The Stooges - "You Don't Want My Name, You Want My Action" CD Review (Easy Action) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Stooges - "You Don't Want My Name, You Want My Action" CD Review (Easy Action)

The Stooges - 'You Don't Want My Name, You Want My Actio' CD Review (Easy Action)This release has been out since last year but I finally got around to picking up a copy. I've bought more than enough dodgy Stooges releases over the last twenty year so I was hesitant to pick up yet another one. Now that I've spent some time with this set, the key question that I'll try to answer with this review is whether both the casual Stooges fan and the Stooges/Iggy collector would find value in this 4-disc collection.

You have to wonder what The Stooges were thinking (which may be an oxymoron) - roughly a year after the release of Funhouse, The Stooges went out on the road playing a set composed entirely of unreleased songs. Additionally, this lineup - which featured both Ron Asheton and James Williamson on guitar and Jimmy Recca on bass - only held together through this tour. Given this, most Stooges collectors are likely to already have this set. The sticking point for me was the unknown sound quality. Easy Action's site states in large type "These recordings are Audience recordings!". Having had a completely unlistenable recording of the show at The Factory (aka Kiel Auditorium) for years along with the average sounding Wampler Lake show, I was suspicious.

After giving this set a few spins, the bottom-line is that the sound quality is decent - not stellar, but decent all the same. The bar that I've set for audience recordings is whether the sound quality is something that you can play at a party and let the background noise and chatter "blur" any of the recording's minor imperfections. None of the four shows on this set hit this bar - all of the recordings require a somewhat quiet environment and active listening to appreciate the power of this lineup.

The set list is pretty much the same across all four shows:
- "I Got A Right",
- "You Don't Want My Name",
- "Fresh Rag",
- "Dead Body / Who Do You Love",
- "Big Time Bum" and
- "Do You Want My Love".

The first night (May 14, 1971) at the The Electric Factory also includes Iggy singing solo "The Shadow Of Your Smile" and the full band performance of "The Children of the Night".

Starting with Disc 1 and 2, both Electric Factory recording are guitar-heavy and this drowns out the bass, drums and most of Iggy's vocals. The intertwining lead guitars though give a good sense of the power of these songs. Moving on to Disc 3, the sound quality of The Factory show (the final live show with this lineup) is surprisingly good in comparison to the multi-generation unlistenable mess the was documented on Live '71. The bottom end of the range is missing but Iggy's vocals are reasonably clear. The final disc contains the first show of the tour, recorded in Detroit in April '71. This recording starts out rather rough but clears up by the third song and ends up being close in quality to The Factory show. This disc is rounded out by a post-split contractual obligation show at Wampler's Lake (recorded on July 24, 1971) where the lineup included just Ron, Scott, Jimmy with a vocalist recruited from the audience.

The sound quality of this set is going to scare away casual fans but collectors are going to want to have this set simply because there are no other decent recording of these songs or this lineup. While I'm unlikely to listen to this set often, it has a permanent home in my collection.

Iggy & The Stooges