Those who've bought French import releases on Fan Club, Revenge, and Skydog are aware that an entire fourth LP's worth of new material was played live by the Stooges but never set down in a studio in the time between the release of their astounding 1973 final LP, Raw Power, and their demise in January 1974. A few of the songs initially trickled out on the godawful-sounding but still deadly recording of their final gig, Metallic K.O. (many a garage band has gleefully covered "Cock in My Pocket" since), but only the supercommitted were able to collect all 11 songs smartly compiled here in one handy place. The bulk is a six-song 1973 CBS studio rehearsal released on Fan Club as Rubber Legs. For a rehearsal, the sound is shockingly first-rate, and the performance is hot; guitarist James Williamson is Mr. Dynamite, and even without an audience, the 26-year-old Iggy Pop is a wild psycho on the loose. By finally issuing this historically crucial document of the hottest Stooges lineup and tacking on five more unknown songs from another rehearsal and two live gigs that year, Open Up and Bleed is a convincing case of a true fourth LP, as much an indispensable part of one's real rock collection as The Stooges, Fun House, and Raw Power. Bands of this sort are as rare as Democrats in mansions.
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