8 December 2012

Iggy Pop & The Stoogies - Raw Power



Now is this the right place for me to have a heel turn? For those of you who are not familiar with wrestling terminology - a heel turn is when a wrestler attacks a beloved wrestler in order to cements his reputation as a bad guys. The most effective ever heel turn was when Hulk Hogan joined the NWO at WCW Bash At The Beach in 1996.  Now this will sound like a crime but I have never knowingly listened to this album all the way through in one sitting, which came as a sort of self shock when I put it on. I have heard all the songs in one form or another - there is about 4 or 5 different editions of it out there - but this is the first sit down to listen from beginning to end.

From 1973 this slice of pre-punk came with the help of David Bowie who was trying to help his friend and show the world the genius of The Stoogies.  The band had split, various drugs were playing on the collective backs of all the members when Sir Bowie offered them a shot at redemption.  The album was recorded in just under a month, mixed by Iggy then remixed by Bowie himself and release to a great round of.... indifference to be honest.  At the time the reviews were great but the public did not care for this 30 minute slice of punk and the band split. 

In someways it was ahead of it's time, songs like "Search & Destroy", "Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell" & the title track just reek of evil, they have a power of their own which should make even the most depressed amongst us sit up and dance around like Iggy on the Lust For Life video.  The two enforced ballads "I Need Somebody" and "Gimme Danger" do not slow the album down at all. In someways they are a welcome relief from the testosterone that comes from this album. This album has became one of the most influential albums of all time since those dark days when no-one cared in 1973, it has a legacy which no-one, even Sir Bowie and Messire Pop will have envisioned.

So, the moment of truth - I am standing over the album with a chair in my hands - do I hit it thus cementing my heel like legacy or do I pick the album up and hold it's hands in the air?  Well, I think it will be the latter.  This album has stood the test of time, and is one of the few classics which has not made me disappointed upon a full listen. The reputation it has is thoroughly deserved and whilst it would probably not make my best albums ever, it will be on the list of albums I would recommend for anyone who wants to know where punk came from with the first Rammones, London's Calling by the Clash and Nevermind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols.  I will have to keep that heel turn for another day, for now I will listen to Raw Power again.


8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart


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You can listen to on Spotify here


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