Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5-star music | 5-star presentation | 1-star selection of tracks, 27 April 2010
This review is from: Raw Power (Legacy Edition) (Audio CD)
DISC 1

The first disc features the long out-of-print Bowie mix of the album and it never sounded better; certainly, this re-mastering is a vast improvement over the previous CD version, being far clearer and with a better lower-end response than before. Of course, it could never reach the bass intensity of the more readily available Iggy Pop remix from 1997, but this version was way overdue for a face lift and it has finally come to pass.

Which version (Bowie or Pop) is better? The answer to that question will always lie with the beholder. To my mind, both versions are indispensable and now they are both available (if purchased separately) in the best sound possible to date. Here however is the first and greatest example of how Sony dropped the ball. Raw Power clocks in at 34 minutes and only the Bowie version is provided here making for a first CD that is only a little bit over a half hour. With all the space necessary and no licensing problems involved, why is the Pop version not featured here for comparison? Spending all this money for a deluxe package should mean all available material that can fit on the space allotted should have been used.

DISC 2

No complaints for this one. So very little of the early live Stooges survives. What does is generally from acceptable to point-blank awful in quality and have been issued as bootlegs or semi-legal releases. This new set finally brings a well-recorded live show into the light after all these years of collecting dust in the Sony warehouse. While it is not quite a 'soundboard' super-sounding live recording, it is close enough to hear what the original Stooges sounded like back in the day. And it is a most excellent concert, lasting nearly an hour with Iggy Pop in confrontational fine form. On a technical note, there were some problems with James Williamson's guitar that night during the first 10 minutes or so, but they were resolved and his slash-and-burn pyrotechnics never sounded better.

This disc is finished out with two unreleased tracks: Doojiman and Head On. The former is truly an outtake; recorded at the time the rest of Raw Power was and probably omitted because it didn't 'flow' with the rest of the album. That said, the acrobatic Iggy Pop vocal work on this track is probably the most extreme and enjoyable of all studio tracks he ever recorded. The latter track is an outtake from one of the famous CBS sessions with Scott Thurston on piano, recorded subsequent to the release of Raw Power. It does not sound like it has been issued before on one of the many bootlegs from this time period. While a little out of place, it rounds out a fine disc.

DISC 3

Sony really drops the ball again here with the track selection. The first glaring example is the inclusion of three already available songs from the Pop mix of Raw Power and labeled as 'bonus' tracks. No they are not and they constitute 3 of 8 tracks on this CD. Again, that entire version should have filled out disc 1 and they are pointless here on disc 3. The remaining tracks are only two tracks from the CBS rehearsals (previously available on bootleg/semi-legal releases, albeit in better sound here) as well as three more outtakes from the actual Raw Power sessions. Of import is Hey Peter (another outtake), an early version of Penetration, and an alternate mix of Death Trip. A note within the accompanying book states some of these tracks came from a recently found tape. Well then, why the hell wasn't more of this material included here instead what ended up on it? All that said, the aforementioned Raw Power outtakes and alternate mixes are really good and makes for a huge consolation prize.

DVD

It's only 40 minutes long and has virtually no vintage footage (but as far as I know, there is little more than a few minutes here and there of The Stooges from the 1970s. As a documentary, it is quite satisfactory and inclusion of live material from 2009 (the first to be released with James Williamson on guitar after all these years) is good. Be aware however, Iggy calls up audience members to dance on the stage with him and you cannot see the band at all during the course of this one and only performance clip from the show. Strange choice. Cannot help but wonder why more recent live material was included however, especially considering the fact there was room for it on this short DVD.

PACKAGING

The whole thing is packaged in a 7" x 7" box, made to look like a well-worn original LP. That's a nice touch. Inside, the CDs are slipped into a 7" x 7" folder with a few photographs printed on the outside. While not really a major quibble, accessing the CDs is not all that easy. There is also a 48-page book of the same size with a number of essays, quotes from contemporaries and those subsequently influenced by Raw Power, and many never before seen Mick Rock photographs originally taken for the album's release. This is a good thing. Furthermore, there are 5 'glossy' photograph reproductions included. The box is rounded out by a reproduction of the original Raw Power b/w Search and Destroy 7" single as it was released in Japan. Overall, very nice packaging.

SUMMARY

So, is it worth buying Raw Power yet again and if so, which version... this or the 'budget' 2-CD version (without Disc 3 bonuses, the DVD and the packaging)? Well, for any long-term Stooges fan or completist, the answer is without question, this version as it contains enough 'new' material to certainly make it a necessity. The packaging is impressive too. But those on budget will find the meat of the matter on Disc 2 available both here and on the lower-priced issue.

Highly recommended to all... both old Stooges fans and newcomers alike.

ADDENDUM

For completists, there is yet another CD entitled Rough Power on Bomp Records and featuring very early, pre-Bowie/pre-Pop mixes from early 1972. While the sound quality on this is merely adequate, if you have to have it all, get this too.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Aug 2010 22:52:38 BDT
Whilst this review is VERY detailed and helpful, please do NOT be fooled, like I was, in thinking that the Raw Power (Legacy Edition) for sale on this page has a 3rd disc or a DVD... I can only assume Amazon paired it with the wrong edition.

"So, is it worth buying Raw Power yet again and if so, which version... this or the 'budget' 2-CD version (without Disc 3 bonuses, the DVD and the packaging)?"

I received mine today to find it's the 'budget' 2-CD version 2-disc edition... disappointed.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Aug 2010 23:57:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2011 01:09:41 GMT
There are two versions of this title. If you paid under 20, you got the "budget" edition (and got what you paid for). If you paid over 30 and only received a 2CD set, you were ripped off (or the victim of a mistake) and should request a replacement/refund. It's not my fault that you ordered the wrong set or were sent the wrong set if you ordered the correct one. I reviewed the product listed here.
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland U.S.A.

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