Day 120: The Stooges – Fun House

28 Jun

1970

I love it that all of these bands called “influential” got next to zero attention when they were actually releasing music.  Groups like The Velvet Underground and The Stooges are credited with redefining rock, yet most music fans had no idea who they were back in the 60s and 70s.  It’s weird — kind of like how people always get into the work of a particular artist after their death.  I mean, it’s still happening today.  Twenty years ago, no one had any idea who the hell Cap’n Jazz was.  Their influence over the Midwest emo scene is undeniable, though.

Anyway, my father has given me another once underappreciated record for this week’s installment of Dad-Rock Tuesday.  Believe it or not, once again, I am thoroughly underwhelmed.

I know I come off as ignorant with these posts where I hate on “classics,” and that’s because I am.  I wasn’t around at the time, and the fact that Fun House was a game changer doesn’t make it any more interesting to me.  Sure, I can bulk up on all of the history and whatnot that surrounds this band, but I’m still bored by its music.

I know that if Fun House were released today, I, along with most music listeners out there, would avoid it like the plague.  To me, it just sounds tired, trite, and obnoxious.  Yes, I know that this is probably really original and creative for its time, but I can’t unhear everything more creative that has happened since.

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5 Responses to “Day 120: The Stooges – Fun House”

  1. Yuanny Dollar June 29, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Where to start? Cap’n Jazz? Really? They influenced midwest emo with a lame cover of Take on Me? That doesn’t compare to the scope of Iggy’s influence. You can’t unhear what you’ve heard — that’s a fair point. But you can think about context and try to walk what you know back to what you’re hearing. It might be worth the intellectual investment. It might open a few pathways you haven’t thought about or explored.

    The bigger question is why do some DRT bands, regardless of how important they were, now sound tired or boring, while others still kill? Some are just better I guess. Maybe we needed Iggy to get to the Clash, and even if we don’t need Iggy any more (and I’m not conceding that point), we still need the Clash because they were so damn good.

    • Jacob June 29, 2011 at 9:11 am #

      Alright, first off, I figured you would hate any of Cap’n Jazz’s real songs, so that’s what I showed you. Don’t be ignorant.

      I understand what you’re saying, but none of that means I should like this record. Sure, I appreciate what it did, in the same way that I appreciate what the first silent films did. They got us to the huge, expensive, sometimes good movies that we have today, but they have no artistic merit when viewed today.

  2. Ty Jones June 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    I’m not sure if this was the right album to introduce you to the Stooges, personally.

  3. Dave Chops June 30, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    I didn’t want to be first man in on this but hard to keep quiet also. Swole Ear, you can not like Fun House. Lots of people don’t. As you point out, practically no one did when it came out. From the time they were formed to the time that they broke up, The Stooges never had a hit record. And people HATED them (read Open Up and Bleed to find out how much). Because it was all about peace, love and instrumental virtuosity in 1970 – and the The Stooges wanted nothing to do with all of that. The fans were mostly in Michigan. Some of them wrote for music rags like Cream. They continued to preach the faith and proclaim that the Stooges were something special. That is how I ended up buying Raw Power for $3.99 in 1979. The first two Stooges albums were then out of print and totally unavailable for a long time.

    There is a straight line from The Stooges to the Ramones to the Buzzcocks and the Sex Pistols to Joy Division and The Red Hot Chili Peppers to The White Stripes and so on.

    You don’t like The Stooges and that is fine. But open your mind and your ears. Other people – some who you like and respect -did. And what they heard was absolutely not of strictly historical interest.

    Why take it from me? “Fun House is the greatest rock’n’roll record ever made and I’ll always feel that… The whole album is one gigantic explosion to me. It’s so powerful. It has the best screams you could ever hear on record. It sounds just insane. […] It is a brilliant record. I don’t think it’ll ever be topped. ” Jack White, Mojo Magazine, October 2003.

  4. Yuanny Dollar June 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Final Score: Chops 1 Swole Ear 0.

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