Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

There’s always a bit of skepticism brewing when a band releases a “remixed” or “remastered” version of a classic record, but – and I know this is old, old news – this 1997 CD version, "remastered by Iggy himself", easily blows away the original and any previous CD (including Bomp’s underwhelming “Rough Power”). I had heard it before, but now that I’ve spun it again a few times I think it’s safe to say that, while the STOOGES' 3rd album is still just their 3rd best album, it has now officially entered the upper levels of the pantheon. The original “Raw Power” was the end result of employing a celebrity producer (David Bowie) for no other reason than he’s a celebrity – the CHEATER SLICKS achieved similar mediocre results with genius songs on their "Don’t Like You” album, with Jon Spencer at the helm. The red-lined “Shake Appeal” absolutely screams, and is now a lot closer to its hairy-palmed cousin, the James Williamson masterpiece “Tight Pants”, than ever before. Similar wonders are worked with “Search and Destroy” and the all-time knock-down drag-out dirty punk blues masterpiece, “I Need Somebody”. And I’m still floored by that back cover photo of Iggy with a ghostly white face & his mouth locked in a scream – I would post it here if I could find it. One photo that most assuredly made parents piss their pants in 1971. Now the record’s finally capable of doing so as well.