In the liner notes to Rhino’s souped-up reissue/remaster of the Stooges’ wide-eyed, dribbling debut, Detroit native Alice Cooper (whose albums with the original Alice Cooper band are in dire need of a sonic upgrade) confesses that the Stooges were the only band he never wanted to follow largely in part to Iggy Pop’s wild streak of unpredictability.
For most of the past 38 years, I ’ve been a true believer, as ready to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid as any cultist has ever been, thinking nothing of seeking the meaning of life and occasional salvation within the grooves of a Stooges record. Have to draw the line at “L.A. Blues,” though. That song just makes me anxious.
If someone had told you six years ago that a treasure trove of unreleased Stooges recordings had been unearthed and was being carefully restored to listenable quality with the intention of it being legitimately unleashed and wrapped in high-quality packaging, you'd have told them to remove their hand from their pants or switch medication. Not to condemn all of what had gone before under the guise of "semi-official" but most Stoogeaholics had fallen for one sub-par sounding, misleadingly re-named disc too many. Then UK label Easy Action came along and (again) turned perceived wisdom on its head.
Is it moral to review a bootleg CD? The artist is getting no royalties for his or her work. The artist can’t approve or disapprove the content of the disc. It’s wrong, isn’t it? The trouble is, this is obsession we’re talking about. This is Iggy and the Stooges with James Williamson on guitar. This is the CD you never thought you would hear. This is fucking history. More importantly, it’s fucking great.
Alright, so it seems a little much to have to buy a set when you already have the fuckin' songs, just for one track: "Asthma Attack". Actually, the song seems to be in two halves, which is why this groovy racket is on a 7" single tucked into the front. Never was a 7" of a well-known band (these days) less likely to be a single. You know?