Top positive review
38 people found this helpful
on 8 October 2006
This expanded remaster of The Stooges' 1969 debut is extremely welcome both for the quality of the remaster (it sounds absolutely brilliant) and for the quality of some of the extra material on the second disc. The contents are basically split into three: the original album on CD1, some unused mixes by producer John Cale which start CD2, and a kind of alternative version of most of the album taking up the rest of CD2.
For anyone that's never heard this, the original album contains three of Iggy Pop's all-time classics in No Fun, I Wanna Be Your Dog and 1969. These and Ann were the only songs they had when they arrived at the studio; they filled out the rest of the album with three new songs written in one evening (Little Doll, Not Right and Real Cool Time) and the dirgey chant We Will Fall. The latter is a bit of a waste of space but while the first three songs mentioned are the greatest, the other four, especially Little Doll, are near-classics of proto-metal/grunge/whatever. The band had not been playing their instruments for very long, though they'd got pretty good by this time, but they were just bursting with youthful enthusiasm, especially guitarist Ron Asheton, whose playing, if not technically brilliant, is inspired, vicious and original.
For anyone that already has the album but is tempted by the additional material, I'd say there are two reservations: 1) they're basically the same performances; 2) the John Cale mixes are worth hearing once or twice but aren't as good as the ones on the original album - they're less powerful and 3 of the 4 are shorter edits; the exception, I Wanna Be Your Dog, only runs longer because it runs nearly a semitone slower. These reservations, however, are completely blown out of the water by the rest of the material. Although they are basically the same recordings, some have entertaining alternate vocal performances, and most are longer than the original versions (especially No Fun and Ann), revealing large quantities of previously unheard and absolutely scorching guitar soloing by Ron Asheton - you have to ask why these tracks were faded on the original album - surely not to make room for the thoroughly dull We Will Fall. These alternate versions are also newly mixed, to an extremely high quality, and sound absolutely superb.
So while the overall sound is far cleaner and sharper than the magnificently grungy production of The Stooges' far more celebrated second album, "Fun House", this is a highly auspicious debut from one of the greatest rock'n'roll bands of all time.