Some Weird PostI’m going back to Hansa Studios in Berlin for tonight’s post: Iggy Pop’s 1977 classic, Lust for Life.
This was Iggy’s second solo album, as well as his second David Bowie-produced disk. The Idiot, his solo debut, was so heavily influenced by Bowie as to be nearly unrecognizable as an Iggy Pop album. Hugh Wilken, in the “33 1/3” book about Low, wrote that The Idiot could well be considered the unofficial beginning of Bowie's “Berlin” period. (Bowie and Iggy began writing and recording songs for The Idiot in mid-1976, before Bowie started work on his own album.)
The Lust for Life sessions took place soon after the release of The Idiot and completion of a short tour in support of the album. It’s generally considered to be more of an “Iggy Pop” record than The Idiot, being less musically experimental and having more of a rock and roll flavor. In “The Complete David Bowie” by Nicolas Pegg, Iggy is quoted as saying, “See, Bowie's a hell of a fast guy... I realized I had to be quicker than him, otherwise whose album was it gonna be?”
The songs I pulled for this post are as dark as anything else that would come from this era: “The Passenger,” despite its recent commercial use, is often considered the embodiment of the punk outcast. A Bowie biographer called it one of Iggy’s “most haunting tracks,” while an Iggy Pop biographer wrote that the song was possibly inspired by Bowie’s “cultural vampirism.”
As much as I love the title track, it has become so associated with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines that I couldn’t bring myself to post it. Instead, I went with “Some Weird Sin.” Rock critic Dave Thompson, writing for AllMusic, described “Some Weird Sin” as such: “When Lust for Life was released in fall 1977, at the height of punk, an entire generation was looking to Pop for guidance. Those other songs indicated some of the directions that were possible. ‘Some Weird Sin,’ with its straightforward riffs and lost-boy lyric, showed what was actually required.”
Some Weird Sin.mp3
Note: The bottom picture - of Iggy and Debbie Harry - was taken by famed rock photog Bob Gruen. This photo and many, many other awesome pictures are for sale through his Web site.