Sunday, April 3, 2016

"Raw Power" by The Stooges (February, 1973)

Dad's Take:

Iggy Pop and the Stooges take us into the days of proto-punk.

The first two songs on this album remind me of the Velvet Underground and the Doors, respectively, but with a new attitude and swagger that came out of the VU's New York club scene. Equal parts hard rock, late-period psychedelia, Bowie-influenced glam without the glamour, and what we knew later as punk, this album is edgy and--as the title says--raw, a bridge between everything before and everything after.

Like many classics, this is an album that wasn't well received at the time, but in retrospect was highly innovative and influential. Innovation is just weird when it first surfaces, but gains in value an statue over time. It's hard to imagine punk or grunge developing as they did without the Stooges laying the foundation.

Iggy is scary, powerful, odd, and crazy--he's rock and roll. And he had the right band behind him to deliver his unique brand of Iggyness.

Something tells me Brad might see this as a familiar island in the seventies sea, not that different from what he knows better. But the boy surprises me with some of his reviews (and that's kind of the point of our bigenerational assessments), so we'll see,

Brad's Take:

Kicking the album off with "Search and Destroy" sets this album up perfectly. I love how fuzzy and gross the guitar sounds on it. It's like guitarist James Williamson said, "I'm cranking up my amp's distortion to a million and stomping all eighty-two of my distortion pedals!" It sounds so offensive, yet perfect at the same time. I think that sums up Iggy Pop and his band as a whole pretty well, actually.

Raw Power kind of reminds me of the early Black Sabbath stuff, Deep Purple, and albums like theirs where there isn't much else to say other than "this rocks!" There isn't really much else to say about this. You just want to turn it up, clear your mind, and enjoy it because every song is great.

The album is definitely raw and powerful like the title describes. It sounds dated, but that doesn't take away from the overall fun of it. It doesn't take itself too seriously so why should we? But if you're not cranking the volume up while you're listening to it, you're doing it all wrong.

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