WHO ARE THEY? Living legend Iggy Pop, guitarist Ron Asheton, drummer Scott (Rock Action) Asheton and bassist Dave Alexander. AKA Four Detroit dum-dum boys-turned-demigods who could barely play their instruments, yet managed to lay the groundwork for punk, introduce stagediving and crowdsurfing to the world, become one of the most influential and beloved groups in history, and end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
WHAT IS THIS? An expanded edition of their 1969 debut album, which was originally produced by John Cale of The Velvet Underground. Commercially disastrous and critically reviled upon its release, it has since become recognized as one of rock’s greatest debut albums. This reissue is essentially a newly remastered version of the 2010 Rhino Handmade edition, which augmented the original eight-song album with 16 bonus cuts, including Cale’s original mixes (remastered at the wrong speed in 2010 and corrected here), plus alternate versions, the single edit of I Wanna Be Your Dog and the outtake Asthma Attack.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Nothing else in the world. Same as it always has. More than half a century after it landed with a thud upon the doorstep of an uncaring world, The Stooges’ stupendous self-titled debut has not aged an iota — Iggy’s angst, boredom, nihilism and alienation still resonate with anybody who’s ever been a disaffected teen, while the band’s amalgam of blues, garage-rock, psychedelia, Eastern drones and free jazz continues to strike the perfect balance between simplicity and brilliance.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Having The Last Laugh.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While wearing a dog collar, smearing peanut butter on your bare chest and flinging yourself around the room.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Revolutionary, primal, direct, scuzzy, swaggering, aggressive, messy, nihilistic, rude, dissatisfied.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? I Wanna Be Your Dog, No Fun and 1969 are pretty much mandatory for every beginning punk band, but don’t sleep on Little Doll and Not Right.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘Pass the peanut butter.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? To be honest, I don’t think I’ve gone a month in my life without spinning at least some of these songs. Your mileage may vary, of course.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A COSMOLOGICAL EVENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? The big bang. With guitars.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? If you don’t own this, you should not be allowed to listen to music.