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Music Review

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Live at Goose Lake
August 8th 1970


Artist: The Stooges
Label: Third Man Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 07 August 2020

Third Man Records releases The Stooges Live at Goose Lake: August 8th 1970. The ¼” stereo two-track tape of their complete performance was found in the basement of a Michigan farmhouse. It features the last performance of the original line-up, and is the only known soundboard recording of that line-up. At the concert The Stooges played the whole of their 1970 album Fun House. The audio has been restored and the product mastered for retail sale to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the gig. It is available on LP, CD, and Digital Download...

Having been presented with such a rare audio treasure, I expected the restoration and mastering to be a little better. It does sound somewhat tinny, at least early on, and Iggy Pop shouts in your face to the detriment of the rest of the band. It does improve, however. Perhaps I just became accustomed to it and learned to cock an ear to the others – particularly the very solid drummer and the excellent and versatile guitarist. You can’t help but love Iggy Pop, a singer and stage performer for many years. His persona was said to have influenced David Bowie’s creation of Ziggy Stardust – and that’s no bad thing!

I expected the set to be longer, but beggars can’t be choosers, as they say. The first track is the 'Intro', and the announcer introduces the band with all the enthusiasm of calling for school dinners. “Let’s welcome The Stooges,” so I can go off and have a kip. This era of the band is a crazy cross between Rock, Sleaze and Pro-Punk. The first song proper is 'Loose', which has a nice riff that sounds pretty close to 'Smoke on the Water' – two years before Deep Purple. The vocals on this sound like an early version of The Rolling Stones. It’s a shame this couldn’t have been thickened-up. 'Down on the Street' is a little more moderate, except for occasional guitar breaks. But it’s a nice track. 'TV Eye' has a kind of ZZ Top-style repeated riff. The song speeds along with a pounding drum beat and driving guitar. It is no wonder that this sound inspired so many subsequent bands.

'Dirt' is more restrained, but as raw and dirty as the name suggests. There is a nice guitar solo in this one incorporating different effects, and Iggy’s vocals alternate between smooth and rasped. From the restrained to the unreserved for '1970 (I Feel Alright)'. This one requires no introduction. “The one I’ve been waiting for,” announces Iggy in relation to 'Funhouse'. This has added saxophone and is chaos incarnate. The track breaks on this album are in strange places. A song will end but the track rolls on with nothing to offer but some guitar tuning, the odd tap on the drums and other noises. 'Funhouse' chugs along and then finishes in what appears to be the middle of the semi-improvised piece. The next song is supposed to be 'LA Blues', but is a continuation of prior pandemonium. Strange.

Although the mix seems a little odd, this is a valid and enjoyable release. A little piece of history, you might say.


Ty Power

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