The stories of legendary excess involving The Stooges have a tendency to obscure their pioneering music. Yes, Iggy Pop and co lived life on the edge, but – along with their Detroit neighbours MC5 – they cut a series of ferocious records which imagined punk over half a decade prior to the genre officially arriving on the scene. Yet despite copping a deal with Elektra Records, The Stooges were too tanked-up and pissed off to gain mainstream success during their lifetime, but their influence casts one of rock’s longest shadows, and the likes of Sex Pistols, Motörhead and Nirvana would have been unimaginable without them. In celebration of their legacy, we have a real cool time choosing the ten best Stooges songs.
Listen to the best of The Stooges here, and check out our best Stooges songs, below.
10: Penetration (from ‘Raw Power’, 1973)
By late 1971, The Stooges looked like they’d reached the end of the road. Hobbled by drugs, poverty and the loss of their deal with Elektra Records, the band had already announced their split before super-fan David Bowie stepped in to bring them to London and record their third album, Raw Power.
Peaking at No.44 in the UK on release, the record was only a minor chart success, but it’s since become one of rock’s touchstones, with its primal power significantly impacting on future UK punk frontrunners The Clash, The Damned and Sex Pistols. One of Raw Power’s key tracks, the William Burroughs-inspired Penetration was a little more controlled than its furious cohorts Search And Destroy and Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell, but its haunting, Doors-esque air of menace still sucks in even the most casual listener.