|Iggy Pop, Iggy Pop and the Stooges:
New Releases and Reviews
A-Square (Of Course): The Story of Michigan's Legendary A-Square Records
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Hugh 'Jeep' Holland was in many ways the catalyst for the Detroit rock revolution of the late 1960s. This enigmatic individual graduated from running hip record store Discount Records in Ann Arbor to his operating his own label and management stable, as well booking every major act that played in Michigan during that heady era. The legendary bills at Detroit's Grande Ballroom were all overseen by Jeep, and many musicians in the state still single him out as the true steward of 60s Detroit rock.
A-Square (Of Course), named for Jeep's booking agency, chronicles the fascinating career of this lovable rogue whose reputation preceded him. It draws principally on the vaults of his A-Square label, so beloved of 60s garage collectors, but also includes rare recordings by some of the groups that Jeep managed and/or booked.
Foremost amongst the latter are the MC5, whose super-rare 1968 single Looking At You was issued by the band on A-Square without Jeep's knowledge. It is featured here from the original master tapes, as are the incendiary early recordings by the Scot Richard Case, later known by the acronym SRC. The Thyme were another popular group that Jeep nurtured, and in addition to their singles, several unissued tracks by the outfit are included.
Jeep also booked the Bossmen, later to become Grande stalwarts the Frost, and several previously unreleased tracks are present on A-Square (Of Course). Of great interest to Stooges freaks will be a live track by the rarely heard Prime Movers, featuring a snotty young Iggy Pop on drums and lead vocals, circa 1966. Collectable items by the Up, Apostles, Rain and others round out the set, which is profusely annotated and illustrated with items from Jeep's personal archive. A-Square (Of Course) finally and definitively documents a major chapter in Detroit rock history.
Pop at His Top
Iggy Pop practically invented punk rock with The Stooges and is celebrated for his wild and dangerous attitude, whether with The Stooges, David Bowie, or other line-ups. But he’s rarely seen solo.
This DVD and CD captures Iggy without a band, but just as rock’n’roll as ever. Stripped down versions of “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “Louie Louie”, “Night Clubbing”, “Pablo Picasso” (a cover of the MODERN LOVERS classic) and many other favourites, like they’ve never been heard before - plus five previously unreleased songs.
All areas DVD features solo acoustic show from Barcelona from 1993 plus a solo electric show from Paris in 1990 including five previously unreleased songs.
1. Butt Town
Live San Fran 1981
Iggy Pop, live and wild from 1981, plus two bonus tracks from a studio session with Ric Ocasek. Fronting a crack band featuring Blondie drummer Clem Burke and future David Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar, Pop is as unpredictable and dominant as ever. This is a soundboard recording, taped near the end of their tour supporting his 1981 album Party, Iggy and co. are raw and ready for business. The two bonus tracks are previously unreleased versions recorded with Ric Ocasek in 1983.
