Iggy & the Stooges

Double Danger: Latin Casino/Academy of Music, Live 1973

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Did you ever think you'd see the day when the back of a liner note booklet would have mini-pics of eight CDs of rare and previously unreleased Iggy and the Stooges recordings from 1973-1976, all on the same label? And that the CDs accompanying those liner notes would contain yet two more discs of previously unreleased live Stooges, from late 1973? Well, that day has come, and unless you've got a shrine to Iggy by your bedside, it's not a cause for celebration. Both of these shows -- November 1973 at Baltimore's the Latin Casino on disc one, and New Year's Eve, 1973 at New York's the Academy of Music on disc two -- have been around as bootlegs. Both also have abysmal fidelity, even by 1973 bootleg standards, although the Academy of Music show is a little better. (Note: Although that show was reportedly recorded by Columbia for a possible live album, this is not a pro-quality Columbia tape; it is an audience tape.) This is not something that can be enjoyed even casually, nor even by those with exceptionally forgiving and scholarly ears. For the Baltimore show especially, the vocals are tinny and pretty incomprehensible, while the overall sound is blurry and cacophonous. Sure, this is a document of Iggy and the Stooges as they sounded at the time, with surprisingly prominent standard rock piano, and even some harmonica on "Open Up & Bleed." Favorites like "Gimme Danger," "Raw Power," and "Search & Destroy" are here, along with rarer and equally (or more) lewd tunes like "Cock in My Pocket," "Wet My Bed," "I Got Nothing," and "Rich Bitch." But even those who bought the multi-disc box set of Funhouse sessions might find it totally dispensable due the painfully low fidelity. By this time, however -- with so much similar lo-fi Stooges product on the market -- Stooges fans should be walking into archival releases such as this with their eyes wide open, under no illusions as to what they'll be getting.

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