Iggy Pop - vocals; David Bowie - piano, vocals; Ricky Gardiner - guitar; Stacey Hayden - guitar; Hunt Sales - drums; Tony Sales - bass; Scott Thurston - synthesizer, bass, guitar, harmonica, piano, keyboards, vocals
In the future, when rock historians decide to eulogize Iggy Pop, they will undoubtedly call him the Godfather of Punk. Though The Ramones and The Sex Pistols turned the genre into a movement, it was Iggy Pop who took the grit of Chicago blues with the rock sensibility of the Stones and the adventurism of garage rock, and turned it into a brave new musical front known today as power punk.
A big fan of the Doors, Iggy Pop formed The Stooges in 1968, after kicking around his native Detroit with a number of '60s blues-rock bands. Ultimately, Pop was able to convince Elektra Records President Jac Holman to sign The Stooges. They released two albums that were classics on the underground rock scene, but failed to break through commercially. The band broke up in 1971, after the legendary Fun House album was released. In 1973, at the height of his Ziggy Stardust-success, David Bowie went searching for the band and Iggy in particular. He found Iggy lost in a haze of drug abuse and convinced him to reform the band as Iggy and The Stooges. He then got the band signed to CBS Records and agreed to help produce the album, which became the 1973 punk classic, Raw Power. Again, the album was a critical smash, but failed to see any substantial commercial success. And once again, two years later, The Stooges split.
This show was recorded during Pop's 1977 Lust for Life tour, which he had launched to promote the album of the same name. The tour was Pop's second solo outing since disbanding The Stooges for the second time in 1975. Lust for Life and its predecessor, The Idiot, were co-written and produced by David Bowie, and although they got a tremendous response from critics, they were mediocre sellers. RCA, eager to get out of their three-album deal with Pop, decided to close the contract out with a live album. They gave him $90,000 to deliver a live album from this tour.
Pop, whose real name is James Osterberg, was concerned he might not be seeing any label money for some time, so he took two track board mixes from various shows on the tour, went into a German studio, and spent $5,000 to make them sound acceptable. He delivered the album, released the following year as TV Eye (1977 Live), and put the rest of the advance in his pocket. This recording is another live album that could have been released. It features exceptional aural quality, having been recorded by The Rolling Stones Mobile Unit for broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
Featuring an all-star band (Bowie did this tour as his piano player and backing singer; Tony & Hunt Sales from the Todd Rundgren band; and his former band mate from The Stooges, Scott Thurston), this recording is heavy on classics from his Iggy and The Stooges days. Opening with "Raw Power," the album is a punk live music masterpiece, featuring such memorable anthems as "1969," "Gimme Danger," "No Fun," "Search And Destroy" and the unforgettable "I Wanna Be Your Dog." For any Iggy Pop or '70s punk fan, a definite must listen.