Friday, April 20, 2012

Iggy Pop's birthday! Top 20 of Iggy Pop (and the Stooges)

Iggy Pop (born James Osterberg) was born on April 21, 1947. Today marks his 65th birthday. Iggy Pop has been at the forefront of punk music ever since he joined The Stooges in the 60s and continues to record to this day. Iggy Pop stands as a reminder of what can accomplish by sticking to his guns. From his work with the Stooges, to his albums he recorded with David Bowie in Berlin in the 70s, to recording a top 40 song in the 1990, to rejoining the Stooges and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, Iggy Pop is one of the greatest artist and frontmen EVER! There is no one alive who can compare to his energy on stage, at any age. To be he will always be timeless and his music (especially his collaborations with Bowie) are some of the best music recorded ever. What I have always loved about Iggy is his determinations, his willingless to make mistakes, and all through it all, his honesty. His honesty will everything he does. Many great musicians have sold out, or faded away, Iggy is still here, and he was there before they were even born. I first got into Iggy from picking up a copy of his No Values album from Goodwill on a whim. I was aware of his iconic image and his influence on people from almost every musical background. I loved what I heard and I wanted to hear more. I started listening to his collaborations with Bowie (The Idiot and Lust for Life), and I just loved the intense rawness of the original version of China Girl. It blows Bowie's version out of the water. I recognized the beginning part of Nightclubbing being used on Nine Inch Nail's Closer, etc.. His influence is beyond almost any other performer. Here we will explore some of my personal favorite songs from Iggy Pop. I am one of his biggest fans and this will be a hard one to really narrow down to 20 songs, but I will give it a shot.

Johanna from the album Kill City (1997)

Ha! The first song on this list with a girl's name. This is from the Kill City album. A very sludgy album, but a taste of solo Iggy to come. A simple song. Iggy doing what he does best.

Candy from the album Brick By Brick (1990)
Duet with Kate Pierson of B-52s fame. This is the only Iggy Pop song to ever crack the US top 40, peaking at #28. It's a duet that talks about lost love and that the woman misses him too. A strangely sweet song from the Godfather of Punk rock. I'm still surprised this was a hit for Iggy.

Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell from Raw Power (1973)
Raw Power is such an intense album. Bowie later referenced this song in his entitled The Pretty Things Are Going to hell. One of the best opening riffs to any Stooges song. This must be played loud!

I'm Bored from No Values (1979)
A simple song about boredom. Songs do not always have to have some deeper meaning. A person fed up with society and everything and feeling bored. One of the first Iggy Pop songs i remember hearing.

Repo Man from the album Repo Man soundtrack (1984)
Recorded for the soundtrack of the same name. This song was written specifically for the movie. This soundtrack was on my list of top 25 of all time.

Kill City from the album Kill City (1977)
Great collaboration with James Williamson. A dirty, rocking song. It was also recorded by the Stooges live. The album Kill city is now available in remastered form.

Tiny Girls from the album The Idiot (1977)
One of the most underrated songs on The Idiot. Supposedly about how young girls are not much different than older ones. Bowie plays sax on this song. Covered by Martin Gore of Depeche Mode.

No Fun from The Stooges (1969)
One of the best known songs from the Stooges. Iggy and the Stooges really pioneered punk rock and would go on to influence a ton of bands in the 1970s, Iggy was doing it all in the 60s. A very carefree song.

Funtime from the album The Idiot (1977)
Covered by Peter Murphy and R.E.M. A really upbeat song which predated new wave. Bowie sings backup on this and it sounds like a Bowie song. I linked to the version Iggy did with Bowie on the Dinah Shore show. What a showman!

Fix Me (Black Flag cover with the band Mother Superior) from the album Rise Above (2002)
Henry Rollins got a bunch of musicians to cover Black Flag songs for a tribute album, including people like Keith Morris, Dean Ween, Ryan Adams, Ice T, and Iggy Pop. This is one of my favorites and it makes you wonder what would happen if Iggy Pop fronted Black Flag. One of the best Black Flag songs and one of the best covers.

1969 from The Stooges (1969)
From their debut album, check out the cover from Sisters of Mercy. This song is basically about alienation, boredom of living in the small town and wanting exitement, which is basically what punk rock is about. Great energy and excellent guitar riffs in here.

Some Weird Sin from Lust for Life (1977)
A great song from Lust for Life. Not really appreciated as others. I believe this song is about an outcast in a world that doesn't even want you anyways. A very existential song and you reallly feel Bowie's touch on this. This song features Tony Sales who would later join David Bowie in the band Tin Machine

Well, Did You Evah! (duet with Debbie Harry) from the album Red Hot and Blue (1990)
Duet with Debbie Harry of Blondie, this is a cover of a Cole Porter song. Two icons of new wave and punk together at last. A very kitschy song. It's worth hearing. I find it cute.

Aisha (w/Death In Vegas) from the album The Contino Sessions (1999) 
A collaboration with the electronic group Death In Vegas, also the name of my Fiancee! I remember first singing this to my now-fiancee back in high school and how freaked out she was. The song is just spoken and it's really cool how Iggy shouts "AISHA!!" The video features a woman being chased around, but at the end there's a twist. One of the coolest songs from Iggy.

Raw Power from the album Raw Power (1973)
This is what punk rock is about. I saw Peter Murphy perform this live once. This is the ultimate song from Iggy and one of the best songs ever. The energy, manicness and power this song brings is incomparable.

The Passenger from the album Lust for Life (1977)
One of the most covered songs from Iggy Pop, it has been covered by David Bowie, R.E.M.,Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees among others. A simple song with very distinct chords, about being a passenger and riding around town. Simple, yet such a fun song.

China Girl from the album The Idiot (1977)
Most people are familiar with David Bowie's version of this song, which makes it more pop sounding and overproduced. Iggy's version is much more awesome. Iggy made this song so much darker, I love his delivery when he says "It's in the whites of my eyes!" and he just screams it! Just passion

I Wanna Be Your Dog from The Stooges (1969)
The lyrics have been described as evoking a sense of lubricity and self-loathing, a monument to a state of blue-collar tedium and alienation of their era, late 1960s industrial Michigan. This is from the Stooges debut album. A song about submission. Many Stooges songs were dark in that sense and were not afraid to mention sex and drugs.

Nightclubbing from the album The Idiot (1977)
Famously used in the movie Trainspotting. Nine Inch Nails sampled this for their song Closer and it has been covered by Peter Murphy and Trent Reznor. My love for this song stems from the fact that it's called Nightclubbing, yet Iggy sounds like a zombie when he sings this and it's really not a song you imagine when you think of Nightclubbing. Genious.

Search and Destroy from the album Raw Power (1973)
I really like the Red Hot Chili Peppers version of this. Iggy Pop said that he pulled the title "from a column heading in a Time article about the Vietnam War."One of the best intros to a song ever "I'm a streetwalking cheetah with a a heart full of napalm I'm a runaway son of the nuclear A-bomb, I am a world's forgotten boy, the one who searches and destroys" Lyrically and musically, The best song ever by Iggy and the Stooges.

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