in CAT

C.A.T: Lust for Life

Iggy Pop – Lust for Life (1977)
I’m really not trying to keep picking albums from 1977, that’s just how good of a year that was. Back in May, Colin wrote about the legendary Raw Power, the last album by The Stooges until last year. That’s all well and good, but I thought I’d give you a taste of Iggy Pop’s solo career.

Now Iggy released three albums in ’77. There was Kill City, which was a collaboration with Stooges guitarist James Williamson, and The Idiot and Lust for Life, both of which he worked on with David Bowie. I’ve decided to focus on Lust for Life because it has less of a David Bowie feel to it, and it has proved to be Iggy Pop’s most successful album yet.

The album kicks off with one of Iggy’s most popular tracks, the titular “Lust for Life.” You might recognize this song from Trainspotting, or those cruise line commercials. Or maybe it just sounds a little familiar to you, which might be because the song’s bass line was used by Jet in “Are You Gonna be My Girl” and Good Charlotte in “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Rolling Stone even named it the 147th best song ever, on that controversial list. Yeah, this song rocks. Just listen to those drums!

But we’re talking about a whole album here, not a single song. And it does not disappoint. Iggy follows up with a series of awesome tracks, “Sixteen,” “Some Weird Sin” and “The Passenger.” “The Passenger” is a really dark song, but damn if it isn’t good. Next comes “Tonight,” a song that just screams David Bowie, so it makes sense that Bowie would later perform it on 1984’s Tonight. The same goes for “Neighborhood Threat.” “Success,” is a catchy little tune, and the only single from the album. There are two six-plus minute tracks, “Turn Blue” and “Fall in Love with Me,” and I’m not really about them. They’re fine though.

The David Bowie influence is very apparent here, I mean you can hear the guy singing backup on a few tracks. Under Bowie’s guidance, Iggy Pop’s music does lose some of that tenacity that worked so well with The Stooges. This is not a “street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm.” Some critics hold that against the album, but not I. Just look at that cover art. The man’s having a good time, damnit! Why should we take that away from him?

Honestly, if you only own one Iggy Pop album, this is probably it. Lust for Life is full of enjoyable tracks and has had a lasting influence on plenty of musicians. Plus, don’t you want to hear all those dirty lyrics that aren’t in the cruise line commercials?

Favorite Tracks: “Lust for Life,” “Some Weird Sin,” “The Passenger”


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