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Raw Power is the third studio album by The Stooges, released in 1973. It was co-produced by David Bowie at a time when the band had been dropped from their original record label and were suffering from severe heroin abuse. Bowie's help proved to be the band's saving grace, resulting in a magnificent swan song for The Stooges who would disband soon afterwards. It is their first studio album without bassist Dave Alexander, and the first with guitarist James Williamson, which led to Ron Asheton switching from guitar to bass. It also turned out to be their last album in 34 years, the follow-up (The Weirdness) being released in 2007.

However, when Raw Power was released in 1973 it received mixed reviews and didn't sell particularly well. Only when Punk Rock broke through in 1977 did it catch on as an early progenitor to the genre.

The album was remastered by Iggy in 1997, resulting in a prime example of the Loudness War and a serious backlash from fans (in fact, it's widely considered to be one of the loudest commercial audio releases ever made). In 2010 it was remastered again in a less headache-inducing version. Then both Iggy's and Bowie's mixes were remastered again for a 2012 vinyl edition that completely averts this trope and is probably the best-sounding version of the album released to date.


Side One

  1. "Search and Destroy" (3:29)
  2. "Gimme Danger" (3:33)
  3. "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell" (4:54)
  4. "Penetration" (3:41)

Side Two

  1. "Raw Power" (4:16)
  2. "I Need Somebody" (4:53)
  3. "Shake Appeal" (3:04)
  4. "Death Trip" (6:07)

Principal Members:

  • Ron Asheton - bass, vocals
  • Scott Asheton - drums
  • Iggy Pop - lead vocals
  • James Williamson - guitar

I'm the world's forgotten trope

  • Album Title Drop:
    Raw power is sure to come a-running to you
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: "Search & Destroy", "Gimme Danger" and " Raw Power".
  • Burning with Anger: "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell".
  • Careful with That Axe: Iggy sounds really excited while singing this album.
  • Color Motif: Iggy has a hellish fire red and yellow colour on the album cover picture.
  • Darker and Edgier: Even compared to the Stooges' previous output this album sounded far more sexual, energetic, aggressive and dangerous. Columbia Records demanded two light-hearted ballads, but "Gimme Danger" and "I Need Somebody" are only gentle in musical arrangement.
  • Death Is Cheap: "Death Trip"
    If I'm on my death, my death trip
    If I'm on my death, if I'm on my death trip
    I never knew you ever made once I care for you
    Honey, come and be my enemy so I can love you true
  • Defiant to the End: Iggy wrote "Death Trip" after realizing that the record company hated what Raw Power was becoming and weren't going to promote it.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ron Asheton was bumped to bass on Raw Power.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The album cover was shot by rock music photographer Mick Rock.
  • Despair Event Horizon: "Gimme Danger":
    There's nothing in my dreams, just some ugly memories
  • Echoing Acoustics: Bowie's mix is full of it.
  • Epic Rocking: "Death Trip"
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The album's sound and style is raw power.
  • Face on the Cover: Iggy clutching the microphone.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The point of the 1997 remaster was to make the music as rough and unpleasant as possible. Unfortunately, this makes the album nearly impossible to sit through for some listeners.
  • Intercourse with You: "Penetration", "I Need Somebody".
  • Kill the Cutie: "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell".
  • Lack of Empathy: "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell".
  • Large Ham: Iggy's moaning and grunting during "Penetration".
    Nnnnnnnnnnnnang nang nang NANG!
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: "Gimme Danger".
  • Longest Song Goes Last: The album ends with "Death Trip" (5:53 on the original album, 6:07 on the 1997 remix).
  • Loudness War: Iggy Pop's remix of this album is one of the most infamous examples. It's not quite the loudest album ever pressed to CD (Merzbow and The Axis of Perdition have louder albums, at the bare minimum), but it's almost certainly the loudest CD released on a major label by a rock band. The 2012 vinyl remaster which includes both Iggy and David Bowie's mixes of the album, on the other hand, is a complete aversion, and the 2010 Legacy Edition remaster of Bowie's mix isn't terribly loud by modern standards either.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Iggy's cool pose on the album cover.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Why Ron Asheton wasn't happy about being "demoted" to bass for this album. Most of his playing isn't even audible on the recording.
  • One-Word Title: "Penetration".
  • Person of Mass Destruction: "Search And Destroy", "Gimme Danger" and "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell" have a lead singer who is very much into this.
  • Record Producer: David Bowie.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell" is a deconstruction.
  • Self-Destructive Charge: "Death Trip".
  • Sensory Abuse: The intention behind Iggy Pop's extremely loud mixing of the album. Do not listen to Iggy's mix cranked up on headphones unless you want your ears ringing afterward. His original idea was for an album that would physically hurt people when it came out of the speakers.
  • Shout-Out:
    • An Italian punk rock band named themselves Raw Power after the album.
    • Sid Vicious covered "Search & Destroy" on his only solo album Sid Sings (1979).
    • Henry Rollins (Black Flag) has "Search & Destroy" tattooed across his shoulder blades.
    • Ewan McGregor covered "Gimme Danger" for the film Velvet Goldmine.
      • On that note, Trainspotting had several references to Iggy Pop scattered throughout the film, as well as a poster with the Raw Power album art on Tommy's wall.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Gimme Danger", despite the title, is actually less wild than the other songs. "Penetration" is a bit calmer than the surrounding material too, as is "I Need Somebody", but in these two cases it may not be saying much.
  • Stylistic Suck: Why Iggy Pop's mix is so loud.
  • Textless Album Cover: On the original release, as seen above; reissues since the '90s have added the band's name & the title in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: As was the band's trademark.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Iggy on the album cover.