It is tough to compete with The Stooges and Fun House when it comes to menacing rock & roll/ punk with as much ambiance as attitude. With a bootleg type feel, Live San Fran 1981 is still able to rise above the predictable with a few choice cuts to satisfy those devoted to Iggy's music. Opening with a decent "Some Weird Sin" from 1977's Lust for Life, this set is not comprehensive, and that it is so haphazard is actually a plus here. The obligatory "TV Eye" and "1969" are included, but outside of the title track to "Lust for Life," everything else will be obscure to people not acquainted with the Stooges' brand of mayhem. The core of the album is in support of the 1981 Arista release Party, and the second track, "Houston Is Hot Tonight," is one of the more manic and exciting cuts here. It sounds like a bizarre and revamped sequel to "White Light/White Heat" by the Velvet Underground with plenty of grunge to bring it over the top. "Rock & Roll Party," "Eggs on Plate," "Pumpin for Jill," and "Bang Bang" are the other titles from Party, those five tracks being half that album represented here on the twelve live tunes. "Dum Dum Boys," the only track from 1977's The Idiot, has eerie guitars and a sinister vocal that propels and differentiates it from most of the show on display in this package. "I Need More," a Matlock/Pop collaboration, has a good anthemic feel to it with a made-for-football-game chorus, and "I'm a Conservative," also from 1980s Soldier disc on Arista, has some decent moments. Despite the low sonics, the performance is very good and some of the selections -- "Houston Is Hot," "Bang Bang," "Dum Dum Boys," even parts of "I'm a Conservative" -- are hard driving and successful. The two studio bonus tracks, "Fire Engine" and "Warrior Tribe," were produced by Cars mastermind Ric Ocasek They don't have Pop's sneer nor Ocasek's trademark edge, but they are nice to have for completists. At the end of "Bang Bang" the Ig announces the band to an appreciative audience, though the tracking appears not to be in the order of the concert. About Iggy Pop/Jim Osterberg's recorded "live" concerts, Greg Prato says in his review of Ultimate Live: "either Iggy is focused and ready to take on the whole crowd (1977-1978, 1985-present day), or indifferent and half-hearted (1979-1983)." This 1981 disc is the exception to that rule, except for the Ocasek produced studio material, which is a shame because Ocasek is a truly gifted producer when he puts the elbow grease into it. Perhaps Ric and Iggy were having too much fun to settle down and let it rip, as the techno drums on both tracks get in the way of the hard-rocking live set. But all of it -- live and studio -- is nice to have for Iggy completists, and there are some key moments on this fine little platter. [A DVD of the show was released in 1986; this CD-only version was released in 2007.] ~ Joe Viglione, All Music Guide
Holiday Gift Pack: A Million in Prizes: The Anthology (2CD) and Live at the Avenue B (DVD) [EXPLICIT LYRICS]
Purchasing info here.
For many first wave Euro punks, the first time they had the opportunity to experience Iggy Pop in the flesh was during his 1977 tour (his first since exiting the Stooges), and the 2007 four-disc box set, 1977, features some of Iggy's finest performances from his inaugural solo/Euro jaunt. An impressively assembled package, 1977 features (supposedly for the first time), Iggy's complete performance from the Rainbow Theater, as well as performances from Paris and Berlin, and studio outtakes/alternate mixes. With the Stooges still being listed as the chief influence of many of the era's punk bands, expectedly, quite a few Stooges tracks find their way into the set, including such standouts as "Raw Power," "1969," "Dirt," and "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Also featured are then-fresh solo Iggy ditties (some feel the best of Iggy's solo career), including "The Passenger," "Lust for Life," "Funtime," and "Sister Midnight," and tracks that were performed only live ("CC Rider," ""That's How Strong My Love Is"". From those who were lucky to catch Iggy during this tour, it's regarded as among the most intense and focused of his career -- as he appeared to be a man out to prove that there was a reason why he was being heralded as the Godfather of Punk.offers the in-concert proof. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide
1977 was a huge year for Punk in the UK but as these recordings underline Iggy Pop and The Stooges were already liberating music from its bloated prog meanderings a few years earlier. Indeed their story appeared to have come to an abrupt end when they disbanded amidst chaos in 1974. But over the next few years a wealth of legal and not so legal releases featuring finished recordings, demos and rehearsals hit the shops with alarming regularity. The quality of those releases varied dramatically and often left a lot to be desired. So here we’ve put together the best of those tracks for your listening pleasure.
2006 two CD compilation of tracks recorded after their second album, Fun House. Contains original versions of tracks that eventually would become the Raw Power album, including the legendary Kill City sessions. History tells us that 1977 was a huge year for Punk in the UK but as these recordings underline, Iggy Pop and The Stooges were already liberating music from its bloated Prog meanderings a few years earlier. Indeed, their story appeared to have come to an abrupt end when they disbanded amidst chaos in 1974. But over the next few years, a wealth of legal and not so legal releases featuring finished recordings, demos and rehearsals hit the shops with alarming regularity. The quality of those releases varied dramatically and often left a lot to be desired. This CD contains the best of those recordings. 28 tracks including 'Gimme Danger', 'Raw Power', 'I'm Sick Of You', 'Consolation Prizes' and more. Music Club.
Stooges. Different World. Finer Wine.
