Crate Skimmers #16 Iggy Pop – Lust for Life

Owned since: 2007

Genre: Really?

Where I bought it: One of the rare records I ‘stole’ from my dad’s collection

Year: 1977

Label/pressing: RCA Victor

If there is a one trick-pony in rock history it might as well be this record. There isn’t a bigger Iggy Pop song then Lust Of Life. As a cult hit in the 70’s, as the soundtrack to Trainspotting and it still popping up everywhere today, its terror has spread several generations now. Every time those galloping drums start you just know Pop will be sneering at you for the next 5 minutes. It’s such an evergreen, completely played to death. And of course the name giver for what is the real solo debut of little James Newell Osterberg Jr. to the rock crowd. Kill City, while great, is a collaboration with fellow stooge James Williamson and a drug-filled mess. Not even starting with The Idiot, which I poorly don’t own a copy of and is one of my all time favorites, which was famously recorded by a ‘drug free’ David Bowie and Pop in Berlin.

Lust for Life was released the same year and can’t be more than lightyears removed from the drug zombie mood on the Idiot. Also recorded in Berlin, this is a pure rock record that recalls a fair bit of early Alice Cooper and Lou Reed’s more rocking work of the 70’s. So, rock music that is close to glam but never really jumps over that bar and just sounds like fancy bar-rock with a heavy Bowie touch to it all. Because, boy, Bowie’s fingerprints are all over this. You can hear him trying to steer future Iggy around Raw Power in the pop direction. Sixteen is pretty much a Stooges song made to fill a festival field. Loud stomping nonsense going nowhere and a bit in poor taste knowing both man’s personal lives. And well for the rest? Loads of rocking tunes to drive around in the 70’s, I guess.

Some Weird Sin is the closest we’re getting to The Idiot with it’s weird sluggish rock & roll feel and maybe one of my favorite 2 notes guitar solos ever. It is very much The Stooges and very much radio friendly classic rock at the same time, even more with the chorus where Bowie joins in. Absolutely perfect classic rock radio fodder if I ever heard ever, and the song that sold this record to my dad for sure because it got a fair bit of airplay around it’s release. The Passenger is the two-trick-pony on this one-trick-pony record; a song so overused on film and movie soundtracks, it is near impossible to pinpoint what started the trend. Bauhaus covered it, Souxie did, Michael Hutchence did it for the Batman Forever soundtrack, not to even start with the several commercials that it was also in. Like Lust For Life, I bet I heard it more than a thousand times in my life and unlike Lust For Life I still think it rules. Just such a cool little semi-bluesy tune that remains raw enough to keep the interest going and has one of the most infectious choruses ever. Pop kind of sing talks over it till he reaches near-shouting around the middle and goes back to sing talking again. Such a perfect little rock song in every way and one I will never tire of.

Tonight feels more like a Bowie song than a Pop song. Which is cool and all because it, of course, is a Bowie song, who recorded a ska(!) fueled version of it for 1984’s Tonight even though this does blow that version out of the water. Just a nice little rock song, little more. Success on the other hand fits Pop like a glove. A big swaggering weird glam-rock number where he can screech HERE COMES A SUCCESS a whole lot and name all the luxury stuff he is getting. Big old bar-band vibe to this with the loud high pitched solo and hand claps coming together, such a great little tune. Turn Blue is a bit of a boring blues song that never really goes anywhere and is by far the weakest thing on here.

Which leads to Neighborhood Threat, a gem of a Pop tune. Just such an ugly like 3.5 minutes of murky guitar solos and piano with Pop yelling over it about the threat of the neighborhood. It’s for me the perfect mix between what Bowie brought to this record and Pop’s personal styling, God the jaunty piano in this being upsurged by the swampy echo bass is such a good sound.

Fall In Love With Me is a perfect ending. 6.5 minutes of bluesy, slow debauchery of Pop trying to get some girl to fall in love with him in a Berlin saloon. Slowly speeding up, getting louder and ending on a strong little organ solo. A perfect way to get this weird slice of vinyl out of my life.

Lust For Life is a cult artist hitting gold for once through a mix of circumstances and just never stopping charisma. It’s just a really solid rock record that feels a lot more calculated than most stuff Pop had done so far. Gone is the anarchism of The Stooges and in comes an album that is ‘raw’, but also strangely ready for the airwaves. While he would have several hits (and good records) later this is for sure the top of Pop being anything close to a star, but he seems happy with his grandfather of punk thing he’d still got going for him.

Anyway, here is Pop destroying the sets on legendary Dutch music show TopPop which made this a hit in the Netherlands

Slooty Pop:

The pinnacle of the 2000’s, imo