Ah, good evening my good friend. Good evening and welcome to the Stooges' Funhouse. We are so glad you could come. Oh, do not be alarmed, dear one, if things should seem a trifle unusual...or, as the natives say, "oh-mind"...at first. You'll doubtless get used to it. Perhaps, you may even begin to...like things you see.
Why do you look so pale, my friend? Why, that's only tenor saxophonist Steve Mackay vigorously f***ing drummer Scott Asheton, dog-style. Steve is a new member of the band, you know, but like Iggy and the rest of the boys were saying, he really fits in, n'est-ce pas? How smart he looks in his new black leather jacket. And that swastika on Scott's lapel. How killer...how terribly, terribly killer.
And that man over there? The one being slowly whipped with long, curly tendrils of that young lass' hair? Why, that's none other than Don Galucci, who produced the Stooges' last album. He was the producer of the song "Louie, Louie" by the Kingsmen, you know. Here. I have the original words to it written on this piece of paper. Perhaps you would like to read them.
Oh, thank you, Mr. Galucci. Please do put on the new Stooges record. It would be so nice for our guest to hear.
Mercy! "Down On the Street," what a super killer jam! That is why Iove the Stooges so, you know, and why I have stayed here at the Funhouse with the boys for so very long. They are so exquisitely horrible and down and out that they are the ultimate psychedelic rock band in 1970. Don't you agree?
Don't laugh. You mustn't laugh. The new record is much more sophisticated than their first. And you cannot deny that they are the best Detroit area rock band. Why, Iggy was just telling me that when he plays with other Detroit and Michigan area bands, that he feels, not like King of the Mountain, but King of the Slag Heap! Can you imagine that? King of the Slag Heap! How super oh-mind, no?
Do you think you might like to...see Iggy? Well, all right. But you must take care not to disturb him. When Pop is really "Jonesed," there's really no telling what could happen. His scars do take so long to heal, you know, and he is so slight, sometimes I can't help worry about him, but can you blame me?
He should be behind that door, in that room. Perhaps, if we're lucky, he might be spreading peanut butter upon his phallus. Why, sometimes, he'll lock himself in there for days screaming, "I feel all right!" at the top of his lungs until he passes out. And then, it is said, before he can arise again, an 18-year-old female must perform oral intercourse upon his comatose body. Oh! He has heard us! Do be quick, my friend, before he can get it together to react! Heavens! What a close shave, eh, mon ami?
You. Out there. What are you doing? Do you long to have your mind blown open so wide that it will take weeks for you to pick up the little, bitty pieces? Do you yearn for the oh-mind? Do you ache to feel all right?
Then by all means, you simply must come visit us at the Stooges' Funhouse. I know the boys would look forward to seeing you. In fact...they'd be...simply delighted.
- Charlie Burton, Rolling Stone, 8/29/70.
Steve MacKay and his magic tenor saxophone leads the Stooges through various rock changes and provides for a good jam setting on tunes such as "1970," and "Funhouse." The group has attained a grand musicianship with their second album which will probably outsell their first successful disk. Hard rock and good improvisation are the settings of the album and the Stooges bring this off very well.
- Billboard, 1970.
Now I regret all the times I've used words like "power" and "energy" to describe rock and roll, because this is what such rhetoric should have been saved for. Shal I compare it to an atom bomb? a wrecker's ball? a hydroelectric plant? Language wasn't designed for the job. Yet despite its sonic impact I that the primary appeal of the music isn't physical -- I have to be in a certain mood of desperate abandon before it reaches my body. It always interests me intellectually, though -- with its repetitiveness beyond the call of incompetence and its solitary new-thing saxophone, this is genuinely "avant-garde" rock. The proof is the old avant-garde fallacy of "L.A. Blues" -- trying to make art about chaos by reproducing same. A-
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
Their second album, equally as great as their first. * * * * *
- Cub Koda, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
The Stooges' Fun House and Raw Power are molten slamfests that are essential touchstones for every form of aggresive rock that came after -- from 70s heavy metal to punk to speed metal and thrash. Lots of blitzkrieg, but no bop. * * * * *
- Gary Graff, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
This second LP may not be their best songwriting, but weak Stooges is still better than most. The album everyone should own but no one does is an all-out musical explosion that plays loud at any volume like one long heavy track. Proto-punkster Iggy makes it fun to wallow in the dirt, and it still sounds as fresh and mind-blowing as it did when it first came out. * * * * *
- Zagat Survey Music Guide - 1,000 Top Albums of All Time, 2003.
With garage-savvy ex-Kingsmen keyboardist Don Galluci producing their second album, the Stooges made their most fully realized effort, despite their collective drug problems. "We had a certain purity of intention," Iggy Pop asserted. "I don't think we did ever get it from the drugs. I think they killed things." They couldn't kill what he has called the relentless "troglodyte groove" the band had on Fun House. "I stick it deep inside," Iggy growls on "Loose," one of the album's typically confrontational tracks. Later, on "1970," he insisted, ad infinitum, "I feel all right," and there's no question you wouldn't want any of whatever he was on.
Fun House was chosen as the 191st greatest album of all time by the editors of Rolling Stone magazine in Dec. 2003.
- Rolling Stone, 12/11/03.
Following The Stooges' widely panned debut, Elektra assigned them a lowly staff producer for Fun House. However, Don Gallucci would prove to be an excellent choice; an experienced session man who had played organ on The Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie," aged 14, he advised The Stooges to capture their infamous live show -- a riot of sinful riffage and frontman Iggy Pop's drug-addled misadventures with cream-pies and broken glass -- in the studio. The Stooges set up their gear at Elektra like they were playing a club, Iggy prowling as if on a stage. Sessions were bridged by parties at the wild and seedy Tropicana Motel, and the surrounding mania seeped deep into the tracks.
Side one is the "party" side, smoldeing metallic guitars growling a mean street-hustler's strut, Iggy slurry slutty tales of hedonsim. Side two, however, is the comedown, the songs stretching past the comfort zone, saxophonist Steven Mackay spraying freeform noise, and Iggy sounding like a scared, lost child, warning from bitter experience that "The Fun House will steal your heart away." The album sleeve -- Pop writhing in what appears to be the furnace of Hell, which is in fact a scarlet-filtered close-up of his own face -- perfectly suits its content.
Fun House's wild abandon and bitter aftertaste ill suited a generation undergoing a collective post-Altamont hangover, and The Stooges soon dissolved. But the album's corrosive psychosis directly influenced Richard Hell, The Birthday Party, and Black Flag, and many other dark-hearted punks have begun their musical careers by aping these brutal licks.
- Stevie Chick, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, 2005.comments powered by Disqus
Main Page | The Classic 500 | Readers' Favorites | Other Seventies Discs | Search The RockSite/The Web