Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell
Original Masters Records, 1998
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/21/1999
A few days ago, I brought up the rhetorical question of who was the father of heavy metal: Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf or Black Sabbath. Today, I plan on asking what I think is a new rhetorical question. Who were the fathers of punk rock: MC5, Blue Cheer or Iggy Pop And The Stooges?
I don't know if that's the type of a question that could spark some discussions (as well as a fistfight or two), and I don't claim to know the answer. But like Black Sabbath was to metal, I believe that Pop and crew were the godfathers of punk (or, at least, American punk). The compilation of outtakes, rehearsals and radio gigs Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell is evidence enough of this. And, despite its occasionally raw audio quality, it is a pretty good listen, as well as a good primer of just who this band really was.
Audio purists, be warned - the quality of some of the tracks on this disc is not the greatest. Bordering occasionally on bootleg quality normally would bother me, but in the case of this album, an almost home-spun sound to some of the songs actually adds to the mystique of this band. I will admit, however, that the quality of some of hte studio outtakes surprises me - how can "I Got A Right" sound so pristine while "Death Trip" sound like something that was recorded on a cheap squawkbox?
Also be warned that to get to the advertisment for the concert at the start of the disc, you're going to have to back up past track one on the disc. Is it essential to this set? Not really - but it is kind of fun to listen to.
You don't need to be a diehard Stooges fan to appreciate what Pop and crew were doing at the time of Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell. Tracks like "Raw Power" might be more familiar to some, but others like "Rubber Legs" and "Pin Point Eyes" (during which Pop exclaims, "This better be on tape or I'll kill somebody.") show both the unrestrained emotion and the melody that this band tried to exhibit. "Head On", the disc's opening track, is the one that seals the deal for me. Pure and simple, it's fun to listen to, even if the sound quality is lacking in some ways.
But there are some disappointing moments on this disc. "Cock In My Pocket" doesn't develop the way it could have musically (though it's strong lyrically), while "Johanna" stretches about four minutes too long.
If you can live with the not-so-pristine sound quality, then Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell isn't a bad way to get acquanted with the birth cries of punk rock, as well as The Stooges. Even the diehard Pop fans will want to check this one out for a few giggles.