It’s no secret that Iggy and The Stooges were one of the most influential and culturally significant bands of all time. Visceral proto-punk, with a more belligerent edge than their Michigan labelmates, The MC5, without the pioneering impact of The Stooges, alternative music would look very different today.
They had a transformative impact on almost every one of alternative music’s most important artists, and alongside The MC5 and Velvet Underground, they laid the foundations for many key facets of alternative music moving forward. These range from raucous onstage performances to high-octane musicianship and dark subject matter.
A band with a strong cult following, it’s always a hot point of conversation when debating which of their albums you prefer, as the first three, 1969’s The Stooges, 1970’s Fun House and 1973’s Raw Power, are inseparable in terms of genius. However, they’re all loved for very different reasons.
Fun House seems to be the record that is consistently cited as the favourite by those who concern themselves with the heavier side of music. The Birthday Party, Michael Gira, Buzz Osborne, Henry Rollins and Rage Against the Machine have all shown their love for it over the years.
Psychedelic but heavy, for many, Fun House is the perfect Stooges album. A sonic titan, it makes a very strong claim for being The Stooges best album, sorry, Raw Power lovers. Featuring tracks such as ‘T.V. Eye’, ‘Down on the Street’ and ‘Fun House’, the album is an amphetamine driven journey that has your heart rate increased immediately.
Billy Corgan, frontman of The Smashing Pumpkins, also agrees that Fun House is the best Stooges record. The good folks over at Music Radar were wise enough to ask Corgan what his favourite metal albums were back in 2010 and, in it, he included Fun House. Whilst this may seem surprising, it actually makes a lot of sense.
The Stooges are quite rightly hailed as one of the definitive proto-punk bands, but this can also be extended to metal. One would argue, like Corgan, that they’re also a proto-metal band. Of the album, Corgan said: “It put the punk into metal or the other way around. Essential listening”.
Either way, he’s right. Fun House is essential listening. Across its 36-minute duration, you hear some of the roots of alternative music take shape. Furthermore, if you ever wanted to know where Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello got his sound, look no further. Ron Asheton’s riff on ‘T.V. Eye’ is so similar to ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’, it’s uncanny.