Funhouse CD - Elektra / Rhino

Unearthing the chicken-strutting verve of Iggy Pop's early work will make you wish you never took a smoke break from The Stooges' rootsy rock n' roll in the first place. Foreshadowing/influencing the explosion of punk to come, Iggy and his Stooges were fortunetellers of sorts, predicting the tidal wave of punk that would eventually build, crest and rupture the late Seventies and drip into the early Eighties. Much like The Ramones, this shaggy, stinky Detroit quartet took the template of classic fifties/sixties rock and streamlined it into a simple template of one- or two-chord verses, catchy choruses and straight-ahead rhythms. Lording it up over his band's simplistic churning like a militaristic dictator directing a troop's calisthenics with a megaphone, Pop puckered up and smooched the mic in all the right places, groaning and croaking as only one truly ensconced in music can. Although later gems such as "Lust for Life" would find his Popness truly sputtering into gear, Funhouse is too well rounded not to be considered among his best work (Raw Power being the best). If Wire's Pink Flag is punk's one, perfect bullet, Funhouse is the trigger, the foundation of a scene that often renders modern music rather uninspired. If you have any doubts listen to this record front to back and then throw in an Anti Flag album; it's just not the same. (Grant Purdum)



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