01-04-2003

 

 

 

 

THE STOOGES' FUN HOUSE

 

Analysis on The Most Depraved Album in Rock Hystory

 

 

No record has ever so brutalized the concept of music like THE STOOGES'

FUN HOUSE. It is still hard, today, to find such forms of musical captivity all

contained in one single release.

Back in 1970, when FUN HOUSE was issued, it barely sold

a few copies, and was bound to be glorified only 5-6 years later, when, in 1976

the Punk Movement came out and caused the decease of rock'n'roll and its fellow

artists, what I simply defined THE GROUND ZERO OF ROCK MUSIC.

Starting off with the raw, pounding DOWN ON THE STREET, the album, track after track,

reaches peaks of subliminal animal-power, augmenting the inhuman climax which

seems to wrap the listener's soul. The opener, together with LOOSE and TV EYE,

sets the "ordinary standards" for this hystorical ante-litteram-punk opera.

It's only with DIRT, arguably their masterpiece, that Iggy and C's mood takes

its true and definite shape: introduced by a hypnotic, obsessive bass riff,

Pop silently launches himself into an erotic, "killing" performance, leaving the

audience astonished and pleasantly scared; it will be the only fragment of

melody in a record that does not seem to require melody. DIRT is a soothing,

magnetic "slow-acid-blues" featuring a wild, blistering solo by one of the

most underrated and unknown guitarists ever, RON ASHETON: his guitar tones

may appear you quite primitive and dumb-oriented, but you have to consider

the contest, place and time when FUN HOUSE came out: a few guitarists

ever seemed to "kill" their own audience with demoniac, raw riffs that ended

up in the "nowhere land", while Mr. Iguana screamed like a possessed man

in search of dirty sex and never-ending pleasure. FUN HOUSE has also its

weird psychedelyc touches, as revealed by Asheton messy but irresistible

guitar chops, topped by the evilly-raucous Iggy, singing his own desperation and

bad intentions like no-one else previously had ever dared.

SIDE B is where the murder "takes the stage". A menacing guitar chord

breaks into the silence and leaves Pop's brutal vocals sinking into the realm

of unknown madness: the air seems to be splitted by his "twilight zone

figure", vomiting a music for hopeless men constantly on the border,

cut out of Society: Iggy is the prophet of nowhere, the "torn apart"-singer

who wants no absolute compromise, a man who needs no favour or praise.

He chants a never-heard underground drama, permanently hung on the

line which divides consciousness from raw insanity. The "primal-screams-like

wailing" he delivers at the end of the track, leaves no reason to be ex-

plained: the obsessive, maniacal "I FEEL ALRIGHTs" he "cries" and

spits on the microphone is probably the best ever example of over-

whelming, astonishing "musical murder".

The following track (the title one, FUN HOUSE) confirms the overall

feel beneath IGGY POP'S savaged, tormented soul: it reaches new heights of "no-

control-raw-power", marvellously adorned by a vaguely free-jazzy

saxophone courteously by STEVEN McKAY: his instrument, here,

seems to "steal the show" for a while and it's quite clear that without

it the track itself would have lost much of its true potential.

FUN HOUSE appears to be a messy, madness-related jam arranged

and played by primitive musicians and this stated fact proves strong

contradictions: THIS is the point, my dear friends: it's just the

often-unfocused intentions of the members who make this record

so accomplished and highly seminal. By listening to FUN HOUSE

you probably feel they can handle only a few chords and

nothing more, or the fact

their jamming is uneven or totally missing a common point. But

the beauty of this masterpiece is it did not have to have ANY common

point or particular musical solutions about creating a good, solid effort.

I think it's the "inner secret" of FUN HOUSE's sheer immortality.

I won't talk about L.A. BLUES, maybe the greatest provocation

in Rock Hystory: 5 minutes of storming, devastating "no-chord-

screams and distortions": it's the triumph of the "un-listenable",

the epitome of self-distruction, the absolute peak for a dead soul.

And... well... the most unbelievably depraved record of all time...

 

ALAN J-K-68 TASSELLI

 

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