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"I am the world's forgotten boy
—The Stooges, "Search and Destroy"
The Stooges were a proto-punk band from Ann Arbor, Michigan, active between 1967-1974, who along with their fellow Michiganders MC5 proved to be enormously influential on the development of Punk Rock.
The band's lineup was as follows:
- Iggy Pop - vocals (1967-1974)
- Ron Asheton - guitar (1967-1971), bass (1971-1974)
- James Williamson - guitar (1971-1974)
- Dave Alexander - bass (1967-1971)
- Scott Asheton - drums (1967-1974)
The band's Signature Style was aggressive, incredibly simple proto-punk based around Ron Asheton and later James Williamson's heavy, hypnotic riffs, Scott Asheton's tribal rhythms and Iggy Pop's awesomeness. One of the original Crazy Awesome frontmen of rock, Pop was famous for his extreme behaviour during live concerts, which included rolling around in broken glass, smearing himself with peanut butter, performing without a shirt, inventing crowd-surfing and baiting and verbally abusing the audience.
The Stooges, much like their fellow protopunkers the MC5, only released three albums during their initial career. Their first two albums were The Stooges and Fun House. These didn't sell well but attracted a cult audience and were later Vindicated by History, recognised as classic protopunk albums. The group temporarily collapsed in 1971 after being dropped from their record label and suffering from severe heroin abuse, but were quickly rallied by David Bowie, who got them a new contract and produced their final album Raw Power. Bowie's mix was frequently the source of controversy as he was brought in to salvage the album after a botched, amateurish mix by Iggy. The band barely lasted another year before breaking up for good. Iggy went on to a solo career and remained friends with Bowie ever since.
Iggy was personally responsible for the controversial to say the least 1997 remaster of Raw Power, which is always cited as the worst possible example of the Loudness War. He also reunited the band in 2003, thankfully stayed away from the remasters of their other two albums and recorded a new Stooges album, The Weirdness. Fan reaction has largely been... mixed, with frequent invoking of Fanon Discontinuity.
- The Stooges (1969)
- Fun House (1970)
- Raw Power (1973)
- The Weirdness (2007)
- Album Filler: The band only had five songs written when they were due to record their first album (namely: "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "No Fun", "1969", "Ann" and "We Will Fall"). Iggy bluffed and said they had "hundreds" when the record company said there weren't enough songs. According to legend, half the album was written in a hurry the night before the first session.
- Breakup Breakout: Iggy Pop went on to a successful solo career.
- Careful with That Axe
- Contemptible Cover: Both Fun House and Raw Power show Iggy Pop shirtless.
- Creator Backlash: Both James Williamson and Ron Asheton hate Iggy's butchering of Raw Power.
- Demoted to Extra: Ron Asheton was bumped to bass on Raw Power.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Their last gig (before the reunion) was in front of an audience full of bikers who hated the band and kept pelting them with beer bottles. Why were they there? Because Iggy had dared them to come, and kept baiting them until they physically knocked him out.
- Epic Rocking: "We Will Fall", "Dirt", "Fun House".
- Everyone Has Standards: Dave Alexander: You know you have a problem when The Stooges think you do too many drugs.
- Genre Shift: "We Will Fall" is a 10-minute creepy drone-based song with screeching violas by the album's producer John Cale.
- Gratuitous Panning: The Stooges loves putting the guitar on the left.
- Hot-Blooded: Iggy, natch.
- Intercourse with You: "Penetration", with its cool bastardised Rolling Stones riff and Iggy's screaming vocals, ain't exactly subtle...
- Neither is "Loose".
- Looped Lyrics
- Loudness War: Iggy's remaster of Raw Power is a terrible offender. One of the songs, in a sound editor, gives us the page image. Yes, it sounds as headache-inducingly loud as that screen-cap makes it out to be.
- And that's not even mentioning the original mix, later released as Rough Power, where Iggy pushed every lever he could find into the red.
- Fortunately, Raw Power was remastered again in 2010, and the new master is nowhere near as severe an offender. Then both Iggy's and Bowie's mixes were remastered again for a 2012 vinyl edition that completely averts this trope and is probably the best-sounding version of the album that has been released to date.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: "No Fun", "Real Cool Time"
- Obligatory Bondage Song: "I Wanna Be Your Dog".
- Self-Titled Album
- Something Blues: "L.A. Blues"... Which musically has a lot more to do with Sensory Abuse than the blues.
- Stage Names: Iggy Pop is actually named James Newell Osterberg. The "Iggy" part came from the fact that he used to drum for a band called The Iguanas while in high school.
- Suburbia: Some of their early songs are about just how fucking boring Ann Arbor was in The Sixties. No news on how boring it is today though...
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: Yes, yes, they're a mega-awesome balls-out proto-punk band with a charismatic Hot-Blooded frontman. They also recorded "Ann", "We Will Fall", "I Need Somebody" and "Gimme Danger".
- Three Chords and the Truth