Wednesday, July 18, 2012

191 Funhouse- Welcome to the house of fun.

Album: Funhouse
Artist: The Stooges
Genre: Rock
Year: 1970


1. Down on the Street
2. Loose
3. T.V. Eye
4. Dirt
5. 1970
6. Fun House
7. L.A. Blues

Nobody could ever accuse The Stooges of holding something back. You can't listen to Fun House and think "well that was okay but it could have been much better if they really gave 100%". Despite performing in the cold environment of a studio, The Stooges rip through the tracks on their second album as if they were told they only had an hour to live (although the way Iggy Pop behaved it's possible he thought he wasn't going to see one song to its conclusion let alone an entire album).

If you're the sort of person who loves a tedious debate you can join the furious argument centred around this album and whether it should be called Punk, post-punk or something else. It's a debate that will never be settled but the doesn't stop it raging all over the internet.

There's definitely a lot of musicianship here for a punk effort. I always imagine most punk guitarists as guys who know three chords, don't own a capo and still struggle to fit their strap properly. Punk drummers play one beat over and over again and inevitably start speeding up halfway through the song. Punk bass players play the same chord over and over again with a puzzled look on their face that seems to say "I thought being a musician was much harder than this." The Stooges however can play, the guitarist enjoys a solo and they even have a saxophone which is very very not punk.

Musically however they're a noisy kind of shambles. Iggy loves a good shout and is more concerned with expression and conviction than polish. The final track, LA Blues has no structure or tune and is just the band working off some pent-up aggression and energy in a 5 minute noisefest.

Funhouse is definitely one of those releases which requires multiple listens. It's not opening its doors to a casual passer-by it requires a degree of commitment and dedication but its rewarding to those who are prepared to offer. Iggy is a compelling presence who might shout lots and has a great scream but is by no means a one trick pony. Dirt gives him an ability to show off his ability to sing, moan, groan, howl and generally command a microphone. And the rest of the band aren't slouching around relying on their vocalists ability to see them through.

Funhouse might not be a place you want to move into but it's well worth a visit if you're wondering what The Stooges are about (and you're prepared to bypass the Not-Funhouse which is full of people arguing about how punk it is)

Highlight: Dirt
Lowlight: LA Blues

Influenced by: The Stones
Influenced: Punk

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "It makes me feel so... so.... feminine."

-That's the entire review right there. I think it's a fairly unique reaction not shared by most people.

So is this a house of Fun or a house of pain? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. It's a really WILD record; like insanely wild. Even though it gets better with time, Fun House is, to me at least, basically accessible. I can throw it on anytime I want to let Loose!