James Osterberg began his musical career in 1964, playing in various Detroit bands but most famously in the Iguanas, where he acquired the nickname Iggy Pop. Inspired by the dirty sound of Chicago blues, a Doors live performance, and garage-band aesthetics, Pop formed the hugely influential proto-punk band the Stooges, combining primal rock power with an explosive, often violent stage show. Splitting up the band in 1974, Pop relocated to Berlin, and with the help of admirer David Bowie, kickstarted his long, successful solo career. Remaining an icon of the old-school punk-rock guard, Iggy Pop continues to record, and has also acted in films such as Jim Jarmusch's DEAD MAN and John Waters's CRY BABY.
The relentless, driving drums and thunderous bass of the opening title track are the magic components that make it the best song Iggy Pop ever recorded without the Stooges. They''re also why this is Iggy''s best solo album--which also includes the ominously upbeat "The Passenger," with its hilariously ennui-filled, sing-along chorus ("La la la la la la la la la..."). As with Pop''s first solo album, The Idiot, David Bowie has his hands all over the proceedings (if not somewhere else as well) as the producer, songwriter, and general overseer of Iggy the popstar. The record reached 28 on the U.K. charts. Of course, as the jagged, dark guitars on "Sixteen" and "Neighborhood Threat" make clear, Iggy''s version of pop music is anything but conventional, and anything but bland. "Some Weird Sin" ("That''s what I want...") could have been Iggy''s theme song in 1977, heavy with innuendo and a dangerous joie de vivre. --Percy Keegan
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