Klinger: It’s certainly no surprise to me why critics would be so taken with the Stooges, and Fun House in particular. As the decade changed hands from the 1960s to the ‘70s, rock still felt like it was very much in a state of flux. And it may well have seemed that one of the casualties of that changeover was the concept of the rock band as a bunch of blue collar buddies loading up on beer and using guitars and drumsticks as cudgels to pound their hormonal angst into crude representations of music. The initial wave of “garage rock” had given way to considerably more noodly blues experimentation, and the likes of James Taylor and Elton John were looming large on the horizon. Even if that first wave of rock writers were longing for a time that never technically existed, Iggy Pop, the Asheton brothers, and Dave Alexander were more than able to fill the Kingsmen-shaped hole in those critics’ hearts.
It’s also not too surprising that this second album nosed out the others in the mathematical race to the top of the Great List. Although it’s in a virtual tie with 1973’s Raw Power, Fun House certainly has the edge over their debut LP. Tipping the balance away from the Stooges’ primal basheriffics (and trading in the 10-minute psychedelic dreamery of “We Will Fall” for the freaked out babble-jazz of “L.A. Blues”—which only sounds like it’s 10 minutes long), Fun House presents a group that’s doing something quite nearly inimitable—not that loads of bands haven’t tried in the ensuing decades. Your thoughts, Mendelsohn?