The Stooges have come to be considered one of the most important rock bands, especially in regard to the formation of punk. By emphasizing their influence on later developments, however, critics tend to overlook the significance of the band in their own context and era. The Music and Noise of the Stooges, 1967-71 addresses such oversights.
Utilizing the lenses of cultural criticism and sound studies (drawing on the thinking of Theodor Adorno, Jacques Attali, and Pierre Bourdieu, among others), as well as contemporary and archival texts, this extensively researched study analyzes the trajectory and musical output of the original Stooges. During the late 1960s and early 70s, a moment when the dissonant energy of rock’n’roll was more than ever being subsumed by the record industry, the Stooges were initially commercial failures, with the band’s "noisy" music and singer Iggy Pop’s "bizarre" onstage performances confusing their label, Elektra Records. As Begnal argues, the Stooges embodied a tension between market forces and an innovative, avant-garde artistic vision, as they sought to liberate audiences from passivity and stimulate an immanent joy in the rock’n’roll moment.
This book offers a fresh perspective on the Stooges that will appeal both to rock fans and scholars (especially in the fields of cultural studies, the long Sixties, musicology, punk studies, and performance studies).
Table of Contents
Introduction: "A Strange Type of Life"
1 Becoming the Stooges
2 Action, Reaction, Advance
3 The Making of Fun House
4 Fun House in the World
5 The Third Elektra Album That Never Was
Conclusion: Becoming "Classic"
Michael S. Begnal teaches writing in the English Department at Ball State University, Indiana, USA. He is a poet as well as a scholar.