The Stooges - 1969

17 Mar
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RIP Scott Asheton

"Well alright..." -- the first song on the first Stooges album ranks among the most pertinent statements of intent in recorded history. A barreling riff does nothing more than is absolutely necessary, a guitar solo sends shards of shattered distortion bleeding across the last half of the song, and Iggy Pop's lyrics are a manifesto of disaffected post-teen frustration. "Last year I was 21," he growls, "I didn't have a lot of fun; now I'm gonna be 22, I say 'Oh my and a boo-boo'." And people called the Ramones' rhymes minimal.

As with so much from this seminal debut album, "1969" became a firm favorite throughout the punk and post-punk era, as the first musical movements to actually acknowledge the Stooges as anything more than a dose of hyperactive assault and banal battery got to grips with the catalog that inspired so many dreams. Of the myriad covers out there, however, the punks seldom got off the ground. Gothic rock, on the other hand, has never let the song down -- the Sisters of Mercy and the Mission have both turned in excellent interpretations.


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