If someone had told you six years ago that a treasure trove of unreleased Stooges recordings had been unearthed and was being carefully restored to listenable quality with the intention of it being legitimately unleashed and wrapped in high-quality packaging, you'd have told them to remove their hand from their pants or switch medication. Not to condemn all of what had gone before under the guise of "semi-official" but most Stoogeaholics had fallen for one sub-par sounding, misleadingly re-named disc too many. Then UK label Easy Action came along and (again) turned perceived wisdom on its head.
Is it moral to review a bootleg CD? The artist is getting no royalties for his or her work. The artist can’t approve or disapprove the content of the disc. It’s wrong, isn’t it? The trouble is, this is obsession we’re talking about. This is Iggy and the Stooges with James Williamson on guitar. This is the CD you never thought you would hear. This is fucking history. More importantly, it’s fucking great.
Alright, so it seems a little much to have to buy a set when you already have the fuckin' songs, just for one track: "Asthma Attack". Actually, the song seems to be in two halves, which is why this groovy racket is on a 7" single tucked into the front. Never was a 7" of a well-known band (these days) less likely to be a single. You know?
You probably know the back-story about the core package (the straight re-issue of the Bowie mix with live disc appended) so let’s cut to the chase and talk about the Deluxe Ediiton.
Long awaited, here are the first live recordings of the Ron Asheton-era Stooges. (Well, maybe Easy Action got there first with their "Popped" fan pack, the audio portion of which they just released separately as "A Thousand Lights"). And these are damn sure the only commercially available recordings of the lineup with ex-roadies Bill Cheatham on second guitar and Zeke Zettner on bass, recorded in a 200-capacity Manhattan club.
The Golden Age of the Stooges is upon us and the onetime "biggest joke in SW Michigan" (so described by more than one person who saw them in their original incarnation) now has almost universal critical respect. From derided to celebrated and the latest news is that Easy Action's latest offering, "Popped", does them justice.