Every once in a while, someone rises from the muck of modern music to spit in the face of all his detractors. These people are the ones who seem to be living on a fixed timeline, unable to die until their predetermined time. Iggy Pop is one of these people. No amount of heroin, booze and debauchery has been able to do him in. Instead, he has become a beacon of vitality in a sea of aging, bloated rock undead. Guys like Jimmy Page or David Crosby -- these are men who not only should be dead, but also basically are. Looking at Iggy, one can't help but think he's getting younger by the year; like soon he'll go and reform the Stooges. Oh, yeah, he already did. And now, their most important releases, the three original studio albums, are back.
On this, their self-titled first release, the Stooges invented an entire genre of rock all by themselves. It's the epitome of menace and sex and all things good about electric music. Instead of the flower-power idiocy parading around at the time, these guys were writing raw, emotionally brutal songs about finding girls, getting trashed and crushing your enemies. Desires any teenage male in the '70s could relate to.
Remastered and reproduced to bring the album into the 21st century, the sound is crisp and clear and as brutal as ever. These are guys who could barely play their instruments, and the album is better for it, too. There's no question they mean what they're playing and have no interest in impressing their label or "target audience." Hell, they were their target audience.
Coupled with the remastered recordings is a second disc of additional material, including several original John Cale mixes that were scrapped for fairly obvious reasons once you hear them. It's as though he had his head completely inserted into his ass while he was at the board. Those mixes show how hard it was for anyone to get their mind around the Stooges sound back then. Eventually Cale got it right, though, in a big way. Overall, it's an essential release in the catalog of an essential band. Buy it now.