On these early Stooges recordings, the disclaimer "Due to unavailability of certain master recordings, surface noise may be evident on certain tracks" is a gross understatement. All six tracks recorded at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis sound as if they were recorded outside of the actual building. The tracks are unlistenable. Thick with surface noise, Iggy Pop's vocals are only partially audible, which comes as a great disappointment because of the rarity of pre-Raw Power live recordings. The album is disappointing because six of the ten songs were never recorded in the studio. The final four tracks save the album from being a complete waste. Two tracks are pulled from the Stooges televised show at the Crosley festival in Cincinnati. It is during these two tracks that Iggy Pop walks on the audience's hands and smears peanut butter on his chest. The crowd can be heard asking Iggy Pop as he jumps of stage if he's all right. He only responded with a gurgle. These recordings of "TV Eye" and "1970" are of very good quality especially when compare to the preceding tracks. The final two songs that close out the album, "Ron's Jam" and "What's You Gonna Do," are the most interesting. "Ron's Jam" is an instrumental that displays Dave Alexander's under appreciated fretless bass guitar. His improvisations match Ron Asheton's raw solos throughout the extended jam. The final two tracks show the Stooges missed after Dave Alexander was forced from the band. If the entire album was of superior sound quality, it would be a classic live recording of one of the best bands of the time, but the unbearable tracks take much from the album.
Live 1971 & Early Live Rarities Review
by Matt Whalley