From the Vault...


Iggy & The Stooges
"Raw Power"

© Columbia/Legacy Records

Year of Release: 1973

track listing
  • Search And Destroy
  • Gimme Danger
  • Your Pretty Face Is
    Going To Hell
  • Penetration
  • Raw Power
  • I Need Somebody
  • Shake Appeal
  • Death Trip

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    Iggy & The Stooges
    "Raw Power"

    It just a little over a year ago, that Iggy Pop debuted on our site, with his album Soldier. It was one of his later solo releases. But this week, we travel back in time, when Iggy Pop was making the scene with his band, The Stooges. Raw Power, released 1973, would become a cult favorite/classic. Iggy and the Stooges would set the pace for the future of what would be called "Punk Rock." After listening to this album, it's clear to see that Iggy and Co. paved the way for future artists.

    The album leads off with a powerful Punk rocker, "Search And Destroy," which would become the album's first single. Single? I can hardly believe hearing Iggy Pop & The Stooges (or Iggy Pop solo) in the Top 40, especially when this album was released, in 1973. "Gimme Danger" was considered the "ballad" of the album, likewise "I Need Somebody" Both these songs were chosen as "ballads" for the A and B sides of the vinyl album. When you think of a "ballad," you think of a nice, slow track. This is not the case for either: "Gimme Danger" does have a "softer" sound than that of all the other powerful Punk songs here. Yet it is still Punk, in its own fashion. And "I Need Somebody" an "actual ballad"? This is certainly not the case: It has the sound raw and dirty blues.

    "Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell" -- with a title such as this, it sounds like a club party punk song; one of those songs to get the crowd going, and forming that "human body wave." "Penetration" is Rock, and it's Punk, and all in all, it's still Rock & Roll.

    Which brings us to the three remaining songs to mention: The title track, "Shake Appeal," and "Death Trip." The all have the raw and powerful Punk sound.

    Punk (or called New Wave) didn't fully accomplish until the end of the 1970s decade. Raw Power could easily have been ahead of it's time in 1973. It would pave the way for the future of Punk Rock, and what would emerge later as Grunge. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana stated that Raw Power was his favorite album of all time. It's easy to hear the Nirvana sound on Raw Power, being an influence. As for Iggy's vocals, they are rough,loud, and as I was listening to "Your Face Is Going To Hell" (which was originally titled "Hard To Beat", I was asking myself, who does this voice sound like? The answer: Rob Zombie of White Zombie. Likewise, Iggy's vocals would resemble the loud screaming of Harcore Rock bands.

    So it's easy to see how Iggy Pop has been christened "The Godfather of Punk." He lead the way for many influences, and the future of popular Punk Rock bands. It can also be said that the music on Raw Power is really not for everyone's ears. But taking it all in sride, Raw Power definitely goes by it's title: It's Raw, and very Powerful. The tracks on this album obviously didn't get any airplay on Top 40 Radio, but I'm sure it did for underground FM stations, and the likes of the "unusual music formats." Unusual maybe the word, but a better word is Unique. Iggy Pop has always been that kind of fellow, as he still is alive today, and makes occasional appearances and/or new releases. The heyday of The Stooges were three album released from 1969 to 1973. They returned with new releases in 2007 and most recently, in 2013. They were inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2010. As a soloist, Iggy Pop has released albums throughout the years of 1977 to 2012. He has yet to be inducted into the Rock Hall as a soloist.

    There was to be a biographical movie based on the early career of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, starring Elijah Wood as Iggy. The movie was to be named The Passenger, but as of 2010, the movie has yet to be made. Iggy stated he liked the script for the film, but did not want to be a part of the movie.

    His interest in Rock music began as he experienced a performance of The Doors, with Jim Morrison. As an avid fan, he was rumoured to be Morrison's replacement after he died. But that arrangement did not go through. As Morrison, Iggy Pop's stage antics were just as unique as Morrison's. Both held the stage in awesome form. It would have been interesting if he had taken over the lead vocals of the Doors. Yet, both bands being different musically, we wouldn't know if survivors of The Doors would have remained as they were, or taken the next step, into Punk.

    Like Morrison, Iggy Pop made a name for himself, and recorded incredible albums and popular songs: "Lust For Life," "The Passenger," "Real Wild Child", "Candy", "China Girl" (which was recorded by his friend, David Bowie, who would originally remix the Raw Power album before it was released). Iggy Pop would remix Raw Power for CD, which produced mixed results.

    For the rougher fan of Rock (and Punk) music, Iggy Pop & The Stooges' Raw Power gets the juices flowing with rough, raw, and powerful music. Try to keep an honest ear for this kind of music. Having done so, this album is what they say it is: A cult classic.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Columbia/Legacy Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1436
    Albert Collins--Frostbite
    Next Review: #1438
    P.D.Q. Bach--At Carnegie Hall