Just one year after Woodstock.
The very year the Beatles broke up.
One year before David Johansen joined the New York Dolls.
Four years before Douglas Colvin became Dee Dee Ramone.
Sid Vicious was 13 years old.
The Stooges have always been a band out of time.
They dressed like hippies and played music heavier than death itself, emerging from the frat rock haze of Ann Arbor with a sound that was arguably more revolutionary than anything that had come before it. Iggy Pop dominated a stage like a man possessed, taking audience confrontation to unheard of levels, injecting waves of violence into his act that would have made Jim Morrison cringe, and setting a standard for rock frontmen that has never been equaled. The Asheton brothers and Dave Alexander took the raw, primal energy of American garage rock, infused it with an acid-fried psychedelic edge, and created a frighteningly original sound that soared past the traditional blues-worship roots of "rock 'n roll" into something completely, truly unique, dangerous even, fulfilling the promise of a decade of forward-thinking 60's musicians as they worked to demolish everything that decade had stood for.
The world got a brief glimpse of their potential on The Stooges, when John Cale's ego subsided enough to let their sound shine through, but Fun House was where they truly hit their stride.
It's a preposterously great rock album. It also marks the last time the Stooges were really "the Stooges." The band behind Raw Power was a different beast altogether: Dave had drank himself into oblivion, Ron had been unceremoniously recruited as a lowly bass player, James Williamson had taken over on lead guitar, and Iggy Pop was loaded to the brim with fame, notoriety, drug use, and an increasing need to live up to the character that was quickly taking him under.
Raw Power was "Iggy & the Stooges," a glorified vehicle for Iggy that David Bowie kept from self-destructing just long enough to drag an album kicking and screaming from its churning depths.
Fun House was pure Stooges from beginning to end, and for me marks the high points of both the band and Iggy Pop's entire career. One howling, monstrous song after another, pierced by Ron's wah-wah outbursts and Iggy's relentless antagonism, finally culminating in "L.A. Blues," a piece that stands as an early noise rock masterpiece, or an obnoxious belch of sound with no merit whatsoever, depending on your temperament. Either way, it's undeniably a perfectly chaotic closer to an album that constantly sounds like it's about to fly off the rails.
If Altamont really did hail the end of 60's idealism, the soundtrack to its violent demise sure wasn't the Stones--it was "L.A. Blues," Fun House, and the Stooges. Fuck that sentimental rock writer bullshit, I'll take my hippie catharsis as gleefully violent as I can get it. Hold the downers, load me up on the feedback, all night till I blow away. Let's ride this fucker straight to hell where it belongs.
Fun House is the second studio album by American punk band The Stooges. It was released on July 7, 1970 by Elektra Records. Though initially commercially unsuccessful, Fun House developed a strong cult following. Like its predecessor (1969's The Stooges) and its successor (1973's Raw Power), it is generally considered integral in the development of punk rock, 6-7 years before punk became a ‘thing’ in the UK.
Fun House is set in hard rock and improvisation. Music critics characterised the album as "genuinely avant-garde rock” because of the music's apt "repetitiveness", "solitary new-thing saxophone", and "L.A. Blues", which showcases the "old avant-garde fallacy ... trying to make art about chaos by reproducing same.
A1 Down On The Street
A3 T.V. Eye
B2 Fun House
B3 L.A. Blues
C1 T.V. Eye (Takes 7 & 8)
C2 Loose (Take 2)
C3 Down On The Street (Take 8)
C4 Dirt (Take 4)
D1 Lost In The Future (Take 1)
D2 1970 (Take 3)
D3 Fun House (Take 2)
2013 reissue of Fun House
Recorded at Electra Sound Recorders (Los Angeles, California, USA).
Disc one first issued as Elektra LP (#74071, December 1970).
Remastered at Digiprep. Disc two mixed March 1999 at Penguin recording (Eagle Rock, California, USA).
Facsimile edition with bonus record expanded with alternate takes.
© 1970 by Elektra Records
This reissue ℗ & © 2005 Elektra Entertainment. Manufactured and marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing (UK), a Warner Music Group Company. Printed in the E.U. www.rhino.com