The old Stooges stomp from the late 1960s — a pounding, wah-wah-ing, cymbal-socking, garage-psychedelic blare — is back in force on “The Weirdness.” Nearly everything else has changed.
“The Weirdness” is the first full album that Iggy Pop has made with Ron Asheton on guitar, his brother, Scott, on drums and Steve Mackay on tenor saxophone since the Stooges’ 1970 “Fun House.”
The world now remembers the Stooges as a proto-punk band, and they reinforce that impression on “The Weirdness.” There’s only a hint of the deliberate, droning vamps that linked the group back to psychedelia, and the longest song runs just over four minutes.
Despite his reckless, self-immolating stage act with the Stooges, Iggy Pop, 59, survived the decades as a working rock star. Always a blunt songwriter, he has left behind the cocky nihilism of the original Stooges for a grown-up assortment of experience, irritation, leering, humor, calculated defiance and glimpses of burnout.
He’s not a street kid anymore; more than one song on the album revolves around money. Yet every so often he tries, a little desperately, to tweak taboos: “My idea of fun is killing everyone,” he rhymes.
After three decades of punk it’s harder to get a rise out of people with a bad attitude. But that Stooges stomp, primal and insolent, still sounds like trouble. JON PARELES
New York Post
AGE has really caught up to Iggy Pop. The punk rocker, who turns 60 in April, tells Spin: "To feel good when I was 21, all I had to do was to smoke a joint. Now I have to turn off my phones, do tai chi for an hour, drink a strong cup of coffee and stay away from bad people, so I can feel good for an hour or two - knowing [that] when it ends, I'm gonna feel like the miserable 59-year-old [bleep] that I actually am."
Section: ib on Band Reunions
It's futile to argue over which of the two bands was the most important, but The Stooges most certainly let loose more sex, anger, and were the more gritty and creative of the two bands. One of the reasons for this is because of what Iggy Pop brought to the group. A living legend and testament to what stage presence should be and what it means to be a front-man, Iggy Pop (then called Iggy Stooge) walked on the audience like Jesus on the water (and you thought crowd-surfing was exciting), cut himself by rolling around over broken bottles and, er? rubbed peanutbutter over himself.
It's a shame that Pop has become the focus of the group because Ron Ashton's guitar created walls of sound that perfectly evoked the sexual, aggressive, and flirtatious tone of Pop's voice while his brother drumming, along with Dave Alexander's bass work, created a great rhythm section for the guitar to work from (which would later influence some of the No-Wave bands of the 80's).
And now, anyone that didn't have a chance to see The Stooges perform with their original line up will be able to see them with replacement bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen) as they begin their tour March 8 at the Caprices Festival in Montana to support their first new album in over three decades, The Weirdness.
FOR LIFE Ron Asheton says ''It's still the Stooges'' when he gets together
with Iggy and brother Scott. ''It's still sex, it's still anger. And
there's always that little tinge of humor.''
''They're gonna enjoy it, and they're gonna be surprised,'' says Ron Asheton, the Stooges' guitarist. ''[We're] treating the Stooges as a living band. We could go out and be an oldies band and just play shows and the same songs, but [Iggy] wanted to get more out of it.''
The three surviving members of the original quartet — Iggy, Ron, and Ron's brother Scott Asheton on drums — spent the last three years writing new material, with the Minutemen's Mike Watt filling in for late bassist Dave Alexander. Last fall, they cut the album in producer Steve Albini's Chicago studio. ''It wasn't like having to start over, or any kind of struggle,'' Asheton says. ''When I hook up with those guys, I'm right back where I started. It was like all those years [in between] just evaporated.''
Of course, with their 60th birthdays looming, the old friends aren't quite as wild as the Stooges of legend. ''Now there's no drugs, there's no crazy times,'' Asheton says. But he assures us that their new jams are as raw as ever. ''It's still the Stooges. It's still sex, it's still anger. And there's always that little tinge of humor. It's just dissing all the proper things, and loving all the right things.''
