A month back I did a big three-part piece summarising the known rarities recorded by The Stooges 1969-1974. In a gloriously timely moment, I learnt around the same time that there was a new five-disc compilation coming out from Cherry Red Records bringing together a bunch of the key live recordings from the band’s final six months. I took the chance to review it here for PopMatters:
Meanwhile, if you want to dig deeper, take a look at ‘Rounding Up The Rarities’:
They’re all pretty long n’ detailed so probably only for Stooges fanatics (who likely know most of it!)
I’m just hoping that Cherry Red are going to get involved pulling together all the other outtakes and demos that were put out on various labels in the 80s and 90s. There’s been a lot of re-releasing gone on but it’d be good to see a quality label curate them properly because even I’m not game to go down the rabbit hole into the mass of random compilations out there.
Basic rule: for The Stooges, if you want to go beyond the three main albums (all of which can be readily found with a wide array of outtakes and alternate versions), start with the Easy Action label’s Heavy Liquid box-set, then that label’s live compilations and this new one from Cherry Red. After that, some of the newer represses are decent summaries but I think I’ll wait in hope that some get a grip on the scruff of the neck of The Stooges.
In terms of the best stuff that didn’t wind up on The Stooges’ albums…The material they were touring at the time of their 1971 breakup all sounds enticing but can only be heard in noisy live iterations on the You Don’t Want My Name You Want My Action box-set. After that, you’re into the Raw Power-era: start with ‘Gimme Some Skin’ and ‘I’m Sick Of You’ – then head into the early ’73 rehearsals for ‘Head On’, ‘Open Up And Bleed’ and ‘Emotional Problems (AKA Wild Love, or My Girl Hates My Heroin)’.