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This review is from: Funhouse (Audio CD)
Strangely enough, the title of The Stooges' (or Iggy and The Stooges, if you want to be pedantic) third album could easily be used to describe any of the band's first three 'LPs'. For me, although the third outing, which saw guitarist Ron Asheton 'relegated' to bass guitar duties (succeeding Dave Alexander), whilst James Williamson came in on lead (as well as co-writing the songs with Iggy) saw the band at their most 'sophisticated' (and best), it is on Fun House where their raw, earthy qualities are at their most potent.
These qualities are evident from the first Iggy yelps, screams and howls (indeed, 'the Wolf' being a particular Iggy 'target for emulation' here) of opener Down On The Street, whose decadent urban tale pulsates to Asheton's riff, to be followed by Loose's similarly themed straight-ahead rhythm, with Iggy's repeated lewd refrain, 'I'll stick it deep inside'. Riff-wise, however, the album probably achieves is greatest notoriety with Asheton's pounding motif (and later solo) on T.V. Eye, wherein, following an initial scream of 'Lo-o-o-o-rd', Iggy conducts a love affair as only he can (television or transgender-based, who knows?). Similarly, on album highpoint 1970, Asheton again excels with riff and solo, as the album's mood begins to mirror the positivity and revelry of its title (and saxophonist Steve Mackay adds a new dimension to the band's sound). Incidentally, The Damned's debut album cover of 1970 (under the title I Feel Alright) is also well worth a listen.
Arguably, the album's magnum opuses (or opi, if you prefer), though, are its title song, on which Iggy provides (even for him) a particularly versatile vocal turn and Mackay is allowed more room to play (giving the song a jazzy feel) and (another highlight) Dirt. This latter song, whose sophistication (and feel) is something of a precursor to Raw Power's brilliant Gimme Danger (having started like a sort of No Fun Part 2, as it were), features a particularly heartfelt and soulful Iggy in a tale of unusual romantic positivity, as well as containing another top Asheton solo. And even though album closer, L.A. Blues does overdo the chaotic self-indulgence more than a little, this cannot really detract overmuch from what is a seminal album of the genre.