In a previous post for the 1001 songs list, I made a comment about the opening track of this album was a bit straightforward and left it at that. Now I’ve listened to Raw Power a few times and listened to the track in relation to the rest of the album – I stand by it a bit, whilst also realizing that I lost the point a bit.
Here we are in 1973 and we’re still very much in the proto-punk period, where in a few years we will be firmly in the throes of punk… which gives way a few years later to the beginnings of post-punk (as I saw from the last album I did for this list). I mention this historical context mainly because Raw Power just didn’t hit me as hard as their previous album (Fun House) did.
It’s interesting to see how the sound of the Stooges developed between their first three albums. The change between The Stooges and Fun House was one of energy and impact whereas the change between Fun House and Raw Power is one of sophistication. The tracks don’t hit as hard, but there’s no doubt that they are better constructed and better produced – which is a fundamental towards a proper punk album like Horses.
Still, after having my head turned by Fun House, I can’t help but have been slightly disappointed by this album. Don’t get me wrong, Raw Power is still good – but with track names like ‘Penetration’, ‘Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell’ and the titular ‘Raw Power’ I cannot help but wonder how this would have sounded if it had been recorded post-punk and therefore had more of a kick behind it.