Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Stooges – Funhouse 2 disc set

While this is definitely my favorite Stooges album (out of three fantastic albums), I have resisted picking up the massive box set with dozens of versions of each song. But when I found this 2 CD set, I thought that it would be worth having.

And, of course, having the main album on CD is something that everyone should do, but the bonus CD has some truly cool and fun stuff. Most of it is alternative versions of “Loose”, “TV Eye”, “Funhouse” (there are a couple of excellent jams on this tune), etc, which show the growth of the songs, but there are also a couple of outtakes. “Lost in the Future” is in the same vein as “Dirt” – a slower, minor key piece of intensity that would certainly have fit on the record. On the other hand, “Slide” seems to simply be a jam that actually became “Dirt”. I’m damn glad that they had the time in the studio to hone these songs into what they eventually became, because the early takes are definitely just germs of ideas. Hard to imagine a band of this status (unheard-of at the time, other than by Detroit hipsters) having this much studio time to play with. But I would shake the hand of the record company man that allowed them this time!

There are also single mixes of “Down in the Street” and “1970”, which are completely different than the album versions and are pretty great. “Down…” even has Ray Manzarek-esque organ intertwining with the melody, which is pretty trippy on your first listen!

Of course, this album is essential for everyone’s collection and the 2 CD set has some super bonus material.