Iggy Pop and the Stooges

Record review

Phases & Stages

Iggy Pop

A Million in Prizes: The Anthology (Virgin)

The Stooges


The Stooges

Fun House (Elektra/Rhino)

"Well, it's 1969, okay? War across the USA." Detroit's Stooges were Sixties born, all right (Velvet Underground, Steppenwolf, MC5), but so was the Vietnam conflict, and like the flower-power exfoliate, Iggy Pop writhed under Utopia's shattered idealism. A Million in Prizes: The Anthology, which like The Stooges breaks open on "1969," Pop's barking graffiti scrawled over a Bo Diddley beat, is a valiantly doomed reenactment of punk rock's id, 35 years compressed into a 2-CD set. The last two decades are mostly Saigon after the Stooges' initial yuks, reflected in jagged shards of stylistic malfeasance (Party, Avenue B, Instinct). Virgin's previous, single-disc Nude & Rude: The Best of … pleaded for fleshing out, but A Million in Prizes still skips like chopped and screwed edits of an eternally unborn box set. Rhino's pair of Stooges reissues, each with hard-on bonus discs, more than suffice in the meantime. "1969" boots soul excoriating standard "I Wanna Be Your Dog," which boomerangs back as "Real Cool Time," just as the debut's opener finds reprise in LP shut down "Little Doll." The Stooges: dance music in cement shoes. So are 10 interminable minutes of Jim Morrison-cooked transcendental stonation, "We Will Fall," featuring LP producer and VU architect John Cale's heated viola. Pop spends most of the song intoning "goodbye," then undulates out of the stupor clapping "No Fun." Disc two, 43 minutes of original mixes and alternate stabs, bests its birth mother by distilling it to its gritty core. 1970's Fun House is everything The Stooges promised. Opening with "Down on the Street," Motown bassline married to Ron Asheton's Motor City drone and Pop's preening glower and howl, Fun House is "Loose," arriving at the riot alight, "T.V. Eye." The other four tracks never break trance, "1970" a caterwauling follow-up to "Dog," with an acid rock grin of a solo, and the title cut a simple bump/grind worthy of a 4-CD jam box. That Rhino Handmade holy grail, 1970: The Complete Fun House Sessions, siphons out the bonus disc, further fuel for the conflagration. The wars still rage.

(Prizes) **

(Stooges) ***.5

(Fun House) ****

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