', with its Stone Age drumming, ear splitting guitar, and Iggy's extraordinary primal scream. Where do you go from there? The album's centrepiece and one of the finest songs the Stooges recorded, 'Dirt'. It's a sexy, slow-burning, seven minute garage-blues workout - a million miles from the dull filler 'We Will Fall' on their first album. "Do you feel it when you touch me? There's a fire" recites Iggy.
Dirt marks the turning point between the more structured songs on the first half of the record and the perfectly orchestrated degeneration into pure noise on the second half. This starts with '1970' which picks up where TV Eye left off but turns into an infectious wig-out with wailing saxophone joining in as the band whip themselves into a frenzy. Then comes the title track which is more a loose-limbed continuation on the same theme with blasting sax perfectly interwoven with Ron Asheton's guitar playing right from the word go and Iggy rapping at the mic, improvising off of the rhythm like some kind of garage rock James Brown.
The Stooges start this album like a tightly coiled spring and unravel gloriously as the it progresses. Hence, L.A. Blues brings it to a close in the only possible way: complete meltdown. It's 5 minutes of pure discord which must have been recorded in a single take as it's impossible to imagine anybody putting themselves through that more than once. Yet it isn't unbearable or pointless as most tracks of its type usually are (who has ever listened to 'Revolution 9' by the Beatles more than once?). It has no lyrics, it has no tune, it has no need of either, it is a truly beautiful piece of noise. Essentially with Funhouse the Stooges are peeling away the layers of Rock n' Roll and stripping it back to find out what lays at the heart of their music and L.A blues is just that - a bit like a painting of a pure emotion.
So there's only one way to listen to Funhouse: right through from start to finish and turned up as loud as possible. I personally find that it's the most cathartic experience rock 'n' roll has yet produced - This is the best of Iggy Pop.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untouchable, 8 Jan 2009
Just under four decades since this one was released, and still punk has failed to produce anything as vicious, feral and aggressive as this here beauty despite valiant and noble attempts by such heroes as Henry Rollins and Nick 'The Stripper' Cave et al. All seven originals are absolute punk classics, from opener "Down On the Street" with its crunching riff to the spastic, convuluting, revolting ender "L.A. Blues."

The extra tracks are, incidentally, excellent. One gets a real, tangible insight into how the album got its unique energy -- live take after live take after live take, until the songs entered the band's very soul and the band's Detroit street soul enters the songs.

Few bands manage to make artistic progressions like these boys did at all, let alone in as short a time as the second album. Fun little garage rock classic, followed by this loose, vicious, verging-on-jazzy proto-punk definer, followed by an snarling slice of classic American rock with schorching hot guitar lines for zombies. To call this a sophomore slump, however, is totally correct: Iggy & co are so slumped by the second album they're neanderthal, and that's just what rock and roll was always about: music a chimp would be able to recreate. For an album that arrived so early in punk's history so long ago it sure does sound fresh to these ears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World turned upside down, 27 April 2009
Fun House
Fun House remastered.

What an album.
If punk was the logical successor to 50's rock n roll (Lemmy), it required someone to innovate a new approach to get us there.
Maybe the Stooges invented nothing, but if so, they took what had been before and bent it with big hammers. It turns out they made a bridge from the past, to the future, and this album is it. If you are at all aware of rock in any of its varieties but haven't heard this before, you should after initial information overload, hear ALL those rock tunes you've loved since, here in embryo.
Unusually frank recording (you can learn the details elsewhere) refreshed by quality remastering plus extra takes, most of which stand up nicely and give a glimpse of the creative process.
Raw quality.
40 years ago this year, Strewth!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece., 23 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Funhouse (Audio CD)
There's a bizarre trajectory for the Stooges' career - quite apart from their multiple break-ups and reformations leading up to their current active status, in their heyday - 1969-1970 - no-one bought their records and the press hated them. Which makes their legendary status today all the more bemusing, named as big influences on a great deal of modern music. It makes you wonder how records everyone despised could have such an impact.

That is, until you listen to it. Funhouse, The Stooges' second album and last under that name until 2007, is an amazing record and probably one of the finest ever made. The combined result of three drug addicts (and one sober guitarist) and virtually no musical talent, Funhouse is a swirling, psychedelic masterpiece that was at least a decade ahead of its time. Its sound, a distorted, hard-driving, hollering noise, predicted not only punk, but post-punk/nu-wave as well.

Even from opening track 'Down On The Street,' or the howling 'TV Eye' you can hear how influential the album was, and not just on punk; the song's bluesy yet somehow cinematic riff later covered by Rage Against The Machine, but you can hear its echoes right up to bands like The Strokes today. What's more, the seven, limping minutes of 'Dirt' were clearly an influence on Joy Division, its chiming, if less than competent, guitar parts sounding like they'd fit in on Unknown Pleasures.

Influential, loud and utterly brilliant, Funhouse is an essential album for any fan of punk, post-punk or music in general.
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Funhouse
Funhouse by Iggy & The Stooges (Audio CD - 1987)
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