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Baker's Dozen

Is This Music? Norman Blake's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , July 28th, 2021 13:06

From the overlooked influence of Throbbing Gristle to an enduring love of The Velvet Underground, via Broadcast, The Rolling Stones and more, Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake picks the thirteen records that shaped him


Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power

I’m going for the Bowie mix. I think Iggy overcooked the mastering on his version. I believe Ron Asheton felt the same.

I love The Stooges and I love the first two records [The Stooges and Funhouse], but for me, this is the best one. It’s eight songs, right, and it’s totally in your face. James Williamson’s guitar playing is totally incredible and so full of energy. It opens with ‘Search & Destroy’, which is awesome, and Ron Asheton is there and he’d shifted over to bass and fair play to him.

I really love the earlier Stooges records and the production on those, but for me, this is the album that makes the bridge into punk rock. And there’s a bit more here, too. With stuff like ‘Gimme Danger’, you’ve got their acoustic side.

But the thing that splits the critics is which mix to go for. With the Bowie mix, you can hear more of the detail in it. If you put the Iggy mix into Pro Tools, you can see that his version is completely and massively squashed.

This album is where James Williamson came in and took over on guitar and his playing in incendiary. It’s more intricate and more notey and it’s got more teeth in it. It’s got more of a Stones vibe than the other two albums, even though on Funhouse you’ve got some great grooves, but here the playing is a bit groovier. It’s more amphetamine-driven and it’s an album that I never tire listening to.