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This album has so many 5 stars that adding another review with an "I love it" mark isn't adding much. You should already know if you want to buy this, it's Protopunk and Garage Rock! I'm going to review it anyway, because I often find a lack of in-depth reviews on this site.
So it's 1969 (pun intended) and The Stooges just got their album released on the same label that the MC5s original stuff was and, strangely enough, the Doors. Iggy Pop was not the successful solo artist most people know him as today, and the closest thing to "punk" was the MC5 and the Sonics. Then "The Stooges" come out and doesn't change much, since protopunk at this point was pretty much dying. I'm not saying this album is bad (look how many stars) but protopunk was basically all it could be at this point, and it was losing popularity.
So, what's the deal with this album? People call it "punk" but only three songs on the album are considered "Ramones length" and there's a ten minute jam with chanting? Even though it is constantly labeled as punk, it's probably closer to psychedelic punk, or maybe even heavy drone rock. Simple chord progressions, long impressive solos, energetic performance, and everything is extended just before it becomes dull. And then there is "We Will Fall." Most people absolutely hate this song because of how jarringly different it is compared to the rest of the album: slow, chanting, stoned, a bit weird, yet still simple. This song is more reminiscent of Indian music than punk. I actually like it, and I'm probably the only weirdo who likes this song AND the rest of the album, but I wouldn't say they go together well.
The version I have, the 90's reissue CD with no bonus tracks, handles the mastering well, in my opinion. No clipping (like the infamous Raw Power CD) and it doesn't sound like treble or bass was raised or lowered too much. Sucks that there are no bonus tracks, especially since I long to hear the original John Cale mixes, but for a CD that's about 20 or so years old with a cheap price, I can't complain much.
Really, if you want this album, you shouldn't read the reviews, and if you are on the fence, just listen to "1969" or "I Wanna be Your Dog" on YouTube and decide for yourself. High amounts of praise can damage expectations, but the five stars are probably worth it this time.
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
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