Happy Anniversary: The Stooges, Fun House

Monday, August 8, 2016
Happy Anniversary: The Stooges, Fun House

In July 1970, The Stooges released one of the greatest rock albums of…well, we’ll let you pick: it could be of the year, of the decade, of the century, of the millennium, or of all time. Any or all of those measurements of time are applicable: Fun House is just that good.

Okay, so you’re wondering why we’re bringing up this anniversary a month after it took place. That’s because this month is the anniversary of our 2005 2-disc reissue of Fun House…and any suggestions that it’s actually because our calendar was swamped last month and we forgot to pay tribute to the album’s original release are simply unfounded, as far as you know.

And, really, are you going to complain about the fact that we’ve found a loophole that’s allowed us to still pay tribute to a classic album? Any port in a storm, that’s what we say.

In 1970, there was a rivalry of sorts between the Stooges and the MC5, if only because Jac Holzman, head of Elektra Records, was more convinced of the MC5’s chances to break through than the Stooges. He did, however, decide to hire Don Galucci, late of the Kingsmen, to produce the album. The band’s initial attempts at recording for the album were less than spectacular, at least as far as they were concerned, so they took another shot, this time trying to make the sound as close to their live performances as possible. The end result is one of the most sonically aggressive albums of its era, and while that may sound like a bad thing to some, it’s why Fun House has become as popular as it has over the years, earning a spot in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

By the way, if you’re one of the album’s fans, then you’re likely also aware of the complete-sessions album released by Rhino Handmade back in 1999. It’s a whole lot of Fun House, to be sure, but it’s a must-own for those who’ve fallen for the Stooges’ sonic assault.