With The Weirdness ready to hit stores, the Stooges are already contemplating their next move. Spring tour dates are in the works, and Asheton is looking forward to recording another new album with the band as soon as next year. ''We're having a good time,'' he says. ''I love being in the studio. So we're going to continue as long as the people want us.''
Weirdness, the first new album by Iggy and the Asheton brothers in 34
years, doesn't reach the unhinged heights of their three classics
Filled with Iggy's random yelping and Ron Asheton's buzz-saw guitar, the band's follow-up, 1970's Fun House, was quite simply one of the dirtiest, grimiest, and most sweat-stained albums ever. It's hard now to appreciate just how radical this record was upon its release, but suffice it to say it's not often you hear a lead singer coughing over the music, as Iggy does on ''T.V. Eye.'' The album felt primal, unpredictable, dangerous. It still does. Even with a rejiggered lineup and piss-poor David Bowie production, 1973's Raw Power contained enough dirgy anthems (''Gimme Danger,'' ''Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell'') to cement the Stooges' reputation as the forefathers of punk. They were a band that never sold a lot of records, but they mattered. The Weirdness, the group's first full-length release in 34 years, may not do either.Asheton can still manufacture some cutting, blues-drenched riffs, most notably on ''Trollin''' and ''ATM,'' but he now seems to be playing his guitar less as a weapon and more as — gasp! — an instrument. And while Iggy has never been a master lyricist — his simplicity, such as chanting ''I feel alright!'' about 312 times in a row, has always been his charm — there are several stanzas (''She wore some short shorts, man, she filled them out/ These bodies only come from way down South'') that come off more corny than minimalist.
There are certainly moments of The Weirdness that rock. A few of these new Stooges songs may even cause you to stand up and take notice. The difference is, the old ones made you duck for cover. B-
Weirdness is right
But more than 30 years later, when punk is a mere mainstream shadow of what it once was, Iggy Pop seems like a shadow, too. And, on The Stooges' latest, The Weirdness, his cultural non-significance shows all too obviously.
Punk drew its origins in one main sphere of thought, epitomized in The Clash's London Calling and Combat Rock and the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bullocks: Politics matter, politicians don't. No one was free from mockery or criticism, not even the Queen of England or her "fascist regime."
But what set The Stooges apart from the rest of the pack - and The Stooges came earlier than both the Sex Pistols and The Clash, effectively paving their ways - were their banal lyrics, swaggering youth, whip-fast guitar riffs and shouted vocals. Raw Power was the band's tour de force, a shining, 32-minute-long example of minimalist musical genius that relied on Iggy's charisma and songs such as "Search and Destroy" and "Gimme Danger" to inspire a cult-like, proto-punk following.
Yet everything that made The Stooges so great is significantly lacking on The Weirdness, the band's first LP in 34 years. Iggy's vocals are dull and monotone; the lyrics could be interesting, but he delivers them in a lackluster, lifeless way that begs to be ignored. On the first track, "Trollin'," Iggy delivers an awkward ballad about what a "suave thing it is to do" to write a song about searching for easy girls. "I see your hair as energy/ My dick is turning into a tree," Iggy growls - or is it rasps? Either way, the song starts the album on a subpar, somewhat sleazy route that it never shakes off.
And tracks such as "The End of Christianity" are also repetitive and drawn-out, a tedious departure from The Stooges' normal one- to two-minute song lengths. Ridiculous and meaningless lines such as "I saw a goddess in a pizza joint/ She hit my weak spot at a crucial point/ When it's a black girl you cannot resist/ It's the end of Christianity" aren't doing much to help Iggy's case either.
But don't worry, it gets worse, not only with the lyrics but also with the music. The lightning-quick, raging guitars that gave The Stooges their recognizable sound are gone, replaced by chuggingly predictable instrumentals that sound generic and common. Songs such as "Idea of Fun," about how Iggy's ideal pastime is "killing everyone," start off like old Stooges, but then immediately veer back into a sadly safe and unimaginative area of rejected hard-rock riffs.
