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Iggy and The Stooges : The legacy and influence on Rock Music.

By the late 60’s Detroit was known mainly by the Soul Music of Motown Records , but suddenly some groups emerged to turn upside down the music style like The Stooges and MC5 to name but a few.  The difference between them and the whole world is striking, and they were very ahead in time.

One day, Elektra came to sign with the garage rockers  MC5 , but was astonished by the live performance of The Stooges. I think that they were impressed for the same reasons that i: the corrosive guitars from Ron Asheton, and the howls from the frontman Iggy Stooge (as he was known then). The label sign with The Stooges as well, and in 1969 the band went to New York to begin the production of their debut album, with John Cale which was then in rupture with Velvet Underground . The Stooges at that moment only have three songs ready, and this was a problem. Like on the old school, Jac Holzman sent them to a hotel room with a two day ultimatum to have the album ready to be recorded.

the stooges the stooges debutthe stooges the stooges debut

The result was an album that today is called the pioneer punk rock, John Cale kept short leash on this guys (were known at the time as a true stage ‘animals’), and they created such great songs which gone down in history:  ‘1969‘, ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, and ‘No Fun’. The rest of the album is very consistent, even John Cale himself take of his violin to perform on the ten-minute long ‘We Will Fall’.  It was born one sound with this record, totally in rupture with the time, super heavy bass and drums, Ron Asheton guitar dirty and full of violence, and the voice of Iggy … peerless. This  founder album (The Stooges), has not earned any wrinkles, and despite the weak commercial success, lately become iconic and helped to laid down the foundations for what would become the punk rock explosion. Many subsequent generations of fans wanted to learn how to play guitar for beginners after that.

Fun Housefrom the next year (1970), is more violent, more aggressive and extreme. Begins with all the speed in ‘Down On The Street’, the metallic guitars alternating with the sound of the screams of Iggy Pop like a wounded animal. Without breathing, comes Loose’ and ‘T.V.Eye’, what an explosive album, we can really feel the tension on every second of the album. Then the album is divided by an mesmerizing song, ‘Dirt’. This track is so innovative for 1970 ,  the rhythm, the lyrics, the melody… everything is pure class on this song. On the b-side , when we think that the band would slow down the tempo, The Stooges literally burn down the house, they dive into a savage rock free jazz, great performance of Steve Mackay on sax. Just listen to ‘1970′ and ‘Fun House’ and enjoy these two thunderous bombtracks!

The album closes with ‘L.A.Blues’, five minutes of pure desolation, massive destruction. You can feel the power of a nuclear bomb between the band, no one can listen to this album without be in shock…i can’t!

Iggy And The Stooges Raw Power 1973

After an unhappy marriage wigth Elektra, Pop had disbanded The Stooges and escape to Detroit. Later in 1973, with the help of the already friend, David Bowie, started having ideas for a new album. The brothers Asheton were late recruited to join Iggy and Williamson (Ron change for bass, while Williamson play the guitar.

Raw Power , is full of references to drugs, sex and war. But for Iggy, rock is what matters most and we can hear him sing in Raw Power ‘more than soul, has got something called rock n roll’. During the album he screams on ‘Death Trip’ and ‘Gimme Danger’, he despairs on ‘Penetration’ as well as in ‘I Need Somebody’. In ‘Search And Destroy’ he says : ‘im a street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm, im a runaway son of the nuclear bomb‘. And guitar of Williamson is slashing all the way through the album.

The original vinyl sound is abominable. David Bowie tried to save everything while doing the remix but the result was this unique sound that we recognize today. Years later Iggy Pop re-remix to the compact disc. Anyone will be astonished and admired while hear this album. Columbia hated the album at the time, saying the material is less accessible than the two previous albums for Elektra. Anyway, this eight tracks secured Pop legacy as the punk godfather.

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