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Rock - Released September 9, 1977 | Virgin Catalog (V81)

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On The Idiot, Iggy Pop looked deep inside himself, trying to figure out how his life and his art had gone wrong in the past. But on Lust for Life, released less than a year later, Iggy decided it was time to kick up his heels, as he traded in the midtempo introspection of his first album and began rocking hard again. Musically, Lust for Life is a more aggressive set than The Idiot, largely thanks to drummer Hunt Sales and his bassist brother Tony Sales. The Sales proved they were a world-class rhythm section, laying out power and spirit on the rollicking title cut, the tough groove of "Tonight," and the lean neo-punk assault of "Neighborhood Threat," and with guitarists Ricky Gardiner and Carlos Alomar at their side, they made for a tough, wiry rock & roll band -- a far cry from the primal stomp of the Stooges, but capable of kicking Iggy back into high gear. (David Bowie played piano and produced, as he had on The Idiot, but his presence is less clearly felt on this album.) As a lyricist and vocalist, Iggy Pop rose to the challenge of the material; if he was still obsessed with drugs ("Tonight"), decadence ("The Passenger"), and bad decisions ("Some Weird Sin"), the title cut suggested he could avoid a few of the temptations that crossed his path, and songs like "Success" displayed a cocky joy that confirmed Iggy was back at full strength. On Lust for Life, Iggy Pop managed to channel the aggressive power of his work with the Stooges with the intelligence and perception of The Idiot, and the result was the best of both worlds; smart, funny, edgy, and hard-rocking, Lust for Life is the best album of Iggy Pop's solo career. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1969 | Rhino - Elektra

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Ann Arbor, a stone’s throw from Detroit: this is where The Stooges adventure begins. Such an industrial city could only give birth to this kind of aggressive rock, like a factory machine. The summer of 1969 bears witness to the band’s first musical seismic shift, an eponymous soundtrack to the Modern Times and the unrest which was bound to entail. Armed with wah-wah pedals and distorted, ramshackle fuzz effects, Ron Asheton’s guitars cut through the smoke, Scott Asheton and Dave Alexander’s pounding prehistoric rhythms are merciless and the 22-year-old singer’s lyrics (James Osterberg, aka Iggy Pop) are a call to arms for rebellion. The Vietnamese conflict is stalling, the American youth is disenfranchised, and Iggy and his Stooges wallow in this brilliantly nihilist manifesto, a sort of shamanic style of garage rock carried by anthems I Wanna Be Your Dog, 1969 and No Fun. This first offering from the band was produced by John Cale, having left The Velvet Underground the previous year. There are some daring experimental elements on the album, like the ten-minute-long We Will Fall, featuring Cale’s very own intoxicated violin. And to think that the Stooges’ next album would be even more apocalyptic… This magnificent Deluxe Edition celebrating half a century of The Stooges is made up of the original studio album, now available in Hi-Res 24-Bit quality, as well as a number of alternative takes (including seven never released digitally) as well as John Cale’s first mix of the album, rejected at the time by the label, Elektra. It was actually published for the first time in 2010 but at a speed slower than anticipated. On this 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, everything is in place to celebrate this rock masterpiece’s milestone birthday in the best conditions possible. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released March 18, 1977 | Virgin Records

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In 1976, the Stooges had been gone for two years, and Iggy Pop had developed a notorious reputation as one of rock & roll's most spectacular waste cases. After a self-imposed stay in a mental hospital, a significantly more functional Iggy was desperate to prove he could hold down a career in music, and he was given another chance by his longtime ally, David Bowie. Bowie co-wrote a batch of new songs with Iggy, put together a band, and produced The Idiot, which took Iggy in a new direction decidedly different from the guitar-fueled proto-punk of the Stooges. Musically, The Idiot is of a piece with the impressionistic music of Bowie's "Berlin Period" (such as Heroes and Low), with it's fragmented guitar figures, ominous basslines, and discordant, high-relief keyboard parts. Iggy's new music was cerebral and inward-looking, where his early work had been a glorious call to the id, and Iggy was in more subdued form than with the Stooges, with his voice sinking into a world-weary baritone that was a decided contrast to the harsh, defiant cry heard on "Search and Destroy." Iggy was exploring new territory as a lyricist, and his songs on The Idiot are self-referential and poetic in a way that his work had rarely been in the past; for the most part the results are impressive, especially "Dum Dum Boys," a paean to the glory days of his former band, and "Nightclubbing," a call to the joys of decadence. The Idiot introduced the world to a very different Iggy Pop, and if the results surprised anyone expecting a replay of the assault of Raw Power, it also made it clear that Iggy was older, wiser, and still had plenty to say; it's a flawed but powerful and emotionally absorbing work. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1978 | Virgin Catalog (V81)

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While Iggy Pop's first two solo albums earned plenty of press (thanks in part to the participation of David Bowie), they didn't sell especially well, and in 1978 RCA Records offered Iggy a fast and painless way to deliver the third and final album on his contract -- they proposed he make a live album, and gave him a $90,000 budget for the project. Figuring this might be his last paycheck from a record label for a while, Iggy assembled soundboard tapes from three dates on his 1977 tour, spent $5,000 doctoring them at a studio in Berlin, and pocketed the rest. This may have been a shrewd move fiscally, but it didn't make for much of an album; TV Eye (1977 Live) sounds murky and hollow, with the four cuts from an October date in Kansas City sounding especially muddy, though with appropriate irony the K.C. performance sounds livelier than the selections from late March gigs in Cleveland and Chicago. (The more staid Cleveland and Chicago cuts feature one David Bowie on keyboards, while for the later show he was replaced by former Stooge-for-a-day Scott Thurston.) While sonically this is a step or two up from a typical bootleg, from a performance standpoint this isn't material anyone would risk a jail sentence to release; while "I Got a Right" and "Lust For Life" sound potent, on the rest of the cuts whatever energy Iggy generated on stage didn't make it onto tape, and the versions of "TV Eye" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog" make clear that Iggy's road band sure weren't the Stooges. For obsessives and completists only -- but given the huge glut of semi-authorized Iggy Pop albums floating around, there must be an awful lot of them. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 7, 2020 | Third Man Records LLC

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Rock - Released June 10, 2020 | Third Man Records LLC

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Rock - Released July 31, 2020 | Third Man Records

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