Sure, Iggy pontificates about his hatred of mankind, suggests that friendships are all fake dalliances, and claims mankind is full of "greedy, awful people." But the thing is, these were all things Iggy was singing about more than 30 years ago, back when punk was defining the concept of angry, aimless youth. It's harder to swallow these type of songs from the mouth of a 60-year-old man who has already defined his "Lust for Life."
And that's the main problem with The Weirdness: It's simply not believable. In "Trollin'," Iggy claims "rock critics wouldn't like this at all." Too bad that's the only thing Iggy and the rest of The Stooges get right with this album.
Contact reporter Roxana Hadadi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
20th Century Masters - Millennium Collection: The Best of Iggy Pop
Personnel: Iggy Pop; David Bowie, Hunt Sales, Tony Sales, Steve Jones , Ricky Gardiner, Carlos Alomar.
SIX VERSIONS OF IGGY'S ANIMAL SONG
BARCELONA (solo/acoustic) Sputnick TV Show 1993
Stooges To Be Reissued And Expanded This August
Rhino To Reissue The Stooges
by Paul Cashmere
27 June 2005
The collectors editions will feature previously unreleased bonus tracks, rarities and remastered versions of the two albums.
The 1969 self-titled debut was produced by John Cale and featured 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' and '1969'.
'Full House' from 1970 will include a bonus disc featuring the long out-of-print '1970: The Complete Fun House Sessions' from Rhino Handmade.
FUN HOUSE (DELUXE
Expanded versions of the Stooges' howling, hard-rocking first two albums are headed for record stores on August 16th. Rhino Records' double-CD deluxe editions of 1969's The Stooges and 1970's Fun House will feature the original album plus a bonus CD of demos and rarities. The bonus disc of the Stooges' eponymous debut contains alternate takes and mixes of classics like "I Wanna Be Your Dog," while its Fun House counterpart also includes two songs, "Lost in the Future" and "Slide (Slidin' the Blues)," that did not appear on the original release.
Formed in 1967, the Stooges were Detroit's gritty response to what singer Iggy Pop calls the "wockety-wickety-wackety-woo" of the hippie movement. "It didn't even rock," he told Rolling Stone in 2003 of the flowery soundtrack to the Summer of Love. "I mean, 'Marrakesh Express?' It may be the worst song ever written."
The Stooges' noisy anthems resonated with fans looking for a different sound, and later influenced generations of punk and post-punk musicians, such as fellow Detroit denizen Jack White, who wore the digital dots off of his Fun House cassette when he was growing up.
"I played the hell out of [that tape], like someone was gonna break in and take my tape deck while I was driving," the White Stripes frontman writes in the Fun House (Deluxe Edition) liner notes. "I remember screaming in my head, 'This is Detroit!' And that's what Fun House is to me, the very definition of Detroit rock & roll, and by proxy the definitive rock album of America. The record's passion, attitude, power, emotion and destruction are incalculable."
to Reissue First Two Stooges Albums
Each expanded version will feature the original album, plus a bonus disc of demos and rarities. The bonus CD of the self-titled debut has 10 previously unreleased cuts, such as producer John Cale's original mixes of "No Fun", "Little Doll", "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "1969", a full version of "No Fun", and three alternate vocal takes.
The Fun House edition contains demos for "Slide (Slidin' the Blues") and "Lost in the Future" (both tracks did not make it to the original album), single mixes of "1970" and "Down on the Street", and three alternate takes. In 1997, frontman Iggy Pop himself oversaw the remastering of the Stooges' masterpiece, Raw Power, which was originally mixed by David Bowie. No word as to whether Iggy Pop or the other members of the Stooges were involved in these reissues.
The Stooges snarled like a teenager with its anthems for the young and discontented, "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "1969", "No Fun", and "Real Cool Time". Trying to recreate the band's chaotic live shows, 1970's Fun House is a garage rock classic and helped set the stage for punk's advent later on in the decade. It boasts the stomping ravers, "Loose" and "TV Eye".
Although the Stooges only released three albums, they influenced a generation of underground acts. Of the Stooges' audience, Iggy Pop said they were "high-school drop-outs, troubled drug kids." Speaking as neither a high-school dropout nor a troubled drug kid, I think these albums rule.
