Iggy Pop

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July 2019

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After the Stooges fell apart, Iggy laid low for a bit, then kicked off his solo career with two 1977 albums produced by David Bowie. The Idiot effectively divorced Iggy from the driving guitars of the Stooges and re-introduced him as a member of the emerging slightly sleazy synth-punk class. Standards like “Nightclubbing” and “China Girl” emerged from this album. Lust for Life was a full swing back into rock/pop. Most of the music on this diverse but oddly cohesive release was written by Bowie.

Iggy continued to collaborate with Bowie throughout the ’80s. The two shared the vocal responsibilities on Bowie’s Tonight (1984), and Bowie reassumed the role of producer for Iggy’s Blah, Blah Blah (1986). The former contained a work with Tina Turner and the latter held up as its only redeeming value a driving cover of Johnny O’Keefe’s "Real Wild Child (Wild One)."

Iggy fell into the ’90s and hit the ground running with the 1990 release of Brick By Brick. Easily his most mainstream effort to date, Brick By Brick boasts accompanying vocals from folk rock master John Hiatt and Kate Pierson (B-52s), radio-friendly tunes like "Candy" and tough stuff like "Pussy Power" and "I Won’t Crap Out."

On American Caesar (1993) Iggy got help on backup vocals from Henry Rollins and Lisa Germano. The album was a twisted attempt at socio-economic commentary, with cheap shots aimed at corporate culture. Caesar was raw and energetic, but came off as a bit contrived.

Naughty Little Doggy (1996) finds Iggy in the role of bewildered middle-aged rocker. While there’s not much musical or lyrical difference from his earlier work, the overall feel of Doggie is that Iggy is simply happy to still be alive and singing about sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.

Pop’s 1999 effort, Avenue B, which featured an unlikely guest appearance by the jazz/ funk trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, got a cool reception from the critics. His latest, Beat ’Em Up, came out two years later.

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