Stooges The Complete Funhouse Sessions

It doesn't get any better than this. The technicians at Rhino Handmade risked a trip into the tape vaults and successfully returned with a dozen reels of one-inch eight-track tape containing every take of every song laid down by the Stooges for their second LP, over the course of eight days in L.A. in May 1970. And now they've released the whole magilla in this box. What was a 7-track 36-minute LP is now nearly eight hours of some of the most indispensable music ever recorded. There are 133 previously unreleased tracks totalling over seven hours of new music. There were only three takes of the only previously unreleased song, (all included) so the rest is take after take of Funhouse tracks - 15 takes of "1970" and "TV Eye," 18 of "Down In The Street," a dozen of "Dirt," six of the title track, two of "LA Blues," (one running 17 1/2 minutes) and 31 versions of "Loose"! Inspired by the Kingsmen, John Coltrane and James Brown, Ig and the boys are as primal, visceral and genteel as a fart, and twice as satisfying. Most of the released takes occurred near the end of the sessions, so the early, more embryonic versions are full of abandon and fury. They're dripping with adrenaline, and the maximum throb is entrancing and primordial. Over the course of six CDs we get every note in the sequence it was laid down, complete with a slew of studio chatter, which belies the band's image of a bunch of stoned neanderthals - these guys had a target in mind and were devoted to achieving it. A seventh disc containing the edited and overdubbed single from Funhouse, and a foldout of the original sleeve picture complete the contents of the slip-cased box. There are only 3000 numbered copies available and only from the Rhino Handmade web site. And it isn't cheap, but this is, with no exaggeration, the equivalent to rock's Holy Grail, or Rosetta Stone. Its importance cannot be overstated. And it proves irrefutably that nobody grunts better than Iggy. (Rhino Handmade)