Saturday, 11 April 2015

Iggy and the Stooges Top Five

When I was seventeen, I sold all my old Deep Purple cassettes and, clutching my £4.50, I went to Woolworths and bought two new albums (the 'New Wave' compilation album and Iggy and the Stooges' "Raw Power".  I played that album so many times that I'm surprised the grooves have not eroded as deep as the Grand Canyon.

There was a band with James Williamson on guitar, and I'm not one to cream my jeans over guitar technique - I'm a voice fan myself but Williamson's guitar was nothing short of brilliant.  Then there was the solid gold rhythm sector of Ron and Scott Asheton... and then Iggy himself.  What is not to love about the Stooges.

I am tempted to pick five from Raw Power, not to neglect their other work but because it is so awesome.

Here is my Iggy and the Stooges top five.

1)  Search and Destroy
This is the seminal punk anthem.  Williamson's guitar screams as if in the midst of passion.  The Ashetons move with a rhythm of pure joy and then there are such perfect narcissistic lyrics from the initial "Street Walking Cheetah with a heart full of napalm" to the final incoherent scream of the 'forgotten boy'.

2) I Need Somebody
From the beginning, the music before the words, and it's so rare I say or even imagine saying that.  And then in come the the words.  "I am your crazy driver, honey I'm sure to steer you wrong.  I am dying in a story, only living to sing this song."  I like lyrics and I'm not usually a fan of Iggy's but these are so lush and so louche.  I was seventeen remember and I could feel the truth of this, like it was the story of my life, the story that could destroy.

3) Penetration
It's the whole package.  Williamson and Iggy, Pop and James and the ashetons behind, and those GORGEOUS fucking (and I use the world appropriately) lyrics.

4)  Gimme Danger
Oh so sleazily lovely, so S&M, so love, so social disease.  And the voice man, yeah... and the drums... oooh yeah it drives me into an incoherence of my own.  Whips and Chains and Gags Oh my! Yeah!  Little Straaaaaaaaaaangerrrrrr  can you feeeeeeeeeeel me?

5)  I Wanna Be Your Dog
Same driving rhythms as Search and Destroy.  Same deliciously incoherent rantings of Iggy Pop, and James Williamson's guitar caress but somehow it's more knowing and that is both its glory and the reason this is not much higher.  This is though, my favourite track that's not on Raw Power.

And yeah, looks like I'm rubbish at resisting temptation, but there is so damn much.  It aches like a severed left temporal lobe to leave out...
Sick of You, Death Trip, I'm Bored, Lust for Life, China Girl, Raw Power (the track), Dirt, TV Eye,Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell...
Hell, it even hurts to leave out the Passenger and the Stooges version of Louie Louie and that cheesy duet of Did You Ever (All the Time) that Iggy did with Deborah Harry.

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