Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power (Legacy Edition)

Iggy and the Stooges
Raw Power

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Controversial for their pose, songs and stage performances, by the time they came to make their 3rd album, Iggy (Pop) and the Stooges had all but broken up. Reforming (somewhat) at the behest of Iggy’s new guitarist and songwriting partner James Williamson, original Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton (playing bass) and his brother manning drums, the boys made the revered-as-much-as-it’s-damned Raw Power in 1973. The Legacy Edition of this seminal punk album (with a second CD of live material) is now available so we can hear what all the fuss is about.

It’s immediately apparent why the “Bowie mixes” of this album have as many fans as haters (David Bowie was called in to remix the tunes after Iggy had tried, much to the record company’s dislike). It sounds like Iggy is singing through a broken transistor radio on opener “Search and Destroy” (as it does the band playing through one on “Shake Appeal”), but then “Gimmie Danger” lead by acoustic guitar, is mixed nearly perfect, with an equally noisy electric behind it all. It gets loose and sassy, like Spiders From Mars loose and sassy, as Iggy growls through the perfectly punk “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell” and slinky, menacing and tight with Iggy warbling on what I feel is one of the better songs of the original 8, “Penetration”.

The title track follows with quite an annoying single note piano, then “I Need Somebody”, another really good song (maybe a slight long-winded) showing that when Iggy and the boys were tight like this they were at their best. “Death Trip” ends it all.

The second disc’s “Georgia Peaches” section features 9-live tracks from a 1973 concert, taken from the soundboard mix. Here we get longer renditions of songs like “Raw Power” with a more honky-tonk piano, extended versions of “Head On” and “Open Up And Bleed”, “Gimmie Danger” with its slow sauntering beginning then distorded hit-you-in-the-head (in a good way) distortions.

“Cock In My Pocket”, is fun with its amost 50’s pop sound to it (unfortunately Iggy’s vocal drop out a bit here) and “I Need Somebody” sounds at times like it’s gonna fall apart in the snap and go, but there’s that fun piano again.

These new CD sets (there is an even bigger set then the Legacy Edition) have a great 24-page CD booklet included, loaded with history of the band and personal recollections from fans, critics and the ‘survivors’ of Raw Power: Iggy, Scoot Asheton and James Williamson.

This is a must man, really.

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