* Rhino: http://www.rhino.com/
The title of Iggy Pop's second career retrospective seems to me as arbitrary as, say, That's Like Hypnotizin' Chickens or Of Course I've Had It in the Ear Before, albeit much less entertaining. And it's subtitled like we've been waiting for it for a long, long time-- which is true, but only to an extent. For the past nine years, Pop's career has been summarized only by the single-disk Nude & Rude: The Best of Iggy Pop, which tried to explain a complex artist in only 17 tracks. Even to an initiate, Nude & Rude had to seem only cursory-- a problem A Million in Prizes seeks to correct. It collects 38 tracks from nearly 40 years (!), including alternate takes, non-album tracks, and live cuts. It renders its predecessor immediately obsolete-- look for N&R to flood your local used CD store-- and is probably as good a Pop retrospective as we're likely to get on two disks.
Most collections like this give us an opportunity to reassess an artist's accomplishments and reconsider the shape and effect of their output. A Million in Prizes: The Anthology, however, seems just the opposite: several years of revisiting and reconsidering his past work have finally culminated in a retrospective anthology that might be the crest of a second wave that started with Trainspotting (did it really? or did it just seem to?) and has been building ever since. In the intervening decade, Pop has become a legend to the garage rock bands and punk nostalgics while remaining a guiding saint to throngs of disaffected adolescents (including the dropout who used to blare "Lust for Life" in the apartment above me all hours of the day and night). Todd Haynes made a movie about him, Jim Jarmusch made a movie with him, and we here at Pitchfork placed four Iggy-related albums on our Top 100 Albums of the 70s list.
Murmured rumors and outright statements claim that Pop's the father of both punk and the garage-rock revival. While it's tempting to assign that extra meaning to his stage surname, influence does not necessary produce a positive paternity test. Pop is punk only in retrospect. Instead of defining a movement (that already had a leg up with MC5 and wouldn't hit full steam for several more years), the Stooges simply stripped 50s rock and roll down to its animal essence-- broken-glass blues riffs, steady backbeats, and punctuating hand claps-- then exaggerated its hedonistic appetites and self-destructive tendencies to brutish, nearly comic proportions on their first three albums, which are represented by 10 tracks on A Million in Prizes-- almost a fourth of the compilation.
I can't really argue with that. The Stooges' distillation of rock is no small feat, but Pop wasn't a first amendment pioneer. A succession of 60s artists from Jim Morrison to Lou Reed had already cleared the way for Pop's anarchic aesthetic, but just as this lineage doesn't dull his music, neither does it dull his legacy. Instead, it points out his distinct accomplishment-- the performative aspect of his music. It wasn't the lyrics that made his songs dangerous, but Pop's yelping insistence, the depraved howls that punctuated his verses and hid a curiously smooth baritone. Just like his body, his voice was wiry and exposed and graceful, slithering and bleeding and peanut-buttery.
The first disk of A Million in Prizes showcases this aspect of Pop's music, but the second disk has the unenviable task of summing up everything since, from New Values and Soldier to Beat Em Up and Skull Ring. Admittedly, there are some incredible moments: the live cut of "TV Eye" from the 1993 Feile Festival in Ireland suggests Pop hasn't lost as much edge on stage as he has in the studio. Two duets stand out: he and B-52 Kate Pierson are well matched on the wistful "Candy", and he and Debbie Harry have a goof with Cole Porter's "Well, Did You Evah!" from Red Hot + Blue. And even though it mercifully omits his collaboration with Peaches, the second disk can't possibly match the first for sheer raw power. Really, who could keep it up that long?
But A Million in Prizes tells a story that's greater than the individual tracks themselves, one that elevates even the dimmest of material. Even so, there's something a little sad about seeing such a vital artist canonized like this. Greatest hits compilations are round holes into which pegs of every shape are fitted, and they tend to have a neutering effect, absorbing rebel music into the very system it once railed against. Even though A Million in Prizes accomplishes exactly what it set out to do, it's difficult to get excited about this collection, especially with upcoming reissues of The Stooges and Fun House to look forward to.
Iggy